While I was doing a short morning yoga practice this morning, I found myself once again deviating from what the instructor told me to do. By nature, I’m extraordinarily obedient so if I don’t follow the sequence fully I feel guilty. I don’t know if any other yoga practitioners who read this have felt the same way, but it’s been a battle for me for the last few years.
This morning a thought came to mind that made me stop and ponder. Perhaps I was at a level in my yoga practice where I had a strong enough foundation to be flexible with how I followed along with instructor-led practices. Then another sobering thought came in succession. How did I get here?
Building a foundation in any field is difficult. It’s repetitive, painful at times, and requires a lot of personal dedication. It’s rare to have time to see myself progress far enough to see enough progress in a field to gain autonomy.
I feel incredibly grateful to all the instructors I’ve had in my and my past self’s stubborn dedication to building a strong yoga practice. I don’t need constant supervision or detailed instructions when I practice yoga. This means I can move beyond the physical practice and focus on strengthening myself on deeper levels.
I trained in Ashtanga yoga and have been trying faithfully to develop a physical, daily practice. This practice has shifted quite a bit over the years, depending on my work life and the time of year. All in all, it’s encouraging to see how I’ve grown these past ten years.
If you are currently starting yoga or feel discouraged, wondering if you’re getting anywhere in your practice there are moments like I had today where the clouds seem to open and say, “Look how much stronger you’ve become.”
Realizing this about myself, I finally understand how strength and flexibility work together on a physical and spiritual level. In the Book of Mormon, a prophet wisely said,
6 Now ye may suppose that this is afoolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by bsmall and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.-Alma 37:6, The Book of Mormon
I look forward to reading this in a few years and seeing how much more I’ve grown in my soul. Have a wonderful New Years Weekend!