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?