Friday, February 18, 2011

The Process

"It's not about the process; it is about what you do with the process." was the introduction at a workshop I attended yesterday (non-yoga).

Our practice is a process.

We can do many things with this process.  If you follow the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, our Hatha Yoga practices (any yoga which is focused on postures and breath is Hatha Yoga, regardless of the brand/style name attached to it) is to prepare us for Raja Yoga--the 8 limbed system found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.  I practice in the Ashtanga tradition, so the process is delineated, pre-set in a time tested way to deliver the student to Raja Yoga.  Even within this method, there are a myriad of ways to approach the process.

Are we practicing for the physical exercise?    Adjusting as needed?  Maybe we go deeper and can also focus on the quality and length of our breath.  Even deeper by focusing on the bandhas and the dhristhi (looking place).  How about further, mentally chanting mantra with each breath. 

Sometimes we are just following along, doing what we are told while we go over the day's to do list, or creating the day's blog post (I have always said I am a student, that I have no mastery).  Are we ok with that?  Beating ourselves up when we aren't focusing where we think we should, or are we acknowledging where we are with this particular practice right NOW and starting from there. 

Both practice and process are fluid.  Working with the ups and downs, the changes, the challenges to find a practice which works for you as an individual is the goal.  It is through practice that  process becomes relevant. 

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