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What's an advanced Yogic practice?

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

I see this question coming up over and over on yoga platforms, so let's get into it:

If your conception is: Yoga = Asana, than maybe you're inclined to think as well: the more acrobatic/flexible = the better the yogi(ni). I say to you "Good luck, honey. You are in for some hardship."

First of all: Yoga is a state of being, not something we do.

Yoga practices (not Yoga) give us the possibilities to explore ways to that state of being, nothing more, nothing less. A state of being absolutely present and in the moment, in the now;

no ego whispering BS into your inner ear.

Second of all: Asana practice is just a tiny part of a variety of yogic practices. If you see it loosely as just a means to feel better in your body, than you could see it also as interchangeable with any other exercise training that you approach mindfully. Maybe your practice contains of chanting, japa meditation, pranayama, ecstatic dancing and pilgrimages to India... maybe it is gardening, ironing, being a good friend or long walks on the beach. Whatever gets you into the moment.

Third of all (and most importantly): You are already there. You are never not in the moment.

Nobody "ripped" you out of the Oneness. That state of being is just a WAKING UP to where you are already, taking off the sleeping-mask. No yoga posture is doing that for you, but our continues wish and effort to wake up to who we are RIGHT NOW.

I let my students know that most of them already know ALL the postures they will need for a satisfying, lifelong practice!

We keep of course working on them, playing with them, adding to them, deepening them... but there is no NEED to bend yourself beyond circus-worthy contortions…. because it has nothing to do with practice.

There is nothing inherently wrong with achievement, but it can be a way for the ego to keep us locked in our thought prison. When we get too lost in the aesthetic and "rules" of it all, the ego is pulling us deeper into our usual "weapons of self-destruction": comparison, self-doubt and the never ending feeling of "not being enough".

A purely physical practice is not the problem, your attachment to it is.

Everybody's practice is personal. Not everyone is called for an intense physical practice... though some are... and we can simply enjoy as observers the awesome possibilities of the human body!

But again: I don't think it NECESSARILY makes you an advanced practitioner. Flexibility is not our measurement for the depth of your practice (otherwise every dancer or gymnast would be the best yogi). The depth of your practice is measured in YOUR commitment, earnestness, focus and most of all in your compassion (towards yourself AND others).

"If you want to know if you're making progress... see if you are kinder to people." -- Krishna Das

Be inspired, sure. Wanna try it out? Sure. Go and play. That's what we are here for.

There is no right or wrong way, but there is a "right for you" way, free of comparison.

Our practice is simply an acknowledgement, coming to terms and acceptance of who YOU are (right now) and where YOU are at (right now), without trying to keep up with every 'Tom, Dick or Harry' that seems to better so much better off than you.

And the better you become at that, the more advanced you become in your practice.

And then every moment in your life has the power to become Yogic practice.

There is nobody to compare yourself to. Because nobody IS you.

They have nothing to do with you (beyond possible inspiration).

As the great RuPaul likes to say: "If them bitches don't pay your bills, pay them bitches NO mind!"

But hey, that's just my humble opinion.

Now go back to scrolling after your hot & half-naked yoga 'icons'!


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