So my yoga teacher Ti Harmony, who is quite possibly one of the coolest people I’ve ever met, has been teaching a Path of Yoga course for those who wish to deepen their practice. I had been wanting to join in for awhile now and with my dance class coming to an end and with the start of a new year, I was excited to join the group for the first time last week. The weekly Thursday schedule was approximately this: 6-7:20pm Advanced Yoga followed by 7:30-9pm tea and book discussion (Loving What Is by Byron Katie), with a brief meditation at the end. I really enjoyed the entire process and more so the discussion part, for I am a spiritual bookie (like foodie) who really enjoys reading spiritual texts- but I often find that questions come up about the reading, so having a group of fellow curious inquirers to discuss and bond with was particularly exciting for me.
Nevertheless, I got axed from the group today. Ok, well it wasn’t quite that brutal but I’m basically not
welcome back suggested to join the group till I have established a steady and continuous home practice of a minimum of 30 minutes a day for at least 6 months. We were required to fill out an “application” prior to joining the Path of Yoga, and one of the requirements was to have already been practicing yoga/meditation regularly at home, as mentioned above. I was honest on my application, stating that my wondering head and laziness made it difficult for me to stick with a at home practice..which was exactly why I came to the yoga studio for guidance, duh. Ti gently and kindly emailed me today, saying that he had finally reviewed my application and that while he really enjoyed having my presence in discussion that there were several others who had shown interest in this course but didn’t quite meet the requisite practice yet and were therefore working on/ getting that practice in. How would I feel about upping my home practice for a few months and then joining back in?
Bahumbug! I had already done my reading for this week’s dissuasion too. I was on top of that shit. Well obviously not on top of my home practice.. in fact, doing yoga/meditation at home is something that I will admittedly say that I struggle with..and therefore often avoid. I mean I get it, its like I haven’t paid my dues in order to take this course. It’s like I wanted to skip some steps and just talk about the process (instead of actually doing the work and experiencing the process) and just hoped that I would still land at the finish line that had a beaming “You made it! Welcome to Enlightenment!” sign. It’s like I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I get it, okay? I HAVE to start putting in work if I want progress.
Here was my reply to Ti:
Sustaining a regular home practice will definitely be a challenge for me, but I am looking for growth and expansion at this point in my life- so I am up for the challenge. At least 6 months of 30 minutes a day? All I can say is that I will try to do my best. Do you have any advice/encouraging words for the newbees? I am sad that I will have to take a break from the course and discussion, but I look forward to joining you guys sooner than later.
See you soon in class.
And his response soon followed:
🙂 Hi [Curious Creature], I appreciate you being up for the challenge. I’m sure you can do it. 6 months of at least 20 minutes a day is probably a good and reasonable and, I expect, do-able goal. OR if you want to make it 30 minutes, then do that.
My advice/encouragements: 1. doing it is TOTALLY worth it! And if you do it, the growth and expansion you are wanting in your life right now are INEVITABLE! 2. Pick an amount and a practice(s) that you can be relied on to do and that your mind won’t have too much argument against. 3. Be kind with yourself. 4. If you miss a day, don’t stress, just “jump back on the wagon” the next day. 5. Sometimes a checklist or journal to log that you did it and maybe any insights you had. And also having someone to “be responsible” to for it, someone who can check in with you about having done it, can be very helpful. 6. Then just keep doing it. As I said, it is totally worth the effort, and you will see the benefits for yourself which makes it all the more interesting to keep going! Though some days will no doubt be hard, people pretty much always feel better afterward and are glad they did it.
And keep showing up in classes for inspiration and community. If you need anything or any more support from me, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂
So in conclusion, I am happy (and a bit wary) to inform you (whoever you may be) that I have STARTED my daily practice today. I can also tell you that not only my entire mind but my entire body also seems to be resisting this challenge to a certain degree. I.e. as soon as I sat down to meditate, 5 minutes in I had to stop to take a poop. Really.
Wish me luck 😀