Thursday, July 30, 2009

153/209 - Doing it for love

Wednesday 4:30 with Rohit

It was a good class, with almost nothing memorable. As I've said before, that's usually a good thing. Oh, there was a bad moment where reflux was back in Locust, but I kept it under control. Otherwise, everything was fairly peaceful.

The day 208 meditation talks about the effect of desire on asana practice. People first come to asana practice typically because they have heard about other people's astonishing results. And that's good. Gates goes on to say that the first year or so usually brings amazing results with it. Butt's get tighter, body parts start to work again, years fall away, the weight of the world feels less than it did.

Working for results, however, is ultimately a dead end. I can't say that from experience, because I'm not that far into my practice. But I've seen it with others in my studio. I know a woman who quit the practice after the 60 day challenge because she wasn't satisfied with the results. She wanted more for her effort. (I watched her through the challenge, BTW, and I have to say that based on the effort she put in, she probably got about the results that she should have.) And I'm sure that if she's not doing anything instead of the yoga, she's getting a much worse result now (but at considerable less effort).

The point here, however, is that a results driven practice will inevitably lead to failure. Either you won't get to the goals that you set, become frustrated, and give up. Or you will reach them, and wonder, what now? and then stop from something akin to boredom.

The antidote to this is to stop focusing on result and to enjoy the poses themselves. It is to fall in love with the practice itself, and not with the things that the practice gives. If you can do that, the results will continue to flow to you as a biproduct, and the practice will never grow old. And how to do that? Be present, smile, and just be thankful that you can be sweating your ass off in the hot orange room. At least that's the best that I can think of for now.


bikramyogachick said...

Duffy~ Love this post because it is soooo true. Yoga is not a destination, rather a journey. And me, I love this journey. I can't live without yoga. Even without visible outside results I'd still stay on this journey because my soul needs it.

Jennifer said...

Thank you SO much for this blog. You and bikramyogachick have inspired me and I am going to do my own 60 day bikram challenge and blog about it. I'm a late 30s pudgy thing, so this could be life changing for me. Thanks so much. My blog --- first entry will be up tonight --- is at

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Duffy Pratt said...

I'm looking forward to your blog. Good luck with the challenge.