Master teacher David Garrigues explains how and why devotion to daily practice is absolutely essential:
Each day’s practice holds the key, gives me the renewed possibility for my full expression of ‘living, loving and growing’. Practice is essential because often when challenging circumstances arise, even though I’m not directly conscious of it…my heart closes and I’m not able to access it. That is why I need to be involved in ‘sadhana’ (spiritual practice) to open my other eyes and really see the heart and Spirit of things…
Presently my practice space sucks, it’s cold, unkempt, cramped and it’s available for only a limited time each day. But I love that spot; I cherish it when I’m alone and silent at 4am and able to practice. My effort, sweat, concentration, and surrender are the qualities that prevent me from giving in to negativity, to cynicism, doubt, lethargy and worse. I am reminded that it doesn’t matter where I lay down my mat, it can be anywhere. Almost all variables are nullified when I make my start… It doesn’t matter that the floor is dirty or the walls are peeling or that I’ll be interrupted by inner gremlins that have an aversion to concentration and breath.
Yoga causes me to continue to say YES to my real life, the life within, its inner meaning and how that meaning finds expression in outer forms, even when my habit patterns continue to tell me to say NO to my inner life. Yoga gives me the power to respond with more openness and love when I’m feeling like closing my heart.
When we’ve practiced Yoga for a significant period of time, time enough to be transformed from the inside out, there is a force that develops in us, a strength that causes us to want to keep making the effort to heal and transform ourselves, our relationships, and our world– no matter what inner or outer circumstances we find ourselves in.
“The following qualities are found in the bodies of every Yogi: great courage, mighty enthusiasm, and full strength.”—The Siva Samhita