Sometimes I get into a yoga funk. It’s true. I don’t like to write those words down. After all, I am a yoga teacher. But when it comes to my own practice, occasionally I feel like I’ve hit a wall and am in a rut.
I’ve found myself in one of those ruts lately. It’s a pretty icky feeling. I don’t feel excited to get up and practice. I contemplate whether I’ve improved or gotten stronger in a long time.
Back in March, I began practicing Ashtanga yoga after several years of doing Vinyasa flow classes. I felt inspired by the change in my routine, and even though it was a slow process as I worked my way through the primary series, I was really enjoying it.
But lately I wonder — should I keep at this? I'm 33 years old and have only been practicing yoga on a regular basis for three years. I’m never going to be one of the yogis in Ashtanga who balances with her leg behind her head.
I feel my ego creeping in, and I don’t like it one bit.
While teaching my own class earlier this week, one of my students came up to me afterwards to tell me how much she has been enjoying it. When she first started practicing with me, she told me she had taken a yoga class 10 years ago and didn’t connect with the teacher, so she never went back. She said if I had been the teacher that day, she would have probably been practicing this whole time.
Yoga does not come easily for her. I can see the struggle in her face. But she comes back every week and works hard. I told her I was so proud of her — and I am. She inspires me.
Here’s what I’m going to take away from my student in order to work through my own yoga funk. Even though it’s not always “fun,” I practice because, ultimately, it makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. I am not the perfect yogi, and I never will be (because that doesn’t exist!). I’ve come a long way since I started my practice, and when I feel like I’ve hit a wall, I’m going to close my eyes, breathe, and be proud of myself.