“If you had a crystal ball to gaze in and ask what your practice looks like in the future and you didn’t see the results you hoped for or as soon as you hoped for, would you simply quit and take up some other method?” -Dave Swenson
So many students of mine often ask how long is (insert asana or tight muscle group here)__________ going to take to open up or feel a bit more comfortable. Most often they are students that have been practicing for a year or less. It is important to note that the physical aspect of yoga was designed with the mindset that it would be a daily practice, hopefully for the rest of your life. In other words, think about your practice in decades and not months or even years. I often joke that the reason I believe in reincarnation is to hopefully come back as a yogi again and get more time to work on it!
Personally, for me this quote has been something I also need to work on, albeit in a different venue. I have taken up kickboxing as of a few months and am loving it! I am usually really quick to take up any type of physical movement or exercise, but the learning curve in kickboxing is complex and slow. I am watching myself get frustrated at not getting better faster. This is not helped by the fact that I have always had an overwhelming need to be good if not the best at everything I do. It is one of my greatest assets and detriments. I dont do things half assed as they say. In a hilarious twist of irony that many of you who know me will enjoy, the instructor noticed and heard my frustrations, and told me “Dude, you have been doing this for like 3 months. It is going to take a while to figure it out and process it.” Much laughter was had by my wife Hannah, who gets to hear me tell the same thing to all my yoga students.
As a teacher it is so often too easy to say the right things and even practice them, but have them disappear from your perspective in a different/new environment. It is easy (easier) to practice yoga during YOGA, but much harder and conversely much more productive to practice it in all other pursuits as well. As one of my students and now teacher so recently stated…
“The more difficult yoga really lies off the mat, in the face of frustration, sadness, triumph & joy.” -Sheils
I will be patient. I will observe the emotions that course through me. I will enjoy the process. I will retain humility, often correctly dished out by Hannah! I will be better for it all. I will become a kickboxer!