Redefining Practice

I love yoga. When I attended my first class about ten years ago, I had a profound sense of having found home. I began attending weekly classes and then increased to two or three classes a week. Within a year I began to study yoga and attained my first level certificate. My life underwent some big changes a few years later and I was living in a town where the nearest class was almost eighty kilometres away, I made time to attend when I could. Since then I have moved around a lot in Australia and overseas and have managed to find classes on a rather irregular basis.

Even with my great love of yoga, one thing I have always found myself challenged by is creating and maintaining a home practice. I should mention here that when I talk about a home practice I am talking about asana practice. Asana is the physical aspect of yoga that many of us in the West think of as yoga – the postures. Yoga is far more than asana, and I will talk more about the other aspects in another post. Since I came home to yoga I have done my best to live yoga on and off the mat. I have now returned from my travels and I am looking for a regular class, and plan to finally create and maintain a regular home practice.

But why have I been unable to do this until now? I asked myself this question recently. The realisation I came to is that perhaps my definition of practice needs redefining. I have previously limited myself to the idea that in order to practice I need to have a full uninterrupted hour; in the perfect space, at the perfect time. The reality is that I rarely find this time and space. The same applies to a lot of things; meditation, reiki practice, walking, writing – you get the idea.

So I now plan to look at practice in a different way. I will take small steps and celebrate those steps and build on them. Practice is practice, however it looks and however long it takes and it’s different for everybody. For instance if I have a few minutes spare now, I will roll out my mat and do a couple of downward dogs or some spinal twists. If I am not able to get to my mat, I may do a short meditation or some reiki practice, write a few words or even pop out for a quick walk. I will accept my practice for what it is on that day and not wait until everything is “perfect” before I begin.

I have learnt many valuable lessons over the years and in particular during my time living in Africa. Two of the most valuable lessons for me seem to sum this up nicely – going with the flow and acceptance of what is. 

What does practice look like for you?

Namaste


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About Rae-Anne

Facilitator & coach, aspiring author and jeweller. ♥ yoga, reiki, dancing, books, travel, Africa & tea. Living life to the fullest every day. ☺
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4 Responses to Redefining Practice

  1. Thanks for your post!
    When someone asked Gurmukh if with her busy travel schedule she still manages to find time for yoga she replied: Of course I do yoga every day – but I don’t do asanas every day. :)

    • Rae-Anne says:

      Hi Andrea, thanks so much for your comment. I love the quote you mentioned from Gurmukh, I must read more about her – it’s so true. My business name (though I am yet to do anything with it as yet) my email address and facebook page are all called “Living Yoga” as that really says it all for me. Namaste :)

  2. aylee says:

    Love this Blog Rae… this is so true!! Why must we wait until things as perfect before we set out on beginning a new journey???? When we know from experience that the journey itself is where the learning is. Being in the midst of chaos can sometimes be the “perfect” moment to step out as its when we need the change, the new beginning, the most..but so often we get caught up in the idea of the “right time, perfect time”….for example…”I have the perfect new yoga mat, yoga outfit, its Monday and I have just had a freshly squeezed juice and ‘m beginning my fresh start today!!!”…when really the perfect time is probably in the middle of the week in my old trakkie dacks with no motivation whatsoever! Maybe redefining “perfect” is what is required? As for valuable lessons I too have learnt (through pure necessity) that while in Ghana surrendering was what made life bearable, the sooner I accepted things and went with the flow the easier it was to deal with the struggles that presented themselves, although of course this did not come easy! Many times I think back to my experiences in Ghana and reflect on my feelings about “surrendering” and although I know how powerful and liberating it can be when “going with the flow and accepting things just as they are” unfortunately my western mind sometimes takes over and I tell myself that surrendering is “giving in” (which I know is so far from the truth!) My hope is that I will soon come to a place where I won’t even need to have this battle within myself, and will automatically just accept things as they are, because after all my experiences have shown me that things are the way they are for a reason. Everything happens in perfect timing, in god’s timing…..and well if not ill just tell myself “It’s coming”. (hehe)

    • Rae-Anne says:

      Aylee – my beautiful friend. Thanks so much for your comment, I really enjoyed reading it and it’s all so very true.
      As for lessons, oh yes Mother Africa has taught us so much hasn’t it? I learnt so much about life and myself that I will be eternally grateful for. And acceptance of what is – in every way, is so important and one that we all need to learn. I had the same resistance that you describe on so many levels and with so many things, but going with the flow and acceptance was then, and remains still the answer.
      And yes “it’s coming”..xx

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