A yoga posture demonstrated by a master level practitioner is often the epitome of grace and ease. Yet when the novice student attempts to mirror these same movements the degree of difficulty is immediately evident. The real test of a yoga practitioner comes when the path ahead is laid out clearly and the student choose whether to commits to each step of the journey regardless of difficulty.
While the inner path is sometimes arduous, long and painful, it is also immensely rewarding, filled with timeless joy and one of the only sources of real, lasting peace. Each practitioner of yoga goes through periods of injury, pain and discomfort but not every practitioner has the dedication, heart and courage to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Those who maintain a relationship with their practice over a number of years begin to understand just how much it takes to make yoga a lifelong practice. There are moments of doubt, intense suffering and emotional turmoil as well as moments of bliss, ecstasy and realization. What commitment to yoga over a lifetime really demands is total devotion.
It is through the practice of dedicating yourself to your yoga practice everyday regardless of pain or pleasure that you learn the meaning of devotion. By traversing the murky jungle of the body and mind through yoga you develop the strength and fortitude of spirit needed to face life with dignity. By devoted yourself totally to the path of yoga you learn what it really means to surrender yourself to something. Before that moment of complete dedication there is always the chance to pull out, draw back or quit. But when you devoted yourself wholly your intention, energy and spirit moves mountains to create the real possibility of transformation. It is through the power of devotion that yoga changes your life.
When I started practicing yoga I was not a naturally strong person but I was deeply inspired by the masterful articulation of handstands and arm balances. For nearly five years I devoted myself entirely to the study of yoga with a special emphasis on the development of strength and steadiness in the body and mind. It is because I lived and died for strength in my yoga practice for a number of years that I now consider myself much stronger. It is because I followed the path of yoga through injury, pain, doubt, discomfort and disillusion all the way through into peace, joy, acceptance and love that I now share what I have learned through teaching. It is yoga that lead me to discover my own inner strength, a quiet voice that was always there though I did not know how to awaken it. When you begin your practice you will learn how ready you are to be truly devoted to yourself and to yoga. When you commit yourself fully to your chosen goal, be it in your yoga practice or in the world, there is nothing that can stop you.
A lifetime commitment to yoga teaches you the power of the deepest level of devotion. Whether you practice six days a week or only two times a week as long as yoga remains in your life over time you will delve deeper into the inner world and know what it means to fully surrender yourself to the path of yoga. When you are able to maintain your attention on your deepest dreams with the type of unwavering focus and heartfelt dedication that yoga teaches you, then you will also know the exhilarating feeling of actualizing your dreams in the world.
by Kino MacGregor