When I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga I heard the phrase “do your practice and all is coming” very often. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) said those wise words. It seemed very easy to understand, I thought. I just had to do my Yoga practice and all was coming. But what is “all”? and how does it just “come” if you practice?
I started showing up to practice everyday. At first there were many postures I couldn’t do; some others were really easy. And then it was very obvious: the poses I couldn’t do became easier the more I tried them and eventually I could do them. Later I did my first Vipassana meditation retreat, where you sit still for several hours for 10 days and don’t speak at all. In many of the recorded teachings we watched, S.N. Goenka said, “continuity of practice is the secret of success.” And again, it made sense. For the first few days I could hardly sit still for a few minutes, but by the last days of the retreat I could sit for much longer. There, too, was the evidence of the benefit of practice.
Nowadays, through my daily practice, those words have taken on a different meaning. I find myself more in touch with what’s going on physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. It only takes “common sense” to see that if you practice something it becomes possible. But when you learn it through your own body and the deepest layers of your being, practicing with all your heart and faith, then you can really understand it. The “all” really means “all.” You start from your physical and mental health, you get more awareness of your own being and little by little over time you realize the amazing potential you have to create and do anything.
My teacher Kino MacGregor says that Yoga is a process where the impossible becomes possible and the possible eventually becomes easy, and I believe through dedication and practice this becomes clear. Practice an asana and you might achieve it. Practice being nice and you’ll be nicer. Dedicate time to your art and you’ll become a better artist. Practice patience and you’ll be patient. I continue to be inspired by Guruji’s simple but profound statement, and I look forward to deepening my understanding of his words.