Here is something that I want to share with you today. Ever since I have qualified to be a yoga teacher, i have been trying to have a self-practice, meaning practising yoga on my own. Somehow things were not working out for me. I just didn’t enjoy it at all. I tried to practice in my small London bedroom or my rooftop but my mind would always come up with an idea to do something else the first 15 minutes in the practice. And I will just quit or have a very short practice so that I can finish and just do the next thing. Or i will stick with the practice for an hour but very rarely be present.
Today I practice for the 2nd time at the Varkala beach. With the sunrise and all the animals around me; dogs, birds, dragon flies….
After a good flow I sat quietly and chanted loka samasta sukhino bhavantu (meaning may all human beings be free and happy). And then slowly closed my eyes and drifted into meditation. Enjoying the silence in my head disturbed only by the roar of the waves.
And I finally got it. It finally hit me. It is not easy to keep up with a practice of any kind that involves lots of action, persistance and hard work. Even brushing our teeth or tiing up our shoes is not easy. And then after sticking up with it for a while it finally becomes a habit. A routine. An action that doesn’t require much effort and thought. And then, then it may be easy.
Only today my brain finally got this. No matter how many amazing yoga teacher trainings i do, I will not feel the YOGA in my body. This made me realise that I need to stick with it. I need to practise and practise and practise and then practise again. Until after every single muscle of my body feels the yoga and aches with the sweet pain of movement meditation, only until then I will know what it feels to practise yoga. And even better to live yoga. Then maybe I can teach people what this feels like.
This made me think about the bigger things in life. Same way as in yoga, we need to stick with them. Be patient with them. And really really want them. Really want the progress. Until a dream becomes a habit. Until the effort transforms into joy. Into ecstasy. Into melody. Into flowing river.
Before then it requires a lot of passion, desire and practice. And it is not easy. It is not easy to get out of your cosy bed at 6am instead of sleeping 2 more hours. It is not easy to say no to one more piece of cake. Or one more drink or whatever it is. And that my friends builds the best of us. This effort, this power to stay with the non-easy things. And do them again and again and again. During cold winter days and hot summers. During period pain and man flu. This makes us strong to take on the life adventure. To fully embrace it. With no holding back.
Only then we become the strong, healthy human being we always dream to be. Only then we have the power to say no to the things that make us suffer and show the way to the people around us.
We then shine so bright and beautiful that everyone else wants to do the same.
Only then the world can get contaminated with the good stuff. With the passion for life. With the bliss of being a healthy, free human being. A being with choice. Choice how to live our lives, whom to sleep with and whom to share our food with.
Until then all we need to do is to keep up with it. Cause we really really want AND NEED this.
PS If you are interested in this topic you might want to read the book Outliers. Chapter 2 describes the 10,000 hours rule. The books talks about an experiment when the researchers found no “natural talents” who rose to the top of their profession with less practice and no “grinders” who logged 10,000 hours but didn’t rise to the professional ranks. Their conclusion: “The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much,much harder.”