daily choices

How do your daily choices influence your yoga?

A lot of yoga practitioners experience unhappiness or self-criticism when they miss their daily practice. It happened to me as well – there is this sense of “I didn’t go on the mat today, I don’t feel good with myself”. However, considering the meaning of “practice” can help us understand in what way our daily choices can influence our yoga practice.

What does practicing yoga mean? When yoga practitioners lament that they haven’t been able to complete their asana practice, they usually refer exactly to the asana, to the physical exercise.

But the idea that yoga is an asana practice is relatively recent.

The traditional, premodern understanding of yoga, encompasses numerous aspects and dimensions of the human condition. Yoga has always been viewed as more than just an asana practice; it is a life practice.

For this reason, all the most important texts include advice on food, sleep, activity level, and other aspects of daily living and daily choices of each one of us.

Yoga is more than simply what you do on the mat or with your body; it’s about your whole day.

If we start considering yoga as a continuous life process rather than just an hour-long asana practice, our point of view changes completely. At this point, we begin to be yoga rather than just practice the poses and all our daily choices turn to be part of our yoga practice.

Of course a regular asana practice is crucial and serves as many people’s introduction to yoga. However, restricting the scope of yoga practice to only asana practice may cause the practitioner to feel guilty and self-blame for skipping their daily practice hour. Let’s broaden the scope of our “practice” and release some of the pressure that we place on ourselves as practitioners. Let’s turn our yoga practice into our life: yoga is also made of our daily choices on what we eat, how we behave, how much time we dedicate to ourselves and to others, how we love.

Consider the process of living itself as your practice of yoga. Enjoy the flow, keep learning as much as you can, and go forward patiently and gently.

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