Everyone has a different story for how they came to yoga. Equally we all experience it in different ways. A lot of this is about the different bodies we all have, the different minds we have. A lot of it about the expectations we have for ourselves and what intention we have when we practice.
Yoga is very experiential. An instructor can give you postures show you how to breathe but you are the driving force behind what you’re doing.
Your body is the teacher. Its messages are the sensations, restrictions, openings, movements, sense of balance or perhaps messages of pain. All these things are telling you something.
What we are looking for in our practice is a sense of steadiness and ease. This is about finding your own sweet spot – a point where you are putting in enough effort to feel the postures working while the breath remains controlled and steady. This is where you meet your authentic self.
In Yin yoga its described as finding your edge – that place where you really feel the body working but you haven’t gone into the abyss of it being too much so that everything collapses. Your body and mind come together in a point of focus where you can sustain your attention and breathe consciously at that point. Like Goldilocks – not too much, not too little, just enough
This means being honest with yourself about what you are capable of and where you are in your practice, at the moment. With all our unique bodies we all have our own challenges and limits. Flexible people need to work on holding and building strength; strong bodies need to spend time opening and creating space. Its about creating a practice that’s authentic and true to you and growing from there.
Its useless to compare yourself to someone else.. we’re all different. Instead be authentic about where you are and what challenges you are faced with. Accept these challenges as how your practice is created and areas which you grow from.
The beauty of it is that what capability you have now it will change.. your practice is changing all the time and if you doing it consistently, it will be moving forward and more inward. Your body will open and strengthen, your mind will become stiller and more focused. Your breath will become deeper.
Patience will reward you with new spaces for your body and mind to move into. Its being honest and true to whatever you’re experiencing, listening to the signs of the body and the rhythm and flow of your breathing to find that place of steadiness and ease within. The more you look for that place the more you will find it. Your practice will come from a place of effort without struggle.
Coming from a place of authenticity creates great freedom because you are making choices that are right for you. The point is to connect with ourselves more deeply, feel our bodies more fully and to create more space within.