I hope there is something here for you too.
The practice was strong – but you stayed with it, bringing your own unique energy to the room. It was wonderful to witness such an engagement of tapas, yet, also, a collective mindfulness of ahimsa (non-harming), bramacharya (moderation) and santosha (contentment).
As you continue or begin (or think about beginning) your personal practice, remember that it's these things that will sustain you. Bring them onto your mat and cultivate them. Much like the rest of our lives, our personal practice is ever-moving, ever-changing, ever-evolving.
With classes, it's easy to rely on the instructor, go through the motions, maybe even skip the inner work of each pose. The thing about personal practice is that it helps you grow in ways a class can't. Being alone on the mat teaches you to silence your internal dialogue and chatter, bringing you to the heart, the center of yoga. Suddenly, in your vinyasa, your flow, the past is the past and the future is not even a thought. There is no mourning. No analyzing. No wondering. Just presence. Tranquility. Serenity.
It's hard for some of us though. It's easy to be uncertain at first. Timid, even. Unsure of what to do, how long to do it or if we're doing it right. My advice is to listen to your body's needs and let it guide you. Sit, breathe, meditate. Stand, balance, twist. There is no right or wrong – only what serves you and what does not.
|Unroll your mat and begin.|
I practiced yoga asana for years before I made it personal. I remember I unrolled an extra mat in the spare bedroom and left it there. The first time I tiptoed on, I thought, "Now what? What pose? This is silly." It felt awkward and forced and hard.
Like the saying goes though, beginning is the hardest part. So, if all else seems daunting, start with savasana. Then work toward adding postures beforehand. Tadasana. Pigeon. Forward fold. Doesn't matter. Because, over time, with tapas – that inner fire and discipline – stepping on the mat at home will become something you just do. The awkward, the forced and the hard will wash away, leaving the freedom to move and breathe. Slow. Fast. Meditative. However you feel. Yes, taking the time for svadhyaya and alignment and self-correction. But also taking the time to just be.
Ishvara-pranidhana. Letting go to what is.