That’s right! The physical practice of yoga is only one part of the eight limb path! I was shocked when I found this out. I was convinced that it was the be all and end all of yoga but I was wrong. Moving your body is only one part of this way of life. A big part of the physical practice is about setting an intention. What do you want to gain? What do you want to lose? You have to make a commitment to a daily, weekly or flexible practice. I have committed to a daily practice (and unwittingly enrolled my beautiful kindy children into a daily practice as well. Next time you are chilling with a 3 year old, ask them to say namaste, it is adorable). This is because I have am on a personal spiritual journey that is aimed to deepen my connection with myself.
I was listening to a wonderful podcast by Kisma and the Dark Yogi and they made a wonderful point. In order to gain anything, you must first let it go. I know, so confusing! But when you actually think about it, it is a wonderful concept. I am on my yoga journey for a few reasons, the main one is getting back to a healthy weight and mindset. I’m unsure about you, but when I start a diet I am so focused on the end result that I am more likely to give in and eat an abnormal amount. This is a big problem for me. So I practiced on this, and I have started to let go of my goal. I am now less focused on the outcome but I am actively taking part in the journey. I am enrolling myself into a much better way of life. Rather than focusing on the numbers on the scales, I am focused on what I am doing every day to make myself healthier. Sometimes it is better to take the path less traveled. The path of least resistance often turns into a bit of a mess (from my experience anyway).
Next time you are hitting the mat, ask your self what you are wanting to gain from your practice.