I remember when I first started practicing asana; I felt a pressure to “advance” my practice. Hold this, strengthen this, open this. And so my practice was very much focused on what I could do (or couldn’t do). I thought in order to be taken seriously as a yoga practitioner, I needed to demonstrate my asana prowess and so there was a pressure to “advance”. And with this intention, I placed expectations on my body and on my practice and I often felt disappointed with myself, like I let myself down or wasn’t good enough. And this was even before Instagram was “a thing”. Now I feel there can be even more expectations of asana “ability/availability” because of social media influence. After a couple years of chasing my tail around and around in cycles of expectation and disappointment, I saw how foolish this was. And I started practicing just for the sheer delight of enjoying feeling my body move, I learned how to differentiate and engage by becoming curious without a destination. I moved slower and slower until I could feel each tiny little fluctuation. And I loved practicing because it was an opportunity for creative and expressive exploration, and still is. I dropped expectation and the timelines. If I couldn’t “do” a pose that day, who cares! If my back wasn’t feeling backbendy that day, it’s ok! If I fall out of handstand, it doesn’t matter! Want to flow? Want to dance? Want to mesh them together? There doesn’t have to be any delineation ... drop the idea of form and embrace the energetic experience. And when I began to practice this way, can you guess what happened? My practice “advanced” if you want to call it that. All because I dropped the idea of how it was supposed to happen or how it was supposed to look and just let it all build naturally without force and blossom organically. And when I say my practice “advanced”, this doesn’t mean “doing” lots of fancy asana, but rather I feel so much more connected to myself and my environment. I move slowly with grace and control, I respect my margins, I watch my breath. And I take this practice with me this day and all of my days.
@aprilannemusic her new album releases today!!! - 5 hours ago