Practice, Practice, Practice.
So those times when Yoga becomes yet another ‘thing’ to do, get done, to go through the motions and hope it counts.
If your yoga practice brings you up against some questions then maybe it’s time to step into the uncomfortable and see what is there.The yamas (kind of like a set of observances / some say a moral code) help us to see the conflictions of the mind and our attachments. In essence the yamas serve to provide us with that ever present ‘bumper’ to keep us in the direction of acting from love and connecting to the bigger picture. I believe that the yamas all really stem from satya (truth/honesty). In order to see, be and embody honesty and truth we must move into a place of awareness which removes the tarnish of ego and confronts the root of doubt and fear. How do we do this? Show up! Create a practice of self-inquiry (not just poses!). This is not always easy in a Vinyasa Yoga practice.
Recently I have spent a huge amount of time investing in a pranayama (breathing) practice. My first experience of this was in a sweltering Bikram studio back in 2004 leaving me a little light headed and confused. What I have learned most recently is that even in our Yoga practice we are still driven to ‘do’ it. Even when it comes to the breathing practices of pranayama. So, I’m giving you homework …. Lie on the floor. Get to know your breathing. You can place a rolled blanket under you knees and a support under your head but that’s as fancy as it gets. What if you lay your hands on the different parts of your torso and really experienced the quality, texture and space in your breath. To me that is a way more advanced practice than ploughing through postures for the sake of ploughing through postures. This is a practice of non-attachment, of disentangling ourselves from ego and resting in our true nature. Not easy. Try it. Don’t be too hard on yourself and work consistently at getting to know your breath without attaching a goal or trying to change it. Yoga is a practice.