Whether you are just planting the seed or you are ready to propagate what you are have already come to learn and love, growing your yoga practice is very much like growing a flower.
First and foremost, there must be a seed. With yoga that seed is comprised of curiosity and desire. Something in you wants to grow. In order to set the stage for growth, it is best to place that seed in a safe and nurturing environment. I suggest that you seek out teachings that match your individual ability. Here are my suggestions…
When you feel the desire to start something new, it is best to start small. Since it is yoga we are addressing today, look for a guided class that is defined as beginning, gentle, introductory or fundamental. Along with that description, find out about the experience of the teacher. Have they been cultivating yoga for a long period of time? This would help to ensure that they know just how to attend to these beginning stages, placing you carefully into the soil for transformation; watering you with just the right amount of information to fulfill your curiosity without flooding you with too much detail. And lastly, be open to exploration. Try different classes and teachers until you find the place that feels like home. Trust your own sense of comfort so that once your seed is planted, your growth is well attended.
The next step in your yoga life cycle is germination. This is where, through consistent practice, your roots begin to grow and you experience the sprouting of new feelings in your body and new perspectives in your mind. With repeated care and attention, growth happens. In the context of a yoga practice this may involve an increase in your vitality, confidence and stability, greater ease in your mobility, and a calmer, more positive outlook on life.
Just as with any flower we are cultivating, our yoga practice will need repetitive actions to glean the most fruitful results. Make a commitment to yourself that is easily fulfilled. Attending a guided practice once a week for an hour or more will give you skills to practice on your own the rest of the week. Attending a class twice a week will strengthen your inclination to integrate what you learn on a daily basis. Through the propagation of daily application, you will fertilize the soil in which you are growing and gain momentum in the process.
Over time, as you expand your understanding through direct experience, new seeds may be planted, and you will continue to grow in fresh ways. This continual growth, through reseeding, reproduction, and harvesting the benefits of your actions, will help maintain enthusiasm and vigor throughout your life.
Furthermore, within the blossoming of your own experience, you could be feeling the desire to step into deeper teachings by attending workshops and in-depth trainings. Dedicating full days, weekends, or week-long programs will give you the opportunity to immerse in both the teachings and the practices. You can compare this to the greenhouse effect where the environment is more controlled and conditions more optimal for faster growth and intensified results.
For those that have been growing and cultivating their practice over time, you may find yourself wanting to pollinate the world with your seeds of awareness and understanding. This would be your incentive for stepping into a Teacher Training. It is not essential that you want to be a yoga teacher, yet you will nurture your ability to integrate yoga more fully into your life with skills for sharing your gifts with others, be it your family, your friends, or your community.
Wherever you are in your growth cycle, may you continue to water your seeds of potentiality and blossom into the fullest version of YOU!
With love and tenderness,