I’ve practiced more in these 16 days than I ever have in my life. In Mysore practice used to be for an hour and a half. That was for 15 days. During my teachers’ training at SVYASA we used to have practice for up to 2 – 3 hours a day. Here we practice for up to 5 hours a day. Some students even opt to observe classes, so that’s more yoga during the day. It is intense, it is powerful, detailed, thorough and it’s amazing (I may already have mentioned that before.) In the past 2 weeks I’ve had time to really work on my asanas. I’ve also had a chance to see the practice in a different way. To kind of lift the asana lid and peer into the pot to find the importance and relevance of yoga in our lives. My own steadily improving practice and watching all kinds of people practice day in and day out. Doing the Trikonasana (and other asanas) over and over again drives home a few important lessons.
- Practice makes perfect. But nobody’s perfect. So perfection is a process and practice is the means to it. In the age of beautiful Instagram filters, it is difficult to believe that even the jaw dropping and awe inspiring pose has scope for improvement. There is scope of improvement in everything. Your projects are a work in progress. Your relationships are a work in progress….your life is a work in progress. You are a work in progress! So accept your mistakes. Internalize the lessons they teach you and don’t make them again. Remember, a mistake made over and over again is a habit.
- Spend a lot of time on your fundamentals. Here we have practitioners of all levels. However, what we practice day in and day out (yes for 5 hours daily) are the fundamentals. Trikonasana, Uttanasana, Downward dog etc. The other day the entire 2 hour class was about Uttanasana. That is all we did during the entire class. In fact, I’ve heard Abhijata say that your inversions will never be stable unless your standing poses are stable. Next time you find yourself fumbling in a pose, try and analyse why and what you can do to make the pose better. And next time you find yourself getting impatient or bored of the fundamentals, remember there’s always scope for improvement.
- Cultivate discipline.Be strict with yourself because when it comes to your body no one else will be. Make the time to move your body, however inconvenient it may be. Make the time to cultivate a hobby which requires you to move. Enjoy the process of movement and getting in touch with yourself. The tragedy of our times is that people will set reminders on their phones to take the medicines they have now become dependent on, but they won’t throw back the covers and go for a quick jog. Every little bit matters, but you need discipline. To start and to stay on track.
[Above: Healthy food choices always. Remember my 80/20 rule.]