“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.”
~ Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois
Sometimes landing on your yoga mat is less than sightly. You are completely unraveled, having completed a long day, doing whatever you do. Or, perhaps it is the beginning of the day and the first step of your morning is into a little puddle of kitty vomit. You approach the kitchen and are out of coffee. It’s Thursday and you realize you forgot to put the garbage out the night before. As you realize this, you run to the window to see the garbage truck riding away from your neighborhood.
Life is messy.
You had planned to go to yoga but you feel like you have so much work to do that you would be better off not going. You spend a while deliberating what the best thing to do is. In fact, you spend so much time deliberating this that you could have actually been doing something productive…like cleaning up the cat vomit that you just stepped into again.
But by some miracle you scrub your face, brush your teeth, throw some clothes on and drive the 15 minutes to the studio. You’re sorely tempted to find a coffee joint on the way, but you are already pressed for time. When you make it to the studio you have a moment of wishing you hadn’t come at all. You’re just not in the right mood.
Guess what? You’re in the perfect mood.
That’s the yoga.
Yoga is not just a state of asana. Yoga is a state of finding peace in a difficult moment, joy in an unpleasant day, tranquility in a busy atmosphere.
This is yoga.
Sometimes a student will say something at the end of a class to me like, “I was so off balance today, I’m embarrassed. I’ve just been so busy today, and ugh, maybe it’s the weather?”
I tell them with a smile,”That’s just the yoga.”
The yoga is working.
It’s the moment of wobbles and even the moments of supreme delight at mastery of a pose when we must come back to our purpose in yoga.
To find our truth.
Yoga is our way of unraveling all of the layers that keep us from living from our true selves every day. Getting to your mat is hard. Being on the mat is sometimes harder. But the hardest part of yoga of all may be understanding that the good and the bad is yoga. The judgments we make of ourselves, our teachers, our fellow students—this is all a part of the practice. There is a lot of freedom in discovering this aspect of yoga.
Notice the judgements you make on and off of your mat. Good and bad. Smile at them and just know that the process is working. You are unraveling the layers.
Trust the practice.
Editor: Brianna Bemel