This yoga practice keeps me challenged in mind, body, and consciousness, which in turn helps me to continue learning every day of my life. It’s the subtle things that keep evolving and changing in the practice that keeps it new and fresh for me…they’re nuggets of golden insight. We live in a world where routine is necessary but often times the word “routine” makes life sound mundane. But without it, life would have no structure. So it needs to be the little things within our daily routine that we need to do with passion, focus, and consciousness. Otherwise, we’d be doing it just to do it. That is what this practice has taught me. I’ve been doing this practice (Ashtanga) every day for the past 3 years and cannot get bored of it. It reminds me, shows me, and mirrors back to me what I need to know most THAT day.
On the surface and to the untrained eye, it may look like some daunting X-treme yoga sport that’ll surely lead the (deranged) yogi to enlightenment—after all, what’s the point of wrapping your legs behind your head or twisting yourself into a mangled mess? I kid. I’m not here to make light of what we Ashtangis do each morning. It’s hard. We all have experienced in one way or another how the other has felt or been through in practice. You meet another Ashtangi and immediately an acknowledgement and mutual respect is established. I imagine it to be the kind of commaderie one experiences with fellow soldiers at boot camp.
Certainly the decision to making oneself committed to the practice is not for the faint of heart or for the weekend warrior. Not only is the practice itself not easy, but it’s something you’re committed to practicing every single day (except Saturdays & moon days) of your life. But by making this commitment, you’re also committed to living a life of self-discipline, reflection, insight, awareness, and honesty. It will show you who you truly are if you’re willing to look at it. It’ll be up to you to do this. Are you willing to face the mirror reflecting your worst enemy?
Whoa…I just got a little intense there. As difficult as this path is, it’s the beauty that unfolds layer after layer that is so astonishing. It’s a subtle refinement and deepening day after day…a journey that must be traveled one breath at a time…knowing that the joy & beauty of it all is not in the end result (which would be what anyway?) but in discovering the fullest potential of the moment in every breath; finding the beauty and peace within the space and time of each breath as well as in between.