Practice Your Practice
“The fight is won or lost far away from witness…in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” ~ Muhammad Ali
As I reflect on the David’s most recent email to our community, I am pulled back to the significance of what it means to practice, practice. A great friend and deeply admired fellow teacher of mine shared wisdom from the book Resilience by Eric Greitens. I just mailed David the book and look forward to his thoughts.
The book reads, “People who don’t understand the possibilities inherent in practice often conclude that they “are” a certain way. When they fail or succeed they think, “I am stupid” or “I am smart” or “I am lazy” or “I am evil” or “I am fat” or “I am funny.” By concluding that they “are” a certain way, they fix their identity to the present and the past, and they often look to the future with fear and trepidation. Those who practice practice use their experience to inform who they can be. “That happened, so next time I should . . .” or, “If that happens again, I’ll . . .” or, “That was great, and to get even better, then next time I should practice . . . Learning how to practice is essential to moving through, because it is the discipline of practice itself that allows you to take what happens to you, integrate it into your experience, and then act again. The more you see that life can be practiced, the more resilient you will become.”
Resilience is not something that is suddenly acquired. It requires practice and, with that, becomes a way of being. For David, he truly has embodied resilience and clearly reminds me of the importance of practicing practice. I leave you with his words. Namaste, Leslie
“I have noticed through teaching in here that the mental and emotional history of an individual plays a huge role in their physical practice. It is clearly evident in a place like this where it seems that everyone has been through a lot of trauma and hardship, and have made bad choices to lead them to this current situation. Our mental and emotional history plays a large role in shaping how we view the world and ourselves. The influences that come from our past interactions and ordeals, both good and bad, become a part of us on a physical and energetic level. It is just like the saying “Your issues live in your tissues”. The negative energy of trauma, big or small, either passes through you or it gets stuck. I have seen this in myself and students and it is important to be aware of these places where the stuck energy comes up, and then to try and release it. As things have progressed in class here many students have realized that some issues that were originally thought of as being physical limitations were actually mental/emotional blockages. Through the consistent practice I have seen how these beliefs and emotions can be released from the body, giving more opening and movement to the area in question. It is an amazing thing to see while teaching, and to feel within my own practice. While teaching at the studio before this, I had seen many students have breakthroughs where their pent up energy in the tissues was released, causing deep emotions followed by tears even sometimes to be released. It is somewhat difficult to do because it involves surrendering to the moment and to what is, not the story and energy you have been clinging to in this area of your body and in life in general.
With all of the turmoil in my life, it has been difficult to stay grounded within my normal and healthy routine. I believe it takes a strong emotional and mental flexibility to avoid becoming polarized in a negative state of mind that is all too common in here. Every day is a struggle being confronted with negativity, recognizing it, and then not allowing it to get stuck as it passes through me. My yoga practice and breath work has allowed me to keep that neutral emotional and mental state. I have learned much about myself and those people in my life who have been there for me through this. I think I have been changed for the better through this process and I am eager to share what I have learned with all of you in the community. 🙂
Love & light,