It’s very natural that we start off with a physical practice that drives and inspires us in yoga. And, in many cases, it’s a core reason why you – and many of your students, if you’re a teacher – come to this thing called yoga.
The author of The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, T.K.V. Desikachar, alludes to solely practicing asana (i.e. the physical aspects of yoga) as analogous with doing one-armed bicep curls. In this light, while you might have one super-toned, functional bicep, the larger body, by and large, is critically unbalanced.
It’s also a very natural process that you can become bored, and even disenchanted, with the particular asana practice you’ve been doing. It’s useful to apply a “Process of Product” lens when this happens.
In other words, if experiencing this particular malaise, it might signal that you’ve outgrown the particular expression of asana you’ve been practicing. However, this doesn’t mean you have to abandon the practice you love. It’s simply a space to adapt and grow.
In short, transformation and change call us to add increasing amount of complexity to our practice. This is a great message for all facets of learning, but in terms of asana this might mean you add Tai Chi or Qi Gong to your current movement practice. Maybe you shift your addition slightly away from asana and develop a truer meditation or concentration practice.
You may also be experiencing a natural progression where you’re ready to seek out new teachers. It’s deeply important that you’re exactly where you are today because of your previous teachers and guides. However, they may not be the appropriate spiritual and technical channels for you to grow into the next, higher version of yourself.
This stage in your growth can also entail you traveling to other cities to discover those teachers who align with your interests, and who can offer the highest-quality information and experiences you crave. In fact, you might be the only person willing and able enough to absorb that information and, in turn, draw it back to you own local tribe.
Where’s another way of considering the asana boredom factor: Boredom is a powerful gateway to mastery. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been personally bored with my own practice. What has radically made the difference, though, has been contained in a constant question I ask myself:
“Can I be bored – you could even add the emotions “angry”, “sad”, “afraid”, and the like – and do this masterfully anyway. Know that I’m not reference to dishonoring my intuition and wisdom to drop my need to push through or ignore pain. I AM speaking to our biological tendency to be fickle and distracted when grit and persistence would actually make the difference.
More than anything, know that your bodily responses will give you all the information you need to know whether you can up-grade, drop or shift your personal asana practice. The other piece of this inquiry is just how important it is to discuss how your growing with other intuitive students and teacher.
Much love and happy moving!