By Stephanie Carter for YOGANONYMOUS
Do the words “let’s begin with some seated meditation” cause you to recoil in horror?
Do you practice at every studio at town, know every teacher and practice several styles? Are you constantly seeking the thrill of newer, more advanced poses? If so, you might be a yoga thrill seeker.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with variety. I need a certain amount of it, and I know my students do too.
But as a yoga teacher, I sometimes have to resist the urge to entertain my students. I want them to like my class, so I pepper it with humor and try to keep things fresh. And I think that’s okay, as long as I don’t cross the line and actually break into a song and dance routine.
At some point, though, students that have been practicing a while sometimes start to get…bored. They’ve done every possible vinyasa variation. Maybe they can do some really impressive poses. They may have experimented with different styles and different teachers. Even so, sometimes, they’re left with a feeling of, “now what?”.
To these students, I say: you’re bored with yoga? Congratulations. Now the real yoga begins.
If you’re bored, it’s a sure sign that you’ve exhausted the superficial layer of yoga and it’s time to go deeper. Because yoga is so much more than fun party tricks.
Maybe, like me, you have a wandering mind that seeks stimulation—and you may believe that you need that stimulation to feel the joy and inspiration that will keep you coming back to the mat. Sometimes we all need to change our routine or something about our practice to stay motivated. But often these changes are just distractions.
Likewise, emphasizing the purely physical aspect of the practice, and chasing down bigger and more impressive poses can be like a fun thrill ride. And while there’s nothing wrong with taking that ride every now and then, thrills can actually take us further away from ourselves, which I’m pretty sure is not what Patanjali had in mind.
Boredom is sometimes your ego’s way of letting you know it wants more cool stuff to feel good about—like being able to do chaturanga on 2 fingers. Very impressive. And very distracting.
But take heart. We all get bored sometimes. Think of it as a good sign—a sign that you’re ready to go to the next level. Boredom is a sure sign that you haven’t dived deep down into the practice, with full attention on the breath and in your body. Because that breath and that body are an infinite source of information, inspiration and even entertainment, if you pay close enough attention.
Find more articles at YOGANONYMOUS: