I never thought I would admit this, but the initial excitement and passion that I used to feel for my yoga practice is beginning to fizzle out.
While I once couldn't wait to get on my mat to move my body and still my mind, I now have gone days without doing so.
Where I once scoured the internet seeking books and articles on yoga and its' history, I haven't opened a book on yoga in days.
While I once eagerly sat down every week and wrote about my experiences in life and how yoga helped me to live more skillfully, I haven't written a post since April 2015.
After fourteen years of teaching and practicing yoga with enthusiasm and joy, last week I actually considered the possibility of quitting. I wondered if there was something better out there for me.
As I write this horrible admission, I ask myself, "what is wrong with me....why am I saying this, what has changed for me, what happened to my passion for yoga?" Then I begin to rationalize. "I am just tired from the holidays..... it'll come back, I am sure this is just a phase." But the reality is, I am not sure that it will. At least I am not sure that I will ever feel the same excitement, enthusiasm, and passion that I have felt in the past.
As I mull over the above statement, I am reminded that yoga is about accepting what's happening right here and right now and not getting too attached to the ways things were. It is also about having the ability to adapt and let go of what was and instead move into what is with grace and acceptance.
So maybe my commitment to practice over the past fourteen years has produced results and actions that just look different than they used to. Maybe the physical part of yoga isn't as necessary for me anymore. Maybe the passion and excitement for the practice has become something different. Maybe the fizzling out isn't such a bad thing. It's just a different thing.
Looking back, I remember a time when I would get very upset if I didn't get on my mat, or if I missed a class because something unexpected came up. I felt like I needed yoga. It may have actually been an unhealthy attachment to the physical practice, which goes against the main teaching of yoga that encourages us to loosen our grip on our attachments. When I think about it, I realize that I haven't actually lost my passion for yoga, I have just lost my attachment to it. My commitment to the practice over the past fourteen years abides in me and has produced some beautiful results, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Maybe I no longer find it necessary to "do" so much yoga because I trust that the teachings and tools that I have learned over time have become a part of who I am.
In its' simplest form, yoga is a state of attention. When we are attentive, aware, and fully present, we are practicing yoga. Down dog isn't a requirement to be in the state of yoga, it is just a helpful tool to get us there.
We can be in the state of yoga while doing anything that captures our full attention, steadies our breath, and focuses our minds.
As I write these thoughts, I am reminded of my marriage. Twenty five years ago, I made a commitment to love, honor, and cherish my husband. Back then, loving, honoring, and cherishing my husband felt and looked very different than it does today. Just like in my yoga practice, the initial excitement and passion that I felt for him has changed a bit, but when I look back I can see that those early feelings were actually based in attachment. In new relationships, we often feel attached to the person because we fear losing them. Maybe we can't wait to see them partly because we don't fully trust their commitment to us. This insecurity makes us feel that we need the person. Once the relationship feels more solid, we tend to let go of that need a bit. I much prefer the feelings that I have now to the ones I had when our relationship was new. The initial excitement and passion has been replaced by a very strong, steady, and abiding love. Just like my yoga practice, my commitment to my marriage has produced some beautiful results....
Out of our commitment to love, honor, and cherish each other came four amazing human beings. The initial excitement that I once felt looking at my husband, I now feel each time I look at our four beautiful children.
The good news is that since I began to write this post at the beginning of the week, I managed to get myself back on my mat at home and to my regular weekly class. When I walked into the studio, my teacher was genuinely happy to see me. As I sat down on my mat and began to follow her instructions, I felt a familiar spark of excitement come over me. And like a big warm hug from the man that I married, I felt safe, secure, and loved.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras