March 25, 2013

This is Why I Practice.

Often when people find out that I have a serious Ashtanga yoga and meditation practice, they say things like, “Wow, you’re so good!”, “That’s impressive, that’s a lot of exercise!”, “You have so much discipline, I could never do that.”

These are nice sentiments, and so I politely respond with some words of gratitude mingled with a touch of self-deprecation (can’t seem to help myself.)

But, I don’t practice yoga because I am good or disciplined.

I don’t practice because I am righteous or virtuous. I certainly don’t practice because I am perfect or peaceful. Nor do I practice to impress you or to prove some inane point about my wonderful brilliant sparkly shininess.

I practice because without practice I am a mess.

I practice because it helps me see myself more clearly and it gives me the push I need to try harder and to love more.

I practice because it makes me feel incredibly strong and pathetically weak—both of which I am.

My practice shows me how powerful I am, and how completely powerless I am in the grand scheme of things.

I practice because, if I don’t, I’m even more reactive and distracted. Because I can be cruel and mean, Scorpio-stinging vicious actually, and that’s not cool. I don’t want to be like that—and so I practice.

I practice because I love the challenge and I love the grace.

I practice because I never want to stop learning or stop growing.

I practice because it helps me learn when to strive and when to surrender.

I practice because it puts things in perspective—it gives me a sense of humor and a sense of gravity.

I practice because I don’t want to sleep-walk through my life without a real authentic relationship with myself and my soul.

I practice because it keeps me sober, it keeps me real, it keeps me honest—brutally so.

I practice because it shows me just how far I have to go and it gives me the tools to keep going with faith and perseverance.

I practice because I need to. No one’s going to do it for me, no one can “fix” me or heal me except for myself and so I practice . . . every day.

My practice is a choice. But it’s not a pretty one.

It’s simply sink or swim, and I’m too stubborn to drown.


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sallympaul May 12, 2015 2:46pm

Spot on! I love this. 🙂

C hall Dec 20, 2013 6:16pm

I practice because it brings me peace

Sybil Nov 19, 2013 6:21pm

So true. Will be printing this one out. Thanks.

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Frances Harjeet

Frances Harjeet was raised by a yoga mother and Republican father in a yuppie-hippie home and has spent most of her recent growing-up years adventuring around this beautiful world, engaging in various yoga, meditation and spiritual practices. Firmly rooted now in both Ashtanga and Kundalini Yoga, she values every day as an opportunity to delve deeper into these awe-inspiring traditions. A massage therapist, yoga instructor, musician and general admirer of all things beautiful, she loves sharing her passion for yoga, health and creative living with others through her blog Lila. here.