Since I started to post yoga pictures on social media, probably the most common question I’ve been asked by my friends has been How long have you been practising?
I totally get that question because it is the yoga spark question. It first popped into my brain when I watched the beautiful and striking video below, featured by the amazing Briohny Smyth.
I was just discovering yoga and very curious about it, searching online to see more of it. While watching it and being amazed by the different asanas, I started to wonder how long would I need to practise in order to reach that level.
Despite the learning rush, the more I learnt about yoga and its philosophy, the more I realised that proper yoga is not about forcing or rushing asanas (although hands up who hasn’t done that at some point!)
Yoga is the art of listening to your own body for once, and push the boundaries kindly. Stay in the present and be who you really are, always respectful of your own limits.
Practise and all is coming
For anyone looking to evolve in the practise of yoga, I suggest following the Instagram ‘mantra’ tag (oh how deep that is!) #practiseandalliscoming
The reality is that yoga is an honest practice. If you put in time and focus, you see the results inevitably. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Sometimes you get worse despite the effort, sometimes you get better without having even tried.
Answering to that original question, I’ve been doing yoga for a year and 2 months now. I first progressed pretty quickly, learning to headstand or do mini crows just 3-4 months after starting at Indaba yoga studio. Then, due to work and house movings, my regularity got worse and I stopped progressing. Once I settled, I searched for new studios near the new living/working areas, and despite not progressing in the “show-off” poses, I kept going.
I’d say it was the arrival of Instagram yoga and this blog what made me want to push it forward to a higher level again. I started to practise at home the tricky asanas I could not do in the studio, or simply the inspiring poses I learnt on Instagram. I recently realised that if I want to continue to progress, I needed to find a yoga studio that teaches me to the level I first had in Indaba.
And here is where I am now. My search continues and my commitment is strong.
All journeys have their little stops, shortcuts, sprints, falls… and the yoga journey is just the same. Despite the unhealthy yoga comparison that can happen in social media, it is important to be a “real” yogi, and also take in a yogi mindset.
Respect your journey as well as any stops on the way, life happens, and yoga is supposed to be enjoyed every time and be a way of living, not a destination. At least that is how I hope to live it.