I have the habit of looking to my teachers as my motivation for coming to class. Since B and H (my yoga teachers) left the studio a few months back, I have allowed my practice to slack. I take more days off, choosing to stay in and read, listen to music or just to daydream. There are positive sides to this of course -- I'm allowing myself more rest and quiet time. However, I find it harder to come back to the mat after a prolonged period of inactivity. Rest is also supposed to reinvigorate you, but I'm feeling more sluggish instead, with less energy.
In a way, it feels like trying to get out of bed in the morning, just after the rain. The room and your bed is nice and cool. Your alarm clock is buzzing and you have to get to work -- but -- always the "but" -- it feels so good to just sleep in.
Yoga should be a personal practice and not a "cult of personality" -- you practice for yourself, no matter who is teaching. But we all appreciate a teacher who is compassionate and still able to motivate us to try a little harder, who walk with us as we explore and grow.
So, my intention for 2008 for my yoga practice is this: I renew my commitment to a regular practice. Should I skip class occasionally because I feel lazy, I promise to be kind to myself -- I will just show up the next day without the usual self-recrimination.
January 2008 will be a difficult month to practice, as M, my current yoga teacher -- will be in India advancing her own yoga practice. So, WoYoPracMo is a timely challenge indeed.
M is one of the teachers that joined the studio recently. In his last Anusara class, B said to us: those looking to further our practice in the Anusara tradition should look to M, who had studied under John Friend. I did, and I have found in M a teacher who is strong and kind, and who humbles me with the strength and focus of her classes.
Since I started practicing with M last month, I have regained my momentum for regular practice. Alas, she will be away for 6 week from this Saturday.
I will try to attend other teachers' classes. Most importantly, I will work harder at building strength. M has highlighted how I am more flexible than I am strong, so I tend to over-stretch myself on certain poses that requires flexibility. This explains my occasional strains and pulled muscles.
So, to add to my intentions for 2008: I shall work on building the strength to support my flexibility.
I will also incorporate more Yin Yoga into my practice. My injuries is a reminder that I need to develop the softer side of my practice, to balance the more dominant Yang side of my personality.