Over the course of this experiment I have found spiritual growth in setting a routine. When I first approached this idea from our Ayurveda section, I expected to feel physical benefits. I can’t say I feel any better or worse but it has given me a way to actually practice my spirituality. And this is what I was missing. I had my core beliefs but very little context for them. Now I have a way to express and deepen my faith on a daily basis. I have also enjoyed the process of refining my yoga practice with each new experience. For example, experimenting with the order of my sadhana and finding what works best for me. As well as realizing that visual meditations aren’t as helpful to me as using a mantra. This process makes me feel as though my practice is my own and I’m not just following someone else’s directions. This is how I know I am working through my fear of faith, because originally I wanted someone to hand me a complete set of instructions for how to be a good yogi and why it’s all worth it. Now I have grown to listen to the teachings from my own heart instead.
Setting an intention each day to be present and live consciously has also been powerful. I made this attitudinal change years ago but combining it with my other practices gives it additional strength. It has been especially helpful in this vata season to help keep me grounded. Rather than darting from one task to another, always with an eye one what’s next, I’ve worked on appreciating the moment. I’ve begun to decline invitations in order to keep space in my schedule for me to just relax and stay caught up. While part of me regrets missing out on those activities, I appreciate the calm I am able to maintain.
I certainly haven’t been perfect. Some nights I stayed up too late and had to miss some of my morning routine to catch up on sleep. Some days I ate poorly and felt the ill effects. Over the Thanksgiving break I caught a cold while travelling and completely fell off my schedule with that double whammy. However, having given myself forgiveness and kindness during this process, I finish feeling successful and excited about this continued lifestyle. Including a post-teacher training schedule and continued study into my methodology for this experiment gives me confidence that I will transition smoothly into the next chapter of my life as a yogi.
I can’t even count the number of times during this teacher training that I was told “your own personal experience will be your best teacher.” Now I can fully agree that this is true. As I had hypothesized (the second time anyway), I have re-connected with my faith by focusing on my core beliefs rather than on the unknown and the uncertain. And is this not the definition of faith itself?