There’s a reason they (whoever “they” are) call yoga a practice. It’s not (supposed to be) a destination. It’s not (supposed to be) an end point you’re aiming for. It’s not (supposed to be) something to check off your to-do list or to “win” at.
It’s a practice. Day by day. Being where you are in the moment and playing with the poses one more time to see what they bring you now. And now. And now.
Most days my yoga practice is different from other days. Sometimes poses are un-understandably easy. Sometimes they’re un-understandably difficult, or near impossible.
It’s a practice.
The same, I’m learning more and more, is true of my practices of meditation, finding joy, gratitude, allowing peace and ease, soothing my heart and soul…all of them.
They are all practices.
They are practices that may come easier some days than others or may seem like they have more and better “results” some days than others. They are practices that feel awkward at first – like the first time you stand in mountain pose…and stand…and stand – but that get more comfortable as time goes on. Or at least more doable.
I’ve told many of my clients recently that meditation becomes more effortless the more you practice. It’s funny that a practice that is mostly about doing nothing and sitting still seems to require so much effort at first. But as I practice and practice, I’m more able to be with my feelings as they come up or to watch my thoughts rather than get lost in my thoughts. I’m more able to let things be. I’m more able to catch myself in moments when I’m not meditating and notice my weird thoughts, accept my weird thoughts, and find something less weird or self-lambasting to think about.
I practice and my muscles grow stronger. Even if they’re muscles for not doing something. Even if they’re muscles for letting go and letting be.
It’s a daily practice. I need to remember to sit in quiet each day (or almost each day). I need to remember to first go to self-compassion…or at least second or third. I need to remember to actively look for things that will thrill my heart or ease my troubled soul.
The more I practice this, the more I intentionally build more muscles of self-care and self-love, the bigger my muscles get and the easier they become to tap into when I need them most.
I’m fueling new thought-patterns and building new muscles. It’s a daily practice to do that. A daily practice that I’m lucky – and grateful – to be able to do.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!