There’s more

Many people practice yoga as their fitness regime – which I believe is totally fine, if this is what they want. However, yoga shouldn’t be placed in the fitness realm. Getting a strong and flexible body might happen through regular practice, but yoga isn’t just moving from one pose to another. It’s about ourselves, establish a deep connection to the self and learn on the way.

If you’re after competition and judgment, the yoga studio is the wrong place to be, as yoga isn’t competitive at all, it’s not about can or can’t, it’s not about the student next to you. We are using asanas to quieten our mind, to slide into a moving meditation.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do some of the fancy stuff that is popular right now! Go, try everything that catches your attention, but also understand there is more. 

When attending a yoga class, be prepared that you might not get what you want. Instead, be open to receive what the teacher is ready to give to you. Encouraging and guiding you to look inward, and become rooted in the deeper sense of yoga.

It’s a slow process, there’s no rush.

Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography

Progress

“Practice, practice and all is coming.”
Sri Patthabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga

On a physical level, we’re pretty much aware of our body, what we can do and slightly focused on what we can’t. We might work hard on something we are eager to, be it to lose weight, shape certain sections of our body, gain strength, flexibility, or or or.

Exercise
In my yoga practice, this hard work is usually about a special asana I want to learn. Being overwhelmed with pics in the internet of fancy arm-balances, I admit, these images feel quite comfortable sitting in my head, chasing me, come on, at least this one, go for it! Alright, I’m working on it…
Finally being able to do a certain posture, yes, that’s progress. On a quite high and technical level. However, going deeper is what it makes really meaningful. Not just in yoga, but in every single part of our lives!

Moving meditation
Real progress shows up for me in these tiny little things, that make me feel so good. The moment of ease in an asana. Just that. Or when all of a sudden one hand grabs the other wrist in Marichyasana A and C. The moment when my head touched the mat first time in Prasarita Padhottanasana A. 

The difference is, when doing my daily practice, I’m just doing it. Not pushing myself into anything, but accepting where I am that day, with all my strength and weakness. All my limitations, that might vary from day to day. My aim is not doing a fancy posture, but  connecting with myself. Connecting with my breath, go internal, withdraw my senses. Lifting my yoga practice from exercise into a moving meditation. And sometimes these tiny little things happen, showing I’m moving, I’m progressing. With a huge smile on my face.
This feels natural to me, as it’s coming from the inside. My mind starts to let go, my body release and opens. One of the most beautiful feelings!

And it’s of course not just about yoga, you can translate this into all of your life. Whenever you want or particularly when you feel being in a challenging situation, deepen your breath, go internal, connect with your SELF. Be grateful of where you are and who you are. This will ground you anytime, bringing you back to what is really important: YOU.