Practice rewards us good health but we have to show up and give it time everyday.
Motivate yourself to begin a daily practice on your own space or at your sangha. It is traditional practice for yoga to be practiced alone. We need to make time for ourself everyday, It is also traditional to have a sangha, where you can practice together in community with your teacher(s) and others. However, think about going to sangha, to practice with others without having a practice alone like a musician belonging to a symphony and going to perform together with lack of self practice. So personally I feel you need both. Growing up playing the piano and studying piano performance this practice reminds me of the same will of determination, attendance, faithfulness to arriving and showing up to practice. As with practice, my piano performance will deliver the harmonious tones played of the ivory keys and with yoga practice it will feed my mind and body the sustenance for a healthier life if my practice is attended to and practiced correctly.
When people approach me and ask how did you begin to be able to commit to a daily practice and why the practice of Ashtanga? I often find my heart first sharing the words ,” the practice nourishes me with everything my body and mind hungers and thirsts forr. Each practice feeds me what i need to take care of myself, its system disciplines me , teaches me always to wake up to life to be ready with joy, acceptances, strength, good health, energy, balance, love, humility, and learn to just Be at peace with all that may be. Ultimately allowing me to walk through the day with Joy and honestly gratitude. Gratitude for healthy mind and body. I have grown to not only feel the benefits of the practice physically but holistically as I began my journey to yoga as a healing path recovering from my medical conditions and numerous surgeries. In addition to dedicating to teach and share yoga, I spend my other time as a cancer nurse therefore, my passion to advocate health and wellness, this practice helps me to balance my day with my patients afflicted with cancer, depression, PTSD, loss of hope and my patients with fear. It empowers my mind and heart to stay positive and have empathy to their situations even when things go crazy or you know, just out of your hands, you learn to cope, accept, continue smiling and celebrating laugher through it, you discover who you truly are , how strong you are, how you can handle even the most difficult occasion such as sudden death on a weekly to monthly basis for me as a cancer nurse navigator. You just begin to take and live each day becoming with humankindness. When you love something you just show up. I have to live what I teach, My students, patients, friends, family, co-workers learn my encouragement, support and advocacy. I have learned to deal with my personal uncomfortable events by acknowledging them gently or with strength. My frustrations and fears , I learn to balance with courage and trust . And many more that surface each day, there’s always something. The practice has no graduation it’s there forever as we have it to help us grow in every aspect and area of our lives. It’s just like the postures we practice on the mat can take us in many directions and situations, your folded, bent, twisted, sideways,or your upside down, you just have to breathe through it all.
When I unroll unto my space, onto my mat, that’s my purpose, as my breath takes over, it flows me to a place I love being , peaceful and so calming. I am so uplifted that my entire body, at each practice feels so alive, happy, its cleansing, it’s purifying and , it’s my healing remedy. I always finish my practice and never regret I showed up. But I have to share, when I miss my practice , I feel off, disconnected and can’t wait to return. As I have experienced My life before yoga, had many trials and challenges which is how I was led and called to the lifestyle change. I look forward to my practice at each new day. One of amazing teacher Jo Ichihara, who studied with Guruji, Baba Hari, Nancy Gilgoff, Manju Jois shared with me , You have to be ready to accept the truth and be open and ready for change. It has to take some priority. A life transformation for sure. In the beginning, it’s tough to find time so you need to learn to balance and might have to reevaluate giving up something to make room for your daily practice. There will be frustrations as they are present, motivating yourself to arise before everyone else, unwinding the bad habits, balancing life, family and career, separating eventually from the lifestyle that doesn’t serve you meaning, training the mind and body, joints, bones, muscles to get up and get through it. Then there’s the motivation of just you, on the mat to journey yourself through the practice. It begins with you, change can only begin if you place it first so it’s all on you.
That’s how it all started for me from The moment I took practice from surya namaskara A and B, the rest led me to a place where I just let go, I’m awaken ready to accept all that the practice gives me and allows me to be today. I love it and the feeling that comes overs me, I embrace. Self practice Alone or with others, the practice takes care of my needs and I’m ok. It’s so frank that you face everything of who you are , no place to run or hide or make excuses, it is what it is.
It’s tough , no joke. To show up and motivate yourself to practice but give it time,I did, we all do and the road ahead is a magnificent place to be in life. You will be confronted by something different everyday, but that’s good, hang in there. Learn to not take the easy road to be distracted and quit. The frustrations, fatigued, doubts will pave the way for new experience of teaching yourself discipline to manage and accept the process of healing and good change. Guruji says “practice and all is coming. ” so true.
In today’s constantly hurried lives and need to connect to so many things finding personal time, personal space or solitude is needed and important. Truly, I am much more efficient and purposeful , a better person with my life since I’ve dedicated that yoga is to be a part of my life, my family, who I am, there are so many mental, physical , psychological benefits to having some time for yourself to take practice, I call it my gift to me, my health insurance, my medicine, my space where I find my healing, cleansing, purification and solitude.
In yoga practice , the Sanskrit term solitude is ekānta.
Kāyēndriya sid’dhiḥ aśud’dhikṣyāta tapasaḥ. (Patanjali Yoga Sutras, 2.43)
Please know that by no means solitude means to completely seclude and live away and apart from everything , we still have to take responsibility for what we need to attend to in life, family or our job. But, Solitude brings us to never live apart from oneself. Be in tune and connected to yourself so your actions, walks of daily life carries meaning and purpose and Goodness.
That’s that. So Some tips that helped me through my journey:
A. Find you style of yoga practice and build foundations, principles , discipline to grow and study. Just make the time.
B. Honor your arrival to practice, be honest and faithful to yourself. Dedication.
C. Commit and create a ritual schedule. Uninterrupted, no excuses. Deal with what’s going on and Show up.
D. Prepare your place of practice, your space. Make it your place to unroll away from disruptions.
E. Be patient, be flexible, you are reshaping habits like re- training your whole mind, body and spirit to new beginning. Release the ego, don’t expect or over analyze your thoughts, be true, accept the humility, go through the process without shortcuts , Just have faith and trust. Believe in yourself. Nothing good comes easy but it’s worth it when you believe at it.
F. Listen to your body, be aware and mindful. Attend to specific needs and imbalances. Don’t be in denial or hide from it. Challenge yourself, study the 8 limbs with practice and application, understand Yama and Niyama in your life, take challenges deeper, learn to accept surrender when you’ve gone too far , this is the body you live in, you don’t have to prove anything. Just feed it well and take care of it.
G. What inspires you to live? Let your inspiration guide you to creating your beautiful tapas, your practice, your study, your discovery, explorations, adventures then be a part of your sangha for the Union of sharing life, love and joy for health, wellness, strength, balance, flexibility, focus, creativity with yoga. This community that comes together uplifts one another and we become well together making a difference in life and the world we live in.
On your calendar, make a date with yourself, put yoga, self practice or solitude or something to invite yourself to new beginning.
Awake early, turn in early, disconnect for 30 minutes to 2 hours , keep it simple and attainable so you continue building a good habit till it becomes your daily ritual.
??Ohm shanti, happy practicing
With love and gratitude
Christina Martini Yoga