Sa tu dīrgha kāla nairantarya satkārāsevito drdhabhūmih
Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness.
This Sutra jumped out at me when I opened a random page of the book, Yoga Sutras by Patanjali.
I have been practicing Yoga for about 5 years now, and for the most part, inconsistently. Back then, it was purely out of vanity reasons; an exercise that would keep me fit and improve my physique.
I signed up for a 2-year membership at a big Yoga studio and went for 3 classes a week, sticking to Hatha 1. I did not dare try the advanced classes for fear of looking ridiculous and also not being able to do the poses, plus it didn’t help that I was my own worst critic. This was of course my ego and self doubt coming into play and I let them control most of the decisions I made. As time went on, excuses rolled in. 3 times a week became 2 times a week and eventually once a week. When my membership ended, I did not renew it and went for occasional drop in classes at various studios.
Little did I know how subtle a healer Yoga was and even with my inconsistent practice, my ego and insecurities got quieter. I started practicing meditation and asanas at home and signed up with another studio, trying out different classes that I previously convinced myself I could never do.
There was also a paradigm shift in my mindset from how I managed my emotions, to becoming vegan, which I believe, was partly due to Yoga. This certainly touched on the Ahimsa way of life where you practice non-violence on yourself and others, humans and animals alike. It was just a natural progression that felt natural and that made sense.
Yoga is something I have always returned to time and again to ground myself, and this has been the case for the past 5 years. I always felt better physically and mentally after a class, which made me realize that I should take it a step further by signing up for a 200-hr YTT course to learn about Yoga in depth and I’m so glad I did! It’s so much more than just physical exercise that it’s made out to be since becoming mainstream.
I still have a long way to go with my practice, but as the Sutra said, you need to be consistent in your practice and it will take time. If you are diligent and passionate about it, you will attain what you set out to achieve. I look forward to this lifelong process of learning.