By Billy Sadia
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on January 23, 2013
As it turns out, I have a plan for virtually every sphere of my life that I consider important, yet this is actually the very first time I am sitting down to plot for my yoga practice in particular. Instead of writing 20 lengthy resolutions, I have decided to come up with what I feel are five small steps that will create the greatest impact in my journey. Here goes:
Know my community: For the last three months or so, I have come to appreciate what a wonderful space the AYP community is. Despite our socio-cultural, economic and even racial backgrounds, we all just want to have a great yoga practice, whatever our reasons may be. And that is a great starting point. So for this year, I will make an effort to know more people and learn about the people I share my energy, time and space with every Saturday morning. You are all very special.
Be very deliberate: There are numerous times that yoga can best be described as murder for me. In such moments, the best I can do is retreat to my child’s pose (it’s always there for me). This year I want to feel each pose as I go along. I still may not be able to do a 100% wheel all the time, but I will try. After all, there is no such thing as watch pose.
Understand my own body’s needs: No one can refute the fact that human bodies are amazing. I would really love to be so flexible that I can comfortably do a side split. But I am not able to, at least not yet, because my body feels like it’s just about to snap at some point. That’s ok- so far, one of the greatest lessons I have learnt is that I will get there, no matter how long it takes. Part of the fun lies in the journey there. Each step brings with it a greater awareness of my own body- what it can or can’t do, and in the process I become more aware of my own self.
Participate in the workshops: AYP offers some of the most interesting workshops, at a nominal cost or even free sometimes. I always have something to do after the community class. This time round, the dance, meditation and whatever other workshops that will come my way, I will attend. Or at least, I will try to!
Be present: This should actually be AYP’s mantra, if it isn’t already. I hear this phrase repeated all the time and sometimes it’s hard to understand what that means. Being present might involve being open, being in the flow, rest, sighing- it’s a combination of many factors. At the end of the day, if I am to advance and move my practice to the next level, then I need to be present to where I am and to where I am going.
It’s never too late to decide what you want your own practice to look like.