This winter, I’ve finally mastered the art of getting our wood-burning stove roaring and, not only that, keeping it hot all day. It’s amazing how, even when the fire appears to be nothing but ashes, all it takes is a little poking around and suddenly the ashes come back to their red-hotness, ready to ignite another log.
Of course, the heat was always there, it just needed a little nudge.
This strikes me as a useful metaphor for rekindling the spark of enthusiasm for yoga. The art of making your practices new - again and again and again – is something all long-time yogis get really good at doing.
After a while, you realize that enthusiasm is something you need to bring to your practice, rather than something you’ll always receive from it.
Self-reflection is how I stoke the embers of my love for yoga. Noticing how my practices work for me reminds me of their value. That’s what keeps me wanting to come back.
When I observe how I emerge from an asana practice feeling more grounded and centered, it encourages me to return the next day.
When I acknowledge that my mind got a little bit quieter in meditation, it fuels my desire to sit.
When I articulate the contentment I feel in watching my breath, I want to turn my awareness inside again.
Without reflecting on the benefits of your practices they can quickly start to feel rote and dry, like just another thing to accomplish.
Making it a habit to observe, acknowledge, and articulate how your practices serve you is the secret to keeping the spark of your love for yoga burning brightly.
In the spirit of poking the embers of your enthusiasm, what can you say about what your practices bring you today? This week? This month?
Our free, online bonus content is designed to complement and enrich your experience of Evolving Your Yoga. Resources like video pose tutorials, downloadable journaling prompts, breathwork, guided visualizations, and more will support your exploration of each of the Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice.