good practice – bad practice

How to experience a positive yoga practice even when it was crap!

Do you judge your own yoga practice and label it as good or bad?

Yoga teaches us not to get attached to our emotions, to step back, observe and let them pass. Which allows us to stay balanced and connected to our inner self, therefore no strong emotion will overwhelm us and we can conquer life with a smile on our lips.

How can we become aware and practice non-judgment?

Sometimes when I do my yoga practice my mind and my breath are completely synchronised, they swim like fishes next to each other, and it feels blissful and after the practice I feel very grateful, very calm, just wonderful. If we take a judgmental black and white approach, I’d class this as a good practice and it makes me feel happy.

Next day I go back on my yoga mat and my mind is all over the place, every posture is a struggle, my mind is everywhere except where I am, and I want to quit and lay down and sleep…  and if I judge this practice I’d class it as a bad practice.

So how can we not get attached to the outcome of a yoga practice?

The answer is self-enquiry! Change your perspective!

When your body is struggling, hurting and screaming, when you get frustrated and tired, ask yourself:  Why? And see if any answer arises, listen to your inner self. What does it tell you? Are there any images or thoughts coming up? Are there any experiences from the past? Let them happen, observe them and then let them go. Take the possibility to cleanse yourself of any physical and emotional blockages. Maybe in this moment you will find the connection to your inner self, your inner wisdom that has all the answers already. When you do find this connection you will experience a breakthrough, and this was all thanks to a struggle. So try to turn your mindset around and see the positive side of it.

Stop judging your practice as good or bad. Stay with the self-enquiry all the time, even when you have ‘good days’ on the mat. Don’t just enjoy the feeling of a ‘good’ practice, start to ask yourself why, why today? What’s different in my mind today that I can allow this yoga practice to happen?

Don’t just try to stay in any blissful state, nor in a miserable state, ask yourself why, why do you feel the way you do today. Explore patterns, emotions, without attachment, without judgement. After becoming aware of them let them go, don’t react to them. And then see if you can take this experience of non-judgment into your daily life.

When bad things are happening to you, you can either label it as a bad situation or you can make a self-enquiry out of it, and see what you can actually learn and take away from it.

Remember, the mind is a muscle that needs to be challenged in order to grow, and we can only grow when there is something to deal with. If every day would be just a great day, how can we grow? Where is the moving forward? We get complacent, we get lazy, and our awareness starts to slip away, until we get a wake up call, through a negative experience, physically, emotionally or mentally.

Our yoga practice should keep us on our toes, on good days and bad days – so try to stay curious all the time, self-enquire, try to find out how your mind works, how your emotions are being triggered and then let the experience go, become detached from it by coming back to the moment, back to what is, back to your breath, so ‘stressful emotions’ can be observed, and then let go of, without taking a hold over you.