Sometimes we feel, we’re doing the yoga, we’re meditating, maybe we know the do’s and don’ts of yoga (Yamas and Niyamas) and yet: we still feel like lashing sometimes, skipping practice, or plain don’t know how to break with our patterns. Do not fret-it’s normal! Here are some little ways to leave yourself alone already!
If you, like me, were brought up in a religious household (Christian in my case), chances are you’re really good at guilt-tripping á la “I should be doing Yoga right now..”, “Why can I never stick to a routine?”, “I’m so lazy.”, etc. STOP with the guilt already! Yoga shouldn’t become another item on our self-flagellation to-do list. If we’re guilty of guilt-tripping instead of enjoying the benefits of yoga, or the times we do manage to get on that mat, what’s the point?
2. Die Hard
Yes, according to those wonderful teachers and philosophers who came before us, such as Iyengar, Patanjali, Yogananda et al, there are many many rules and regulations of how yoga should be practiced. These have their value and there are good reasons they were passed down from generation to generation. After all, if everyone’s just doing their own thing, we could just hit the club and dance our booty off. (I’m hoping you do so often!) However, these laws came into being in different times in a very different and somewhat austere culture and the reason Yoga has taken over the world is not its rigidity but its very democratic nature of including every BODY and every lifestyle. So find yours and om with it. No disrespect to Iyengar but if you look at some of the asanas in his book…um…ouch!
3. How do I look?
This one’s kind of self-explanatory. Comparing ourselves to other teachers or students is a real party-pooper. Decide who’s life this is and make it so!
4. Am I perfect yet?
Yes, we should know our asanas well and pay attention to anatomy, or the instructions our teachers give us but after we’ve done all that, let’s get real: if we all have different bodies, chances are we’re all going to look different when we practice. So if you feel like your Warrior III resembles something of a dying Swan, so be it. That is YOUR Warrior III and as long as you feel good and nothing is hurting or pinching, why not?
5. Mirror, mirror
The way we approach our yoga practice is a pretty good indicator of how we practice life. So you’re impatient, bored, work yourself too hard or having a hard time keeping your concentration on your breath. Hmm, how’d that happen? Separating life off the mat from our yoga practice is almost impossible. You know how art imitates life sometimes? Yup, that goes for Yoga too. Whatever bubbles up during our practice most likely mirrors our lives in general as well. Isn’t that annoying…and great?
So let’s make a pact to leave ourselves the heck alone, for a moment, for a day…what say you? What are some of the things you get stuck on in your yoga practice? Would love to hear from you in the comments section below!