Practice Makes Progress

We can philosophize about the meaning of life. And maybe there are many reasons we enter into this lifetime. To me, one purpose of life is to evolve into our best selves possible. So how do we measure how we are doing? How do we know if we’ve made any progress?

Today I attended my first Master Sadhana at Dharma Mittra Yoga Center in NYC. As a yoga instructor, and someone who has been practicing yoga daily for almost two years and intermittently for six years before that, it’s rare that I find a class that can push my limits, so I typically do my own practice. Though curious about Sri Dharma— a 75-year-old master yogi who still demonstrates all the poses in the class, and let me tell you, these are poses I never thought my body was capable of twisting and bending into— I decided to attend his class.

Wow! It was amazing and intense. I can’t believe that at 75 he still bends like that.  And I can’t believe I did every pose! I’m so proud of myself!!! And several of these poses I had never tried before. Practicing in solitude every day I forget that I have an advanced practice. I have a tendency to think that everyone can do what I do, oftentimes shrugging off my achievements. Interestingly, there were several moments of doubt during the class, but when I could feel my ankle moving into my hand while moving into Chakra Bandhasana (image of Sri Dharma displayed) waves of self-love washed over me as I realized, “I really can do anything.”

All my hard work of daily yoga practice has obviously paid off. Committed and dedicated every single morning, it’s inevitable that I have reaped the benefits, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. I have progressed in my yoga practice and today is the day I have learned something more about myself. I have pushed myself to new limits and through that I know I’m in a different place, further along in my journey than I was two years ago. And that is why yoga is a practice, we can forever progress, improve, grow, evolve, and expand. And the practice of yoga asana allows us to measure this as we progress through the poses. 

And so is life… patience, dedication, and commitment to evolve into my best self possible. And celebrating these moments, which may be filled with years in between, when I awaken to the realization of progress made and a deeper understanding of myself. Namaste.