The point of yoga is more about our relationship to our practice than the perfect asana. Here’s what this means.
Yoga is a tool that can be used well, especially under the right guidance. When we speak of yoga, we mean not only asana (posture) but all the parts of this full practice. In the West, a lot of focus is on asana, which is often seen as perfecting postures. This isn’t the point of yoga practice as it just drives us to another goal, and possibly even injures the body on the way. First, only do a practice that is appropriate for you in a school that encourages you to practice appropriately.
Of course, it isn’t only about the teacher, but also about your own perception and approach to using the tools of yoga. So how can you learn to use the tools of yoga effectively?
The answer is deceptively simple; practice with awareness. The paradox is that we learn awareness by practicing it. Asana is a vehicle which brings us into a relationship with how we are, in the present. The relationship we have with our practice of yoga, therefore, is more important than the posture itself. As our body awareness deepens and our perceptions shift, we start a journey of discovery. Taking action (karma = action) to develop ourselves, ride the ups and downs of life, using the tools of yoga to help us steer a course!
It is almost a cliché now to say that your yoga practice starts when you leave the studio, but there is so much truth in this statement. Your relationship to your practice is a reflection of how you are in your daily life
You are using the postures to help you develop a relationship with yourself rather than practicing to master the postures. Experience how the postures can help you understand and transform your bodies and minds. Be curious about what is going on and don’t worry if it doesn’t seem perfect. That’s not the point.
So how to see what your yoga is doing for your (apart from the obvious physical benefits)? After class ask yourself, how do you feel? How do you feel later? You are your own best measure of how you have practiced and how it has benefited you, and in the end, it is your personal practice.
Natasha // Artawakeyoga.nl