Dear Yoga Student,
I am very pleased to know that you have taken up the yoga practice. I am glad that ‘you want to know yourself‘. This was supposed to be the first and most significant aspect of life. Finally, the journey has taken its pace.
I was also in your phase of life once. Hence, I would like to share some tips with you. I hope these tips will keep you on the track and enable you to use your energy efficiently.
Do not allow the mind to achieve the practice. The practice of Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation etc. should be less result-oriented. They are more process oriented. Confused? You should enjoy the process of practice. For example, you set a goal that you want to improve hip opening. Set your goals. Find the best methods and start practicing. If the results are beneficial, treat them as a bonus. More you enjoy the practice, more you gain the results. The moment you start chasing the result, you lose it. And frustration chases you.
Always make sure that it matters less of what you practice, but what matters the most is ‘who you are when you practice’. Be a witness of you while practicing. More you witness, more you understand. This understanding of you allows refinement. As you refine, the Yogi inside manifests outside.
Being a Yogi has no types. You do not have to follow any type of physical appearances. Perhaps, this is one such practice that should make you free from all types. Do not allow ‘the path of freedom to create a new bondage’.
Being a Yogi doesn’t permit you to be arrogant. Do not think you’re special. No one is special. You are different from everyone else. It is same with others too. They are also different from you. The first few signs of development in the path of Yoga can be being kind, generous and humble.
You are what you do every day. Be regular with your practice. It is not only limited to Asanas. Be regular in being kind to people. Make a habit of being positive regularly. Be aware of how your body, speech, and actions speak. Over the time these practices become a habit and shape your character.
What you are on the mat is a reflection of what you are off the mat and vice-versa. Reduce your anger during the practice and it reflects in the life. Be more pleasant in the daily life and it reflects in your practice.
That’s long, isn’t it? Did you ask me where to find a teacher like me? Open your inner eyes. The teacher is everywhere. In every action, in every plant and birds, in every smile and light, in misery and frustrations.
I have always been in your heart trying to tell you. Often take some time off and sit with eyes closed. I will always be ready to share.
Until then, let me sign off.
This is an imaginary letter from Patanjali to a modern Yoga student.