Monday, October 29, 2007

Personal Practice Guilt

How is your personal practice? Usually when I ask a student this question the response is riddled with guilt. Rarely is a student able to live up to her own expectations (or what they think mine are). I am always a bit amused because the guilt is causing more harm than not having the practice the student thinks she should have. We need to grow into our habits. We cannot force them on ourselves. Using will power is just a recipe for failure. Whenever we effort for something, we aren’t flowing with what we need in that moment. So, you’re thinking, “Great, Laura, how am I ever going to start a practice then?” I am glad you asked!

Reread my column under “Thoughts from Laura”. Now get excited on two levels. First, the everyday one. You can have more energy! I have heard many things from students. I guarantee I have never heard, “I have enough energy. I don’t need anymore!” Think of how good you can feel every day. Let the excitement of feeling good spur you on.

Second, the life-long one. Begin to be drawn by the excitement that your life can be more, that you can feel better, and then what you do for the world is add to it, not take away. Adding to the world doesn’t mean doing Nobel Peace Prize work (although you may!) Just being a kind person to the clerk at the grocery store adds to the world. Plus, as you feel better and experience more joy in your life, you will be drawn effortlessly to whatever the best thing for you to be doing is, your life purpose, if you will.

Kind of gets you excited to get to the mat, doesn’t it?

Alignment: More Than Just Aligning the Bones

“Good alignment allows you to do more with your life effort,
while poor alignment requires more energy to sustain.”

This quote is a paraphrase by one of my students from something Donna Farhi (an internationally renowned yoga teacher and author) said. It is so powerful. Read it again. Good alignment lets you do more with your life effort. What a thought! We often get caught up in our day-to-day chaos and stress and forget the big picture. Regardless of your belief system, I think we all agree that we can have a life that makes a difference to the world or a life that takes away from the world. Having that choice, we all would choose to make a positive difference, to leave the world a little better than we found it. Good alignment gives you more energy to make a difference. Hmmm...that helps bring more meaning to my yoga practice.