What are you practicing?

We call yoga a “practice.”  But what exactly are we practicing?  As YR teacher Annie Siegel said in class today, “if we rush through our practice, we are simply practicing rushing.”  Probably not the intention when we unroll our mats.  This quote reminds us to be mindful of what we practice.  If we come to our mats and practice negative self-talk, comparing ourselves to others, trying to beat ourselves up physically or mentally, then that is what we get better at.  I don’t think anyone ever came to a yoga class and said “I’d like to leave class feeling worse about myself.”

This is precisely what the exercise of setting an intention is about.  Whether the teacher asks you to or not, before you begin get clear about why you are practicing.  If we come to our mats and practice compassion, gentleness, love, presence, then these are the qualities we will strengthen.  Ask yourself, what are you practicing?