It took me years to establish a want rather than a should behind my yoga practice. There was also an unsaid belief that yoga was the only way, and if you were a yogi you didn't need to do anything else. I felt guilty breaking the rules with rock climbing and especially running, which I LOVE.
I like to look at my practice as a necessary ritual. People sometimes ask whether I am still 'doing' my 'yoga thing'.
To me, its like asking if I'm still brushing my teeth and making my bed.
So just like if you neglected these things in your day to day... life wouldn't feel so y'know... smooth.
Here are my 10 things. They may never be yours. And thats the magic, your practice is personal to you... just like fresh breath and that Ahhhhh feeling as you slide into a freshly made bed at the end of the day... that might not be what floats you boat my friend.
1 - I smile more.
2 - Life becomes more doable.
3 - My back issues stay in check.
4 - My mental health improves.
5 - My menstrual cycle regulates.
6 - I eat better, more hydrating foods, I get an aversion to stodgy foods.
7 - My energy feels more balanced.
8 - I sleep better.
9 - I'm more present in how I relate to others.
10 - I notice how things are for me rather than how outside things affect me, therefore more in control.
11 - I still like to break the rules...
I couldn't help but humour you all here with my BS list of how yoga can sometimes be portrayed and in turn unrelatable and shame bashing.
NOTE THISBIT IS A JOKE
This could be how it sometimes looks and reads.
I think this could be even more applified in these days of overshare on social media.
1/ my chakras (pronounced incorrectly as SHakras) feel more aligned.
2/ my instagram following is now over 5k, so therefore I am a yoga goddess because instagram said so.
3/ my backbends are insane (eventhough I have sciatica)
4/ I can drink more and take more drugs as I always detox and juice cleanse Monday to Friday.
5/ my new boyfriend is now my photographer and we get paid to travel.
6/ I look younger, eventhough I'm only 30.
7/ I have zero cellulite. (*cough, ever woman with oestrogen in her system has some cellulite)
8/ I get to endorse weightloss products and make a lot of money on the side. (encouraging eating discorders)
9/ I can stand on my head, do the splits and am working towards perfecting the perfect handstand on my fingertips. (would love to see the MRI scans of these "yogis")
10/ I am an internet success.