I don’t know about everyone else, but I have been struggling to keep up my practice recently. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve been going through a big transition (new city and new job), if it’s the seasonal change, or if it’s the fact that my eating habits haven’t been as nutritious as usual, but I have definitely been in a yoga slump.
As a yoga teacher, this is a hard thing to admit, and I think all serious practitioners go through a bit of an identity crisis when they don’t feel called to their mat every day. Personally, this brings about a slew of guilty feelings, comparisons to other yogis who seem to effortlessly commit to this lifestyle, and constant excuses as to why I am slacking. Truthfully, the comparisons and self-berating do absolutely nothing to up my morale, instead inspiring more wallowing and taco eating. But I am starting to notice more and more how I feel lethargic, less confident, and emotionally unstable when I am missing the quiet, spiritual component of my day.
It is difficult to find your own path when there are so many theories as to how to practice yoga, and how to apply the concept of “balance” to our lives. Is balance practicing yoga for 90 minutes each day? Is balance implementing a regime of yoga 3 days a week, and strength training 3 days a week, allowing the body one day of rest? Can taking a week off from practice when your energy levels are suffering actually help restore balance? I wish this was something I knew the answer to, but I am still discovering what balance means for myself. I do know that yoga always finds it’s way back into my life, even when my life takes me further away from my practice. I also know that often when I start to lose my daily commitment, it gets easier and easier each day to find an excuse not to find my mat. Oh, and I know that I usually keep this information, my lazy spells, to myself, worrying that I will be judged or looked down upon if I admit that, even as a teacher, I sometimes lose my way. But I think the important part is that I am able to acknowledge that life and yoga can be hard, but that looking honestly at my practice is often the way back to balance. So I am speaking with an honest voice when I say that my practice has lacked structure, and that I am committed to getting back on my mat each day. I hope to speak more openly about the struggles that come with walking a conscious path, and I encourage you to comment if you can relate to the process of picking yourself up and finding that illuminated road each time you wander away from it.