A student in our Teacher Mentoring course, inquiring into her practice, recently asked:
What will getting into headstand in the middle of the room teach me about life? About myself? How will it make me a better and nicer person?
What will the practice teach us about life and ourselves? It won’t teach us anything, necessarily, unless we choose to engage with it on that level. Indeed, asking questions like these is the first step in using asana as a means of self-inquiry.
It is the conscious process of seeking and reflecting on our experience that brings depth of purpose to our asana practice. We can learn to welcome the questions, doubts and confusions as fuel for our inquiry on the mat. The insights, the ‘aha’ moments we might get, even though seeming to arise spontaneously, usually come only after we’ve invited them.
Sure, when we feel good in our bodies and our breath is easeful, it is easier to be a nicer person. When we start to notice the inner shifts that result from practice we can begin to make that link more intentional. In doing so, we situate the asana practice within the larger context of our self-development. The work we do on the mat becomes part of our pathway of inner growth.
Perhaps the first question to consider is this: How will you know if headstand is making you a better and nicer person?