“The popularity of yoga and my part in spreading its teachings are a great source of satisfaction to me, but I do not want its widespread popularity to eclipse the depth of what it has to give to the practitioner.” – B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
National Yoga Month is upon us, which means you likely have one of two thoughts: “Yay! Free classes!” or “Seriously? How much can we cheapen the ancient practice of yoga?”
Or, maybe you’re somewhere in the middle. You’re happy to celebrate yoga. You want to go to more classes, spread the goodness, take part in a Salutation Nation event, but maybe you’re not so hot on the idea of the drunk guy who got thrown out of the bar being there, too. Maybe you’re feeling like the significance of your personal practice is a little lost in a month where it seems everyone finds time for yoga.
Listen to our friend Mr. Iyengar. Take heart in knowing that, no matter how wide yoga spreads – it is still about You. The eternal You. The big, deep, soulful You. The one very few people will ever know. The one that drags its butt to the mat even when it’s not yoga month. And, hey, this is Your month to celebrate! Try these ideas to keep this month about your practice:
- Start a sadhana – a daily spiritual practice. A typical sadhana will involve some light asana like sun salutations, a little breath work and some meditation. It is performed daily, typically at sunrise or sunset, with an intention.
- Bring a friend to class each day even if you aren’t feeling like your friend “gets it” right away. Remember, you were a beginner once, too, and someone gave you a chance to explore your practice. Give a friend that same chance.
- Pick a challenge pose and DO IT! Maybe you really want to fly in crow, flip upside down in handstand or simply touch your toes. Work a pose every day this month. And, if you need a little help, try tip number 4.
- Treat yourself to private yoga classes. One way to get a quiet, peaceful practice in when the studio seems packed is to schedule one-on-one time with your favorite instructor. Maybe even skip out on your studio pass this month and soak it in on your own time.
- Take a yoga retreat. Okay, we know, we suggest this for a lot of celebrations! But, if there is one way to connect with your practice, it is to get out of your routine. Get yourself to a mountain, a beach, a desert or a plain … or maybe just away from your kids for the weekend … and re-treat yourself to some you time.