yoga seeds #7 – Progress

Progress is forward movement towards a destination. So it really depends on what we’re oriented towards. As we begin to practise, most of us measure our progress in terms of space (bringing my head lower, stretching my legs straighter). This progress will sooner or later come to a halt, either because of anatomical limitations or because we’ve reached the maximum possible, but there are many other possibilities! It could be measured in terms of time (staying longer in an asana or practising for a certain amount of time). It could be measured in terms of the number and variety of asanas that we practise. It could be measured in terms of the regularity with which we practise. It could be measured in terms of how present we are while we practise – or how aware we are of how not present we are while we practise! It could be measured in terms of how long I’ve been practising in spite of interruptions, losing the thread or injuries. Practising itself is progress. Every day we practise, we progress, it’s unavoidable. Gradually, the practice reveals aspects of itself that we could never have aimed towards, because we couldn’t have even envisaged them. Progress could also be following our path in yoga, whatever it is, whichever shape it takes, and yielding completely to its course into unknown parts of our nature.

Thanks to all my students at Yoga Hub Berlin, who inspire me with their practice.

in your own time

mf – algarve 2005

Beginnings and ends make us aware of change and time. Perhaps it’s the beginning of the new calendar year that has prompted me to focus on the tempo of my practice. If you’re looking for some ideas for your home practice, this could be it! In led classes, the tempo will be an average of what the teacher sets and what the whole group can do, but when you’re practising alone you’re free to choose your own timing – and this opens up some very juicy possibilities! Read on for some suggestions.


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