Updated: Aug 30, 2021
Just what is a personal practice? For those of you in the yoga world, or even mindfulness world (or perhaps just on Earth), you might have heard of people talking about their personal practice. I used to assume that meant my physical yoga practice, the art of asana. And then that concept grew to include the things that I do each day to sort of honor myself, or a morning ritual, or to set myself up for the day - how I heard that was ‘what mindfulness things do you do every single morning?’
Every time someone would ask what my personal practice was, I would immediately feel embarrassed and ashamed, because I didn’t have a personal yoga practice - hell, I haven’t stepped onto my mat to be lead by a teacher in about 18 months. Cue the shaming thoughts ‘what kind of yoga teacher are you, how can you not practice what you preach’ (to be fair, I don’t preach this. Do I think a physical yoga practice is great, yes I do, but do I think everyone should have one, no I do not.), or what kind of yogi are you if you aren’t practicing? You don’t meditate? OMG you should be smited. Etc. Even after speaking to friends about a personal practice, and their wonderful encouragement of ‘it doesn’t have to be yoga or meditation, it could just be you rolling your mat out and sitting’ I still felt inadequate (which, is definitely something that I have recently uncovered in my shadow work).
It wasn’t until this morning when I was making my coffee (which, is part of my morning ritual - wake up, pee, tongue scrape, snuggle on the floor with the dog until she gets annoyed, make coffee) that I realized I actually do have a personal practice, it just looks completely different than what I thought it should look like. Should. Insert eye roll. This is a word I happen to get a little preachy about.
For the last 24+ days, I have been diving deep into some self work. Story of my life really, but I truly enjoy the stuff, I swear I’m not a masochist. I started by signing up for a year membership in To Be Magnetic - mentioned in the EXPANDED podcast - which I am obsessed with. At the same time, a free month long program popped up all about wealth consciousness by a woman who’s paid programs I am not quite yet allowing myself to invest in, because it triggers my lack mentality. Each of these have a daily component - be it journaling, watching a content video, doing energetic clearing, deep imaginings (i.e. guided meditations), etc. The second week of these things, another one of the teachers I have studied under offered a free week long shadow work course - obviously I signed up. All of these things are so deeply intertwined even though they are all different. Last week, I signed up for another free week long course diving into wealth consciousness mindset, by yet another amazing woman who I’m sad I didn’t come across earlier - but I know the timing is always right. All of this is the same shit, but presented differently. It boils down to our old habits, patterns and beliefs (that are clearly no longer serving us) that we are living our lives by - acknowledging them, honoring them, and then letting them go.
So you see, I do actually have a personal practice. I spend a couple hours a day doing this stuff, because at this moment in my life I am able to do that. And, a personal practice does not need to require this much dedication! It could simply be just drinking your coffee, or going for a walk, or anything you want. This practice will certainly change once my month long program is over, once I’m on my honeymoon, once I return and establish a regular routine again, and all of that is okay. Whatever it is that I am choosing to do for me, falls under the category of personal practice, and it can change every single day.