What defines your practice?

janu

Our mat can often be a mirror, a reflection of how we experience living. We often label experiences good/bad, easy/hard. Definitions that become limiting.

Within our asana, this can either be pushed to the edge of what is comfortable or feeling you’re not achieving anything from a pose. Janu Sirsasana/Yin Half-Butterfly for me on my right side, I find easy, but on my left side, more challenging. Its interesting to notice my initial responses to both sides.

As with any challenging asana, we must learn to break through the physical boundaries to create the space needed. With consistent practice & patience, we do eventually stretch beyond our initial limitations.

Our reactions to poses we find ‘easy’ are also worth noticing. Do we become bored, uncomfortable with easiness, are our limits defined by what we feel we achieve, rather than what can be gained from simplicity?

We can use all our experiences on the mat to reflect on how we define ourselves, off our mat.

For example, in uncomfortable situations, we can learn to stay with it, without reaction/running away, fully experience the moment. Or shift our attitude from a place of frustration to a place of patience.
How about easy situations? Can you stay present? or do you need to be more stimulated? do you think about what you could be doing so you are ‘achieving’? or can you be at ‘ease’ with ‘easiness’?
Are we achieving by our daily ‘to do’ list, or are our actual achievements in our reactions if our day does not go to plan?

Our definitions of what defines us can change. As we bring reflection to the mat, we can notice similar habits/reactions/thought patterns we may possess off the mat. Our practice on the mat is there to aid progression of ‘our practice’ off the mat. This is worth remembering when we think how we may define our practice.