Friday, October 2, 2009

Spiritual Practice Through It All

I've supplemented my yoga practice with a book called, "Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga," by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. A dear friend, Toni, gave it to me and I am really enjoying its insights.

Each day, there is a reading which helps me focus on my own life and learn more about the eight limb path of yoga. The daily readings are short and add some perspective to everyday occurrences through the "yoga" lens.

Today as I read it, I found a quote that really stood out for me:
By choosing to practice yoga, we are saying that our spiritual growth is important to us. We are making it a priority. Our practice is a shelter we build for our spiritual selves. It is the work that we do to safeguard and support the possibility of spiritual growth. The winds of life constantly wear away at this shelter, but if we stick to our tools, the shelter will hold.
In this passage, Gates is talking about yoga as the "tool," but I believe you can substitute whatever tools you find important in your spiritual practice and personal growth. As we find and refine our "practice," it is with us through times of "flow," times of "normal," and times of "struggle," and everything in between.

Through continually doing your practice -- in whatever way you do -- you prepare yourself to handle anything that comes your way.

My dad used to say, "Perfect practice makes perfect." I hated hearing it when I was growing up because it meant not to be sloppy in my practicing. I have a better perspective and appreciation of it now and have (I can't believe I'm admitting this) even said it to my kids. Don't you hate it when you say something and realize that you've turned into your parents?

If I may, I'd like to make a slight change in the saying. My quote is, "Perfect practice...helps us to prepare for anything."

What is your "practice" and how has it helped you through thick and thin?

1 comment:

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Gah! You put me right back at my 12 year-old self, sitting at the piano and hearing Dad's wise words.

My practice now is yoga, as well. It does so much for me -- makes my body strong and flexible, centers my mind, promotes Flow.

Most importantly, though, it makes ME a priority.

(Unless, of course, I have a sick kid and can't get to class. But I'll find a way today.)