Do you practice Yoga? Why?
Is it explicable? Is it because there is something about yourself you don’t like? Is it because you’ve seen someone else do something you can’t do but want to do too? Is it because someone has promised that Yoga will make you thinner, wiser, kinder, strong, more flexible, forever englightened?
Is it inexplicable? Is it because there is something deep inside you that you can’t quite put into words that is looking to make a connection? Is it because something seems to be missing from your understanding of this thing called life and the world around you?
It doesn’t really matter because either way Yoga will not deliver. Yoga will not live up to your expectations. This isn’t a chance occurence … it’s a systemic quality of Yoga … as if it’s designed to challenge and shatter them. Whatever your bring to the Yoga table, Yoga will probably question and undermine it.
The roots of wanting to practice Yoga are in an unknown place deep inside. Like a left-over question “why?” that you can’t quite shake off and nothing you do or think of seems to satisfy. Yet when we approach Yoga we come at it with existing patterns – including a pattern of yearning for and seeking satisfaction. Yoga will not deliver.
You can think of Yoga as a shy and delicate entity. It needs a warm and supportive embrace to emerge from your shell. If you become demanding and aggressive it will disappear faster then you can say namaste … and then you have to be even warmer and more supportive for it to appear again.
You can also think of Yoga as a powerful and resilient entity. Your petty concerns, wishes and expectations do not even scratch its surface. It will ignore and skip over you unless you achieve a critical mass of presence and resolve worthy of its attention.
Yoga will only meet you on it’s terms not on yours. Yoga will offer you a clear and uncompromising reflection of what you are, not what you think you are or what you want to be. It will be an honest picture not necessarily a pretty one.
If you come to Yoga empty-handed and open-hearted you will come away with something new, something you didn’t already have.
If you come to Yoga with an agenda two things can happen. If it reflects something aligned with your agenda, something you can “like”, then you’ve got nothing new – just confirmation of something you already knew. If it reflects something in conflict with your agenda, something you can “dislike”, then you’ve got something you need to lose (as if your going to do that without putting up a fight!).
With an agenda you can either gain nothing or lose something. Without an agenda you gain something every time.
If you want to sustain your Yoga practice leave all your expectatins at the door. Definitely stay away from doors with a door-man hading you a menu or a fortune cookie telling you what you will find inside.
A good reason to practice (probably the only one that will get you to practice) is that you want to. A good reason to avoid practice (probably the one that will keep you from practicing) is that you don’t want to.
Unmet expectations will suck your well of motivation dry – leaving you with good reason to avoid practice. Unmet expectations is your own personal baggage – it is you that brings it to the practice and it is you that walks away not wanting to practice.