I was reflecting recently that I have been living in Virginia for nine months and consistently seeing private clients for about 6 months.
When you maintain a consistent practice of anything for more then a few months, you really start to see some progress and transformation.
Sometimes the transformation is expected, but more often then not that transformation shows up in unexpected ways.
The evolution of my own yoga practice
I’ll start by sharing my own story of how and why I started yoga and how and why yoga changed for me as I continued with my practice.
I first came to yoga for the physical practice. I thought it would be a nice practice to maintain my physical fitness.
But after practicing for the physical benefits for a couple years I started to crave more of the spiritual background. I explored different practices, went through my yoga Teacher Training program, and participated in cleanses and additional training.
As I started moving around the country, I realized that I wanted to slow down a little bit. I needed to get away from the intensity of the physical practice and find more balance in my life physically, mentally, and emotionally. This was a direct result of the chaos I felt from moving around so much.
And now that I’m settling down a bit, I’m coming to find a blend of the physical, spiritual, balance, and relaxation is what I need the most.
The evolution of my students’ practices
What I’ve seen happen to my students follows a similar arc to my own story. Most of my private clients come to me to heal from a physical injury or ailment. I’ve been lucky to help my private clients release a lot of their physical pain.
But they also seem to realize that yoga helps them on a deeper level.
One client considers yoga her stress-relief from a busy week with her own clients.
Another client has found the spiritual benefits to be enlightening and helpful during a rough patch in her own life. And one client continues to learn how to let go, back off, and be gentle despite a tendency toward intensity.
None of these clients thought they would want anything more then relief from the pain they were suffering from when they first came to me. Even I never imagined I would see some of the natural transformation that has occurred.
This is the beauty of yoga and why there are so many wonderful yoga practices.
As the seasons change, so do our practices
Whatever your intention is to begin a yoga practice is a noble one. If you continue practicing, be open to allowing that intention to change as your practice evolves. If you feel your yoga practice plateauing, consider trying a different style altogether. If you feel you need something more that you’re not getting from your current practice, find a spiritual practice, or a relaxation practice that you can play with when you’re tired or overwhelmed.
Connect with why you practice yoga and remember why you started practicing yoga in the beginning. Perhaps you hold the same intention as when you started. Perhaps you’re practicing for a totally different reason.
Be open to this evolution and stay curious. Our needs change on a daily basis, a weekly basis, a monthly basis, a seasonal basis, a yearly basis and as the situations in our lives change. This is the true beauty of yoga.
As a teacher, this is part of the reason why I’ve obtained training in completely different formats. I can teach the power vinyasa yoga and help you get strong and flexible. I can teach the yoga nidra guided meditation and help people completely relax (even fall asleep!). And I can teach really powerful alignment, self-massage, and self-care.
Have you checked in with why you practice yoga lately? Perhaps you can revisit what you need today, tomorrow, and the next day and choose a practice in alignment with what your body, mind, and soul is truly craving.
The summer time is typically a slow time for many yoga studios and fitness professionals. Kids are home from school, our schedules change, the sun is out and we want to spend more time outside, and the beach is calling. Plus, there’s the whole wedding season thing and lots of travel.
This June, one of the studios I teach at is running a yoga challenge. I think this is a great idea to inspire a recommitment to your practice, whatever that practice may be. Recommit to asana, meditation, present moment awareness, yoga nidra, etc.
Let me know why you practice yoga on the Facebook page!