Yoga Is a Practice


January 8, 2016

Every time I do this pose I'm reminded of how long it took me to be able to do it. Years. Yes years. 
I'm amazed at the progress of so many yogis and I'm equally in awe of how many advanced poses people can do who have only been practicing for a short time. I know that isn't my journey. I remember a fellow classmate commented on my poses in class. He asked if I'd been doing yoga a long time. I responded yes and he said, "that's why they call it the practice." I think of that often. Yoga is a practice and it takes practice to be able to do yoga poses. Nothing comes easy for me. I've been practicing yoga for a long time and there are many many poses that I'm not able to do. I know how much time goes into gaining proper alignment in a pose. Please don't be discouraged by others progress. Every body is different and will require different amounts of time to accomplish. Each of us has certain areas of the body or categories of poses that might come easy to us. While at the same time areas of the body that require extra care and time to open up. Like for me, I have a lot of mobility in my hips and shoulders. Whereas my back and knees are much more inflexible. Other yogis the opposite will be true. Forward bends come naturally to me, yet inversions are my Achilles heel. I watch students in class fearlessly kick up into inversions, tumble to the ground with a thud and still get up to try again. That isn't me. And that's ok. I'm still working on areas of limitation and just because certain areas of my practice are advanced, doesn't mean that all poses are possible for me. Some might take years of practice while other poses might not ever be attainable. And that's ok. It doesn't really matter in the end. The purpose of the practice is to prepare us for deeper aspects of yoga, like meditation.

While asana can be a discipline in its own right, asana as exercise or as therapy should not be confused with the role of asana in classical yoga, which goes beyond this. Yoga should not be reduced to asana, which is only a fraction of the greater system.
— David Frawley "Yoga & Ayurveda"