While attending a wedding this weekend, I was reminded of something my friend and fellow yoga teacher Laura had said about her grandparents’ 60-year marriage.
Following the passing of her grandma earlier this year, Laura reflected on the similarities between a marriage and a yogasana practice: a 60-year marriage doesn’t just happen, and neither does a committed yoga practice. Every day you have to wake up and do your practice—whether it’s rolling out your mat, or honoring your partner.
Both require dedication. Both are about union.
Yoga practices, like relationships, can have ups and downs. Most days when I practice, everything flows. I’m present and connected to the source of my inspiration. Other days I feel like I want to give up; I practice…but grudgingly. And on those days it’s challenging, because my heart isn’t in it. As one of my teachers Saul David Raye says, the more we do with intention, the more powerful the effect.
There are components of the practice that come more naturally and there parts that are difficult—just as in relationships. In both we’re working through our samskaras, the karmic patterns of our conditioning. You know the saying: I won’t make the same mistake twice.
But most of us make those same “mistakes” over and over again—it’s what makes us who we are, in the sense of that lowercase “s” self. Our yoga practice—and love —can help us uncover that higher Self within all beings.
Like the right partner, there’s that something special that keeps drawing me into the practice. There’s always something else we can be doing, or a different relationship we can be in.
But as Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said,
Do your practice and all is coming.
Do your practice, whether it’s love or yoga, and all is coming.
Lindsay Jean Thomson is a San Francisco-based yoga teacher and was recently featured as one of the “8 Greats Under 30” by Common Ground magazine. Come see for yourself in her public classes at International Orange and yoga mayu.