With February approaching, we often call into mind the red hearts and romantic love of Valentine’s Day. While this is a beautiful expression of Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d shift the focus towards the relationship with our personal practice. In the same way that romantic relationships ebb and flow, our relationship to our yoga practice fluctuates along with the seasons, our lives, and our energy.
There are times when we feel inspired by our practice and are excited to get to the mat. You may notice this change with the seasons. As the weather becomes warmer, perhaps you have more energy and feel drawn towards classes with more movement. At this time, it may be easy to make time almost every day to practice and you’re filled with love and energy for it.
Perhaps as it becomes cold, you feel inclined to move into a slower, more gentle practice such as Yin or Restorative. You may not feel inspired to come to your asana practice at all, and that’s okay. This could be a time where you pick up a book that inspires you and practice your yoga in a different way.
Anyone who has a long term practice of yoga can most likely recall a time they stepped away from their practice then came back to be reminded of their passion for it. The first practice back after a while, you’re filled with new energy and you may even ask yourself why you stepped away in the first place. It’s like falling in love with the practice over and over, falling away and coming back to it.
The way we express our yoga practice can take many shapes and forms. When we come back to the 8 limbs of yoga, we know that there is far more to the practice than our physical postures. As the seasons change, as your schedule or energy levels change, you can explore different ways to express your practice.
In the same way that Valentine’s Day or anniversaries spark an extra energy to practice acts of love towards a partner, this can be an inspiration to act in a loving way towards yourself this month. It could be anything from creating space in your schedule for an extra yoga class to making time to relax and soak in the tub, or even making time to read, journal or do a hobby that fulfills you.
With a romantic partner there are days you feel filled with love and energy to express, and other days where it’s not fireworks, it’s simply a quiet and subtle love. Our yoga practice can follow this same pattern of fluctuation throughout the year and throughout our lives. Instead of being filled with judgement of yourself for where you think you should be in your practice, see if you can direct what energy you do have into another form of yoga, remembering that it is all beneficial in the end.