The whys of it all

A lot of times I wonder why I do this. Why I practice. It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, it takes you to the edge of your patience. Yet I continue to do it. I continue to practice the primary series. I continue to do back bends no matter how deathly afraid I am of them. I continue to jump back and jump through in my chunky, struggling way. I continue to negotiate with my hamstrings and my lower back to cooperate in the poses. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I asked my husband one night. Why do we do anything? He asked in return.

Why indeed?

This is always on my mind every time I step on my mat. And every time, I also ask myself, if I didn’t spend these 90 minutes practicing, what would I be doing instead? Puttering about on social media is the honest answer to that. Not exactly the best way to spend those 90 minutes, so might as well work on myself. The practice is incredibly humbling. It exposes your physical weaknesses first, and then the mental struggles. When I’m faced with a challenging pose (all of them, really), I’m always faced with the choice to stand up and walk away from my mat. Why bother? Why go through it? I could be lying down instead of working on catching my wrist in Marichasana D. But I choose not to. I choose to continue to breathe, and then I get through it in whatever capacity I can on that day, never mind if I catch my wrist or not. And I guess it reflects life off the mat a lot. When faced with a challenge at work, I panic and bitch about it for a few seconds, but eventually I catch my breath and start working on it. No way around but through it, is what they say. And it’s been the same, on and off the mat.

Practicing also restored a sense of wonder in me. Don’t get me wrong, majority of the time, it’s a struggle, but when I do have breakthroughs, when my teacher gives me the confidence to prove my fears wrong, there’s no other feeling like it. What’s even better is it’s from within me, not an external factor or thing, but because of something I did for myself, something I conquered in me. And while non-attachment is essential, I believe it’s those little bursts of joy and wonder that keep me going in an otherwise crazy world (my mind included).


Brihadaranyaka IV.4.5

You are what your deep, driving desire is.

As your desire is, so is your will.

As your will is, so is your deed.

As your deed is, so is your destiny.

-Brihadaranyaka IV.4.5

Timely advice. Not that I’m certain about where I’m going, but this makes me more determined to take chances.

One small step

Let your journey to strength be journey in humility. – Kino MacGregor

For the first time in a long time, I have found something that I could truly believe in, that makes life more meaningful and more whole. I have only been practicing for 4 months, my movements are still unrefined, though steadily improving. There are incredibly frustrating days during which I have to make myself take a step back and trust that things will unfold in time. More importantly, I can already feel subtle changes in my spirit. On my mat, I’ve experienced true stillness of the mind, one that I’ve never experienced anywhere, even during the countless times I am alone with nothing but my thoughts.

Oh, and my mom noticed an improvement in my posture – something she’s been trying to get me to work on since high school.

I know this is but one small step in a life long journey, but I have a feeling this will be one journey I won’t ever regret embarking on.