Yoga is a repetitive practice. Days flow into years, years into decades. One of the major practices of yoga is “showing up.” Simply showing up, day after day, week after week, like brushing your teeth and washing your hair, no matter your feelings, no matter the weather, just show up. Strip bare and witness. Listen to the ebbing flow of the ocean of your breath. Sometimes growth can feel like pain.
Sustaining the flame of practice over a lifetime is an act of loving devotion. The all-consuming passion of the fiery beginning when you fell in love with yoga wanes, stabilizes, grows, or even fizzles out. Sustaining the vigor for these humbling practices can be a challenge. Yoga’s oldest teachings warn that the journey is not easy, revealing the vigilant effort and surrender required for this dedication. There’s no other way. To be on fire is to dance through the flame burning away the non-essential.
The nature of yoga is resistance to the practice. Sometimes it arrives quietly, gently tapping you on the shoulder. Other times it knocks you out flat on your back. If you are still on your yoga honeymoon, you have missed your practice entirely. You’re responsible for stoking the fire of your curious passion. Whether it’s a brilliant bonfire or embers only you can see, breathe life into your flame, remember your true nature.
Spring into the purifying heat of tapah. Bring your emotions, patterns, beliefs and resistance into the fire for fuel. Without turning discipline into a burden, uncover the pearl of freedom hidden in your practice. Tapah is courage singing in your heart. Turn your breath inward. Stoke your vitality and blaze on. Rest if you must. Yet knowing spring is just around the bend, recommit to tending your flame.
Om Namaha Shivaya