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No, not twins.

June 30, 2010

 While it may seem like a basic principle of  yoga, I feel like it is very easy to forget that you need to love and respect yourself during your practice.

Forget about the fact that since you’re supposed to be centered on your breath that you definitely shouldn’t have wandering eyes…lets talk about what they wander to and what that means.

Over the last year, I’ve come so far with my yoga practice; physically, mentally and spiritually. I should have nothing but happiness for that fact but it is in my nature, and who knows how many others, to want to constantly strive for something better. It feels so natural to go my edge, and peek over and see something that I really want but I haven’t quite earned yet. You know what happens to people that lean too far over ledges though? They fall.

Like I said, it is a major tenet of yoga to personalize and internalize your practice…but I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one that has trouble with this. I want to be better and I unfortunately feel very natural in measuring my own worth by the worth of others. I may have had the most gumby-ed out pigeon yesterday and when I don’t have it today, I want to make sure I’m not alone. Why? I don’t know…it just feels natural to gain confidence knowing that you’re among the most advanced, or to gain solace knowing you’re not alone.

These things, I imagine, are only natural. I catch other people looking around when they’re supposed to be blissed out and listening to their breathing. I, however, believe that I have come to a conclusion. Obvious, thought it may seem, I believe that if I spent less time surveying the lands during my practice and instead concentrated on my breath and breathing in to troubled areas (emotional or physical) that are blocking my progress then I would be far better off…and more secure!

Pranayama, I’m finding in my own time, is a very powerful concept. Prana is your “vitality” to be brief…and to have an abundance of it is to be in good shape. According to The Heart of Yoga, ” too little  prana in the body  can be expressed as feelings of being stuck or restricted. It can also show as a lack of drive or motivation to do anything: we are listless or depressed.” Sometimes I feel depressed when it seems I have regressed in my asana practice, this serves as a distraction and I begin to lose focusing on my breathing. Little do I realize that I was just enabling my own loss of prana by willfully disengaging from my pranayama practice! I was disabling my own progress! Not to mention when you start pushing yourself arbitrarily without thought of your pranayama practice you can end up hurting yourself. (note: one front shoulder muscle…healing for over one month now and one outer knee muscle pulled from a cold sarvangasana in lotus position at Yoga at the Great Lawn)

In short it all goes back to a “western mantra” of sorts:  you gotta look out for number one. To yoga-ify this saying I shall explain: to find your own peace is to share it with the world, so love yourself.

[Image via: Alexander Jack]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 4, 2010 11:15 pm

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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