Practice and all is coming

These words, so often repeated in the yoga world, come from Sri Pattabhi Jois, the father of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Although I am not an Ashtanga practitioner, I love dipping in and out of the practice (I’m a fair-weather Ashtangi!) and love so many aspects of it: the self-led style of practice, the familiarity of the primary series and how it allows you to really face up to yourself each day on the mat, and of course, how much I enjoy my breakfast after I’ve got up and got myself to early morning Mysore class! Despite not being much of an Ashtangi yogi, I have always loved these words from Sri Pattabhi Jois. My blog, consistency is key, shared why a consistent practice is essential to finding your sense of inner peace, of joy, of contentment, and it is my firm belief that yoga practiced everyday is transformative.

Today I started working with a new client, one-to-one. He suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, caused by glandular fever. After getting home after teaching two evening classes, and stopping off for some delicious soup for dinner, I checked into a book I haven’t looked at for years, Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. The affirmation she suggests for these illnesses completely match my own beliefs that I have been struggling with for years (see my blog, never enough?).

I love and appreciate and take care of myself. I am enough.

I couldn’t believe it when I saw these words: I am enough is my mantra. In such a short space of time I have had encouragement, support and reassurance from friends, family, strangers and now even in my work. More and more I have shown that faith and trust are powerful tools – when we are brave enough to use them.

When we take our practice seriously – and by that I mean showing up to ourselves everyday, be that through our meditation, our yoga practice, our commitment to spend 5 minutes doing absolutely nothing – then things start to change, all really is coming.

A year ago today I had just quit my full time, permanent job and was feeling terrified. Two years ago today, I was trying to teach yoga, manage my job, and keep up a pretty regimented practice. Three years ago today I was stressed, anxious, tense. My body ached, I felt exhausted and I often felt stuck. In the last 3 years, my life has transformed. My practice (most definitely not the disciplined practice of Ashtanga) has varied, has grown, has become my life, and is what I have to thank for the journey I have come on.

We all have something to offer. Many of us are giving so much every day, as parents, friends, workers and lovers. Unless we have a practice which nourishes our bodies and our souls, we end up in a state of depletion with nothing more to give. I wasn’t far from there 3 years ago.

What can you do this weekend to boost, or perhaps start, your practice? Whether it’s using the positive affirmation above, finding one of your own, starting a journal, or perhaps giving yoga a try, can you do something which will nourish your soul? After all, we attract in what we put out. Without my practice I would not be able to support the clients like the one I had today. Yoga can make us strong and flexible, but in more ways than just our body.