You Find Your Yoga Practice The Moment You Lose It
To be honest, I think this applies to many other things too. What do I mean by this? Well, since starting yoga I have learned many things along the way, and I’m still new to it. Over the years I have been on many journeys with yoga: I have found myself to be totally in love and obsessive about yoga, I have used yoga as a means to abuse myself, I have fallen out of love with one style and become passionate about another, I have believed that I’m right about things because, well, yoga, and I have returned to my mat like to the sofa of my best friend where things get unravelled. For me, yoga is a process of self discovery, it is a practice where I get to watch myself, all aspects of myself. But something has shifted over the past few months.
Recently, the way I approach yoga has changed. From knowing exactly what to do and what is best (ha ha! best…), believing that what I have learned is the right way, to not knowing anything at all. Day by day I have been losing my practice, letting one piece fall away after another. I look at the faces of those in love with the practice, I listen to their words, I see their instagrams, and feel a hundred miles away. Yes, there is a part of me that wants that fresh new love feeling, a part of me that is jealous of their steadiness and dedication, their enthusiasm and physical abilities (that they no doubt worked hard for). But there is also another part to this….
That part has to do with what happens when I step on my mat now. Feeling lost and disconnected I pick out poses, movements, breath, blindly fumbling in the dark, is this the one? Is that the one? Like I’m trying to piece together a memory of something long gone. How was it again? But as I do this, something new is emerging, something that feels more real. One day I’ll move fast and throw my body around with exhilaration, another day I move slowly observing each pose, and yet another day, I’ll just sit there, do a sidebend and feel like that’s enough. Yoga has become instantaneous. And what I mean by that, is that it is a response to myself at that time, and as I respond I learn more about myself than when I followed a prescribed path. I learn when to move and when to sit still, when is one a punishment and when is it a gift? Responding and listening in the moment, and not putting myself into a shape that is not mine.
Yes, I think it is when you lose your practice that you actually find it. Your practice. I still feel the pressures of wanting to be a certain way, do certain poses and show them on instagram, be like the others who are so amazing. But I know that feeling of pursuing that, and to me it is not yoga. (The pursuit, not the practice I mean). It is in this place of feeling lost that I am actually discovering yoga, really feeling it, and there is such sweetness in letting go of the old, to find the new. Mind you, there is definitely something in having a discipline and what that does for you, to do something whether you like it or not, but maybe going to work is enough of a discipline and my yoga can stay an exploration?