December 28, 2012

No Practice is Ever Wasted. ~ Peg Mulqueen

Why don’t more people practice Ashtanga yoga? Two words. Go.

This was my Facebook status from a month ago—the responses were not only funny, but most rang pretty true as well. These were some of my favorites:

  • marichyasana D
  • —too scared
  • —morning monotony
  • —no hiding
  • —requires change
  • —it’s hard

and the number one reason . . .

  • —snooze button

The list went on. And on. And on.

So maybe the better question should be, why does anyone practice Ashtanga yoga?

For me, it’s really about one thing: possibility. Something I desperately want to believe in.

Now, I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid right away. Because while getting up in the morning, committing the time and doing the same routine over and over may not have seemed impossible—it was still way hard.

And required more than I was ready to give.

So for at least the first year, (maybe two) I remained a part time Ashtanga enthusiast. That is, until kapotasana: a posture that seemed unreasonable and the kind of whacky sh*t circus performers do.

Not possible. At least, not with the level of effort and commitment I was willing to give. So I upped the ante and gave a little more.

I know this is where I tell you that within a few months of daily practice, I was catching my heels. But that would only be true if months were actually years. And it would be years before that happened.

But it did happen. I didn’t always see the progress and many times I came and did the work with nothing in return. But I’m gullible, I suppose.

I kept believing everyone who promised, no practice is ever wasted.

And so it would be with many postures thereafter. Each new challenge presented was like a mountain, with me sitting at the base looking up and thinking, how?

Of course the answer is, one step at a time. Armed with a little bit of knowledge and a whole lot of faith, each time I’d move forward by believing that if I just kept going and gave what I had, I just might make it.

The events of the previous week have left me sitting at the base of an enormous mountain of grief and despair. I feel powerless to bring comfort to those whose lives have been shattered and inept in a world that entertains such evil.

How could I possibly make a difference?

But then the thought occurs, that maybe, just maybe if I up the ante again, move fully forward and give a little more of myself—change, no matter how hard, is possible.

We might not always see the difference we make. In fact, there may be many times we question any progress at all.

Still, day-by-day we must keep believing that no kindness is ever wasted, no level of compassion and love too much, and if we just remain willing to give what we have, then we all just might make this world a better place.

You see, change is not unlocked by those extraordinarily gifted, but by people like you and me, simply willing to up our level of commitment and effort, sometimes on faith alone, one day at time.

Keep believing. Let the despair you feel now only motivate you to give more, do more, regardless of how long it takes.

Creating a kinder, gentler world is not for the part time crusader so be ready to commit yourself fully.

In doing, we make anything possible.


Editor: Thaddeus Haas

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