One of my favorite quotes is "Yoga is not just a work-out, it's a work-in, too." This amazing thing happens when you begin working on something new. Whether it's skiing, playing piano, painting or yoga; you feel that rush that comes as you begin to develop the skills necessary to accomplish the activity. In yoga, we refer to this as Tapas. It is zeal, energy, the desire to continue.
As we keep working, practicing and learning more, this zeal begins to fade. The task becomes more challenging. Our interest decreases. When this happens during our yoga practice it can be frustrating. We want to be better, to feel what we felt. We want to access that headstand, arm balance, bind. This is the point in our practice when it's time to begin Svadhyaya or self-study.
Yoga can be tricky. It offers us great gains, growth and wellness. Each of us has the ability to maintain and move forward on our paths. However, as theses tangible, physical rewards seem to decrease, the challenges begin. We must learn to honor our limitations, push ourselves further and work-in.
As your guide in this practice, I encourage you to ask the hard questions of your self. To continue to practice even when the zeal begins to fade and to study your self. The deeper you go, the better you will know your Self.
"You don't get what you don't ask for."
"Ask and ye shall receive."
"You can't always get what you want."
We've heard these sayings a million times but, how often do we consider theme when it comes to Yoga? More often than not I find myself either accepting everything my teacher has to share or acting as the skeptic and analyzing every word. Why not just ask? Ask for the poses that you want to work on, the philosophies you would like to know more about, the topics that you are curious about.
Yoga has become a world-wide commercialized activity. People are making millions selling Yoga. Do they really know what they are selling? Do you really know what you are buying? Why not take this month to search your self for knowledge and to dig it out of your teacher? Believe me, I don't have all of the answers. Together, however, we may be able to shed some light into the darkness of our knowledge of Yoga.
Don't ever be afraid to ask your teacher when a question arises during your practice. It's the best way to evaluate if you really are getting "half of what you want and half of what you need" (Amy Pearce-Hayden, E-RYT, The Yoga Scape, NY).