Are there times in your practice when you feel like you can give it your all and other times when you can hardly get on to your mat?
Our lives are so busy these days that adding one more item on to the list can feel over whelming. If you have a regular yoga practice you may have come to the realization that yoga definitely helps with dealing with the stress in your life. But sometimes you just don’t have the energy to get yourself to the mat.
I have noticed that if I can get to my yoga class, sit on my mat, start breathing that everything else in my life falls away, if only for an hour, but I end up feeling much better than if I just lounged on my couch for an hour.
The trick I find is to remember the reason why you have come to yoga. It is not to compete with your neighbour or even yourself. That is the Ego talking. The striving to always out-do yourself can not only add stress but also misses the true gift in yoga.
Peace or the gift of equanimity; a state of even minded openness that allows for a balanced, clear response to all situations, rather than a response borne of reactivity or emotion, can come through a regular yoga practice. When you are always reacting to events and situations rather than just calmly observing these events stress is added to your life. By always striving to get better results there is no joy in life as you are never satisfied.
We live in a culture where striving for results colors our every endeavor. The chatter of our mind is constant; how much did I accomplish today? Did I meet /exceed my quota? Is there something else I need to do to make myself feel complete and purposeful? Why is it never enough?
Having a regular yoga practice can help you to recognize where, when and how you get caught up in the results. It also clearly shows your reaction/attachment to those results; either good or bad. When practicing your asana (postures) you might start to notice your internal running commentary; I got deeper into my breath yesterday, I had more energy, and I got lower in my Utkatasana.
All these judgments on yourself create stress and is counter- productive to your growth and ultimate happiness. If you allow yourself to step back from the experience; with all the things attached to it, such as; thoughts, emotions and pure sensations, by not getting caught up in a reaction which would have you identifying with those thoughts, emotions and sensations that would give you the peace you need.
To just purely experience things without attaching any emotional baggage gives you the ability to calmly remain balanced in any situation.
To practice with ease will bring you closer to the pure joy awaiting you in yoga.