Approaching your Practice

How do you approach your practice? It’s something to consider.
Approaching a subject is often an activity that goes unnoticed, as it’s “just what we do”.

Why do we do what we do? Frequently it’s because it’s what we’ve always done. Approaching a subject often requires a self-dialogue of memory around what we’ve been told, or what we’ve read.

In regard to our study of yoga as a whole, this type of recollection is sometimes useful, say for example when reading a sutra and searching for it’s deeper meaning, or when trying to remember an asana name or comprehending and dissecting some sort of talk or musing of a teacher. However, when learning asana there is a time that we as students have to let go of the words and begin to experience the work. Lately, I’ve been telling my students to feel their way into their practice rather than thinking their way into their body.

Notice your approach. Are you available to feel your body’s response to your practice, or are you busy thinking about the prior instructions you’ve heard or read to “get you there”? In the case of asana, there is no there, rather the only place to practice is in the reality of what is happening as it’s happening. As you approach your mat, be available to the feel of the mat or blankets on your skin, observe the temperature of the room, the lighting of the room, the smell of the room, the sounds around you. Becoming aware of the sense perceptions as we begin our practice can be part of the ritual of a practice. When the senses are heightened in these familiar ways we can sometimes gain a greater ability to turn our senses inward. Go there!