My practice changes from day to day. A few things, however, stay consistent:
1. I show up on the mat. 2. I am clean. 3. My belly is 99% empty, only a couple of glasses of warm water to keep me light. 4. I keep to a schedule, practicing every morning. 5. I allow myself to see how I physically and mentally feel before I begin, whether I had less or more sleep, starting my menstrual cycle, or if there are any sensitive or emotional things going on in my life. 6. The poses. I follow the sequence of Ashtanga Yoga.
But that’s it! Once you begin practicing consistently you will quickly understand that every pose, every day will bring new insight, that no matter how consistent you are there is always inconsistency, that I call life. Some days you will feel strong and grounded, breathing through it without noticing any disturbance. Other days, you will find yourself struggling with thoughts of resentment or discomfort in your heart. And other times you will diligently follow your teacher‘s instruction, correcting poses while following the sequence with focus. There are also the days you say fuck it and quickly power through poses faster and with less focus than normal.
This constant inconsistency of how I show up on my mat has taught me how I show up to life. I learned that I need to show up daily if I want to know myself. And with each practice I become less rigid and more compassionate towards myself and where I am in life.
So much of life is out of our control, but once we start to focus on what is in our control, magic starts to unfold. By the sole act of showing up, you learn to honour yourself. You learn to hear what it is that you may need and then you learn to honour that by taking appropriate action.You learn to ask for what you want and be shamelessly clear about it. You develop the courage and strength to express love without the neediness of expecting anything in return.
I practice 6 days a week taking moon days and my menstrual cycle off. You can start with 3 or even 2 days a week, but most importantly you have to start and build from where you are. Eventually you will show up more and more consistently. And once you experience the resultant flow of intense power and joy, you will never want to go back.