I often find myself looking in the direction of where I am headed, and forget to be in the embodied experience of the now. Does this sound familiar? We set out to practice yoga, yet we have a secondary goal in mind, a destination we would like to reach, a certain state we would like to achieve. This attitude, even though often times good intentioned, is not conducive to the state of yoga. It is however a wonderful cue as to where and what we should be working on. Practice is not something to be achieved, it is not a thing on our to do lists, it’s the way we pray and bow to the universe with our whole being, it is an inner journey to the core essence of our being. Because of this it is so important that we come to the mat as clear vessels, without a plan, without expectations, ready to be humbled by the journey. If this is not the way you currently experience your practice, that is ok, recognizing it is the first step, and it will continue to want to go back to that. It’s about continuing to bring it back to what it is. It is a search for honesty with ourselves. A journey, a process, that cannot be controlled but only traveled.
Practicing with intention, dedication and focus is one way that I bring myself in the now daily. The body is changing on a daily basis, life happens as we move through it and it affects our every cell, so why should we expect the practice of yoga to be the same everyday? or to be able to plan for how it should be? In my own experience it is because of the practice that I am able to catch myself throughout the day running into the future, making stories and expectations of every single event I partake in, but because of the awareness cultivated in practice I can shed light on those patterns and tether myself back to the now. This is the beauty of practice. We are here for the journey not the destination.
The suppleness, the effortlessness, the agility, the inner freedom, the strength, the stability, the weightlessness that you see in videos or photos those are bi products of existing in the state that is yoga, it’s not imposed or planned, it is by mere practice, trust and faith in the process. What it looks like is also not important in and of itself, what’s important is that we are able to experience those qualities within our minds, which eventually will translate into the way we move our bodies. We want to take all those qualities and thread them into the fabric of our lives, our interactions, our thoughts, our actions, our choices...where are all those elements you see or aspire to embody in your actual life? How are you embodying them? And if you are how can you be an example for another to move so gracefully through life, not only the mat.