Among those who attend group yoga classes, very little practice at home by themselves. At the same time, a qualitative leap occurs precisely when we begin to practice alone with ourselves.
The moment we roll out our yoga mat in the living room or sit on a meditation cushion one morning, we begin to trust our inner guide. We don’t yet know where it’s taking us, but we’re willing to take the risk. Perhaps the practice does not go as smoothly as under the guidance of a teacher. We are not sure whether we are doing this or that exercise correctly, we are not as accurate and skillful in correcting asanas as our teacher. We find it difficult to inspire and support ourselves.
But with the help of practice, we develop internal muscles and develop these qualities. Cultivate the inner teacher. At this point, both physical and psychological shift occurs. We become both the leader and the follower by joining forces with our antaryamin – inner-self. In this process, we develop intuition and confidence. We get used to the fact that it is POSSIBLE to listen to your inner voice, its directions, and follow them.
Our inner guide can have many attractive qualities. It can be a parent, a cheerleader, a kind boyfriend, a wise man, a comedian or just your future self. I often interact with the latter option, receiving guidance and support from my wiser version. As we get to know ourselves, we also get to know the qualities of our inner guide that we need to manifest. If we are prone to apathy, we need a steadfast, directive guide. And if we are a Type A personality and are very strict with ourselves, then someone who will remind us to relax and not take life so seriously will help us. Most importantly, our guide never abandons us. No matter how bleak, hopeless, or miserable our lives may seem, our inner guide encourages us to stay with ourselves. Total loyalty, devotion and unconditional love are what we so expect from our teachers and parents, but rarely offer ourselves.
When we start practicing yoga by ourselves, it’s like we light a fire within. And this fire helps us cook everything we have ever put into our caldron – knowledge and experience, including the painful one. Our speed of life grows, and it’s easier for us to deal with life.