The importance of doing your yoga homework

23 Mar

I can’t remember the first time I did a downward facing dog —  Adho mukha svanasana — the workhorse of vinyasa, the place where you build strength and flexibility and find rest during a challenging yoga session, the place where all the asanas originate and end.

I honestly can’t recall if it was 15 years ago or 20 years.

My point is that it took me a long time to get to where I am with it — my arms and shoulders where they should be and my legs in that delicious place where they are straight and strong, supporting my weight, back and search for equinimity.

Watching my eager students in my Tuesday night class has reminded me of an important yoga truth: You must dedicate yourself to yoga, with your whole heart, as if you are doing service. And you are. Service to your higher self; your search for that higher self.

Does it mean you might have to wake up an extra hour early to go to your mat and practice?Maybe so. Does it mean you roll out your mat when you get home from work – and not grab the remote – yeah. I think that’s what it takes. At the very least.

Struggling over a Spanish lesson one day while he was in high school, my stepson said, “I want to speak Spanish. I just don’t want to learn it.”

Yoga is a lot like that. We want to do it. But we must first commit ourselves to it, and then, do it…do it….do it. The good thing about yoga is that we don’t have to wait for the reward to come our way. They are immediate. The second we step on the mat, we are doing yoga. And reaping all the wonderful benefits.

So go to your mat.


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