Yoga Progress Beyond The Mat

What is Progress in Yoga? And why you should keep coming back when the benefits seem to dry up. 

Popular yoga encourages us to look at ourselves and the progress we have made in each and every asana, but what happens when yoga progress is slow? What happens when it seems like you can’t make progress?

Physical mastery of yoga is widely celebrated in the yoga world, we see it around us all the time, in photos on social media, in advertisements and even in classes. Yet despite this circular reinforcement many of us know that yoga goes beyond the physical mastery. It is an ancient spiritual tradition that works deep into the mind and soul, even when our bodies appear to linger.

Yet the true depth of our practice isn’t necessarily reflected in the studio room but in our lives. By regarding our physical practice as forefront and foremost, we overlook the progress we make mentally and spiritually in and out of each and every class. The time we spend on the mat is time we give ourselves to develop not just physically; it is time to reflect and time to rejuvenate, time to reenergise in the mind and in the soul.

In practice we give ourselves time to look at who we are as people, to remind ourselves that we are individuals, both in our strengths and our weaknesses. By understanding ourselves can we really only then begin to understand others and the world around us. In this way the practice we do extends far beyond our physical and mental limitations on the mat and into every corner of our lives.

To this personal development Yoga provides a bedrock foundation. Sequences like the Bikram series are reliable, even dependable. When the world becomes turbulent and our lives chaotic, the sequence remains the same. The time to develop is still there and the space to grow keeps on opening.

So embrace your physical self, and remember that when yoga progress feels stationary or slow, you are still reaping rewards, many that you might not even see.