This is Why I Practice.

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
1 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
22
20.9k

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.

 

Like elephant ashtanga on Facebook

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
1 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
22
20.9k

Read The Best Articles of January
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.
CLICK TO SEE WHO WON

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.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

anonymous May 12, 2015 2:46pm

Spot on! I love this. 🙂

anonymous Dec 20, 2013 6:16pm

I practice because it brings me peace

anonymous Nov 19, 2013 6:21pm

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

anonymous Jun 23, 2013 7:43pm

Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow – I couldn't have expressed why I do yoga and my own daily practice, any better myself. Thanks so much – Great article!!!!

    anonymous Jun 24, 2013 12:47pm

    thanks darren! grateful for your kind words and support.
    frances

anonymous Apr 2, 2013 9:48am

I love this post. Wish I had written it, but I will share it with all of my students. This rang loud and true for me on every level. I must practice or I am a mess, and I am still a hot mess much of the time anyway. Praise be for the yoga. Much love to you on your yoga/life/journey. Look forward to reading more of your offerings.

    anonymous Apr 3, 2013 6:31pm

    Thanks Jodeen. So happy to share this with my community and I thank you for sharing it with your students.
    Blessings
    Frances

anonymous Mar 28, 2013 11:06am

Beautifully said and very true!

anonymous Mar 26, 2013 4:23pm

So wonderfully true. Thank you!

anonymous Mar 26, 2013 10:44am

Great article!!!

anonymous Mar 26, 2013 10:27am

Amazingly well said – Thank you for making my day

anonymous Mar 26, 2013 7:41am

Yes. Very nice.
We practice, not only for positive results, but to avoid becoming miserable.
Not becoming unhappy can be very hard work.
But the rewards are immeasurable.
Thanks for sharing, your honesty has touched my heart.

    anonymous Mar 26, 2013 8:38am

    Thanks Pete. Right you are! I fell over on my head this morning in practice and felt like a klutz, but I'm smiling now.
    I appreciate your comment.
    Blessings!

anonymous Mar 25, 2013 10:26pm

Well said. Thank you.

anonymous Mar 25, 2013 10:16pm

This is fucking awesome

anonymous Mar 25, 2013 6:40pm

For me it is like brushing my teeth. I don't brush my teeth regularly because I am disciplined, or because scientific studies demonstrate the health benefits. I just can't imagine not doing it.

    anonymous Mar 25, 2013 7:01pm

    Totally Michael…that's how I feel too. Sometimes I imagine what life would be like if I just up and quit my practice, honestly sometimes when it gets tough I wish I could, but I know that without some kind of a practice, life wouldn't be worth it. Plus, wouldn't it feel odd to never (metaphorically) brush my teeth again? 🙂

anonymous Mar 25, 2013 3:02pm

GREAT article! Parallels this ashtangi's, albeit a newbie to the practice, sentiments. Thanks for writing!

    anonymous Mar 25, 2013 6:56pm

    thanks for reading jay! 🙂

anonymous Mar 25, 2013 12:32pm

The most important reason to practice for me ,is the mental clarity you can achieve. Sometimes is the only way to deal with stressfull days.