Last week (or maybe it was the week before) I received this question from a student / friend:
I realize how much there is to learn (not that I didn’t know this before but now it is EXTREMELY obvious)… Now I feel lost and a little overwhelmed.
I keep reminding myself of the quote by Pattabhi Jois, “Practice and all is coming!” but then I find myself asking, “Practice WHAT?”… Breathing? Meditation? Asana? How do I prioritize (especially when time can sometimes be a factor)?
It has taken me this long to answer because the thoughts keep swirling around in my own head. What is practice? Here is what I have come up with… Practice is the thing you do each day that helps you discover yourself, that helps you find a sense of ease in your day and life, and that helps you become responsible for your own actions. I think practice can be whatever resonates most clearly with you.
For me, practice is breathing, yoga and meditation. I combine them all into one. When I breathe deeply and move, it creates a moving meditation and my mind gets still. Yes, I even do my practice when short on time. Some days all I get to do is get on my mat for 10 minutes to breathe mindfully while taking a few sun salutations. Other days I get on my mat for 30 minutes and basically “roll around” while breathing. And twice a week I get on my mat for an hour or so of flow or yin yoga.
For me the breathing and yoga make sense. I no longer have asthma or anxiety. My old tapes and self-criticism have slowed to a near halt. My relationships are better. My armor is off and I can be fully present. You have to find what works for you that can become a life long practice. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a little each day. It is the daily part that counts. So what is practice- What ever makes you kinder, more connected and whole.