When renowned Ashtanga practitioner/instructor, David Swenson was in Seoul for an Ashtanga workshop, he said something like this:
“The hardest part of yoga is to just show up. Once you are there, the rest happens.”
He went on to say that if you just get up, put on your yoga clothes and stand on the mat, you’ve accomplished something. What naturally tends to happen is that once on that mat, you figure you may as well do the sun salutations which lead to the standing series and then a few sitting poses—and it just keeps going. Sharing this piece of advice through his gentle, humble and kind demeanor, David’s message stuck for me.
Yeah, there are days when I feel heavy or lethargic or just “don’t wanna.” By just showing up, I find that I move beyond my projections and end up feeling great after the practice. Guess that’s what Swenson meant when he said, “I’ve never regretted practicing.”
Just show up. Seems simple. In what other areas of life can this be applied?
- Communication with your spouse is currently challenging. Just show up; keep trying to find ways to understand one another.
- You’ve just finished eating a donut at a meeting while you’ve pledged to a new diet. Just show up; from this moment on become more mindful of your snack choices.
- That project, book or blog post didn’t get the feedback you anticipated. Just show up; keep working at it. If there’s passion behind what you do, it will get noticed.
I don’t expect those days when I just “don’t wanna” will vanish. It’s very human to have lapses in motivation. But having the intention of moving forward—of rolling out the yoga mat, so to speak—is the first step that may lead to more.
Excerpt from Elephant Journal Article My First Yoga Lesson: Just Show Up by Christine Martin