Several people have already told me over the years: "I would love to do yoga, but where do I get the time?", "I do yoga once a week because I can't do more." Or “I've done yoga once, but my life is very chaotic and I quit. In the oldest foundational yoga texts (Yoga Sutras), it is said: When such practice is done for a long time, without rest and with sincere devotion, it becomes a firmly rooted, stable and solid foundation.
Maintaining a constant and non-stop practice requires discipline. I have always been a disciplined person. I've never had much trouble finding time to take care of myself with yoga practice, even when I was teaching 16 classes a week. However, in recent months, after having embarked on this new project that is a yoga center in Tomares, Seville (Yoga Loft) - with so many things to do, so many to-do lists - my own asana practice, pranayama and meditation has been mildly, and sometimes completely neglected.
I have been crushed by this, more for what it means in order to maintain a level of quality for my students than for what it means for me personally. The reason is that at some point I have lost track of what deeply nurtures me. I began to notice it in the body and the ailments that were beginning to arise; the mind running without being able to notice any space between one thought and another; my interactions with others, and I also noticed it in several other facets in my life. So many things to do, so little time to do them and less and less time for my practice. Every day I looked at my mat, abandoned in the corner, collecting dust. Until finally, one of my best friends scolded me while we were talking about all this: “your practice is fundamental”, she told me: “come back NOW, it starts tomorrow without fail. DO IT! ”. What are they best friends for if not to tell you the truth?
The next day I unrolled my mat and did my first practice in several months of an hour and a half without pause. Right after finishing, I realized. What we do on the yoga mat nurtures the deepest corners of our being. Our practice is sacred and no matter how busy and timeless we are, to maintain that state of well-being, our practice is one of the few things that we should never let go of. Nor does it have to be an hour and a half every day, it is about dedicating a little time (even only 5 minutes, if that's the only thing you have) constantly to create habits, to nourish ourselves, take care of ourselves and put our well-being as a priority.
Consistent practice requires discipline, even when it's already a habit. I think that everyone, even the most advanced yogis, has experienced that feeling or thought of: what if I stay in bed instead of waking up before the sun rises to practice? What if I stay on the couch with the blanket and the movie, today that it is raining and it's cold ... And here are two important things. First, the third niyama of the eight branches: tapas (and not eating tapas). This branch of yoga teaches us the concept of discipline: if we establish a solid practice, we begin to generate enough prana (vital energy) to purify and burn the impurities that impede clarity of mind and a deep connection with our interior. Second, we go back to the text we saw at the beginning of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: When such a practice is done for a long time ... it becomes ... stable and solid. For me personally, it expresses one of the most important ideals on the path to practice and liberation. What I understand as liberation, being the ultimate goal, is not necessarily the expectation of achieving samadhi (enlightenment) but to become the best person you can to be of service to others. Quality, perseverance (dedication) and patience are essential to embark on this route and are quite interrelated. If the mind is nervous and attached to results, there will be a lack of quality. When patience, dedication and love are at the heart of what you do, there will be an undeniable quality attached to the fruits of our labors. Patience and dedication do not always come naturally, and therefore require practice. With practice we can begin to cultivate a self-love that will allow us to persevere on the path to reaching our full potential.