How My Yoga Practice Has Changed and Why Yours Will, Too
Last summer I was doing an “Empower” yoga program, really focusing on growing my physical practice. Getting stronger. Going deeper into postures. Flowing with more ease in challenging asanas.
I really felt like I was getting better at yoga.
I got pregnant at the end of the summer and my body rapidly began to change, causing a shift in my practice as well. I knew they were temporary modifications and tried to adjust my mindset on the mat.
Once I had the baby, I was anxious to get back to my regular yoga practice. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Apparently growing a little human inside of you and then bringing that little bundle into the world takes quite the toll on your body.
Again, adjusting my mindset on the mat. I had to embrace this season as a recovery period. More temporary modifications, this time to rehab the trauma my body had gone through.
When I was younger, my mom always told me that patience is a virtue. “Yes,” I would say, “a virtue I don’t have.”
Well not much has changed now that I’m an adult.
I hear those same words on my mat though.
Patience is a virtue. Cultivate it here, so you can take it off the mat with you.
(What? Your mat doesn’t talk to you?)
But I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to be done with all these temporary modifications and adjustments and shifts. To get back to my regular yoga practice.
Then it occurred to me… this IS my regular yoga practice. My practice is the temporary modifications. The adjustments and mental shifts.
A yoga practice isn’t linear. Yes, you can build strength and grow in your knowledge of and ability to hold poses, and it feels like you’re “getting better at yoga”.
But the real yoga comes when you’re faced with change and challenges and road blocks.
Can you find ease in those times?
Can you practice patience with yourself?
Can you be compassionate and kind to your body?
Can you listen and seek out that which truly serves in the moment without controlling what it looks like?
That, I am learning, is yoga. On the mat. Off the mat.
I’m still hoping to get back to the “Empower” yoga program this summer. But I’m conscious of my body’s need for slower movement and gentle strength building. I can’t rush it. I can’t force it.
Does it still get frustrating? Hell yes.
Do I find myself longing for what my practice was a year ago? Absolutely.
But I come back to the mat again and again, trusting the process. Remembering that everything is as it should be. Just the way it is. Right now. Today.
And I am choosing to honor that.
On the mat. Off the mat.
How can you honor the place where you are today?