Friday, September 21, 2012

Bring Joy to Your Practice (smile!)

I really think I used to have a great Bikram's yoga practice!  Better than it has been for the past year or so.  I could blame lots of things, but one thing I know, I simply do not practice as much as I used to.  My schedule has changed, or should I say, my priorities have changed?  As always I still practice, without fail, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with Sunday always being optional (but rarely missed!).  BUT, I used to have a double practice on those three days, which meant that my regular practice consisted of 6-7, 90 minute classes a week.  This past year it's been half of what it was previous, if I'm lucky....oh, but wait, I am lucky!  High quality problem huh?  I only practice yoga 4 1/2 - 6 hours a week instead of 10+ hours a week!  Cry me a river!  Anyway...

I'm driving to class Wednesday morning, in all honesty I was not looking forward to it.  I hear the thoughts in my head...."God this is going to be torture!", "this is going to suck!", "argh!", "maybe if traffic is bad I'll miss, and then I'll just go shopping! Yes, shopping is fun!!", or, "this is going to be so painful"....and the "painful" part is really my ego.  Physically, it's just yoga!  But facing how my life has changed, how I've changed my life, leaves only me to blame.

Maybe it's not as important to me anymore?  But it feels like it is!  I don't like how it feels to know I can do better, but yet not put into action what I need to make it better, or feel as it is as good as it once was, OR, at the very least, stop feeling bad and accept that it may be time to move onto something else. Something else that inspires me to be my best again.  My Bikram's yoga practice is not doing that!  Whoa.....!!!!!!  Was I blaming Bikram's again?

So, as I was driving to my 10:00am class on Wednesday, with all of my negative thoughts about the practice, my practice, the last one negative thought I had....the very last one was this;

I'm just not finding joy in my practice anymore.

Right after I had that thought, there was no denying how negative it was, and I had to stop.  What?  What was that you just said?  You are not finding joy in your practice?  Well!  When was the last time YOU brought joy to YOUR practice?  Busted!  I totally busted myself!

When was the last time I brought the joy?  How could I expect something else to be responsible for how I felt?  It's my responsibility to find the joy in my life, in all parts of my life, not just yoga.  This resonated so deeply that I immediately thought about all of the other parts of my life I could bring the joy, or more joy!  How lucky!  I love my life!  I love my yoga practice!  I really, really, really see now, again, that I am the one that decides my mood!  Amazing!

I see every part of my life as "my practice".  My relationships are a practice.  My eating, and food prep, a practice.  My training, definitely a practice.  My health, from brushing my teeth everyday to washing my hair, a practice.  Keeping a house/home, a practice.  Driving...a practice.  Balancing my money, a practice.  Writing, a practice.  Thinking in positive and grateful ways, a practice.  so much joy to have, and so much joy to bring.

Bring joy to your practice before you blame your practice for not giving you joy first. Smile!


Diana said...

Good post Tracy!
I lost joy in everything...and yes I'm going to make myself very real and vulnerable by continuing on with this comment, but at my age, I've become comfortable with myself and to waste any time worrying about other's thoughts is just that..a waste of time....
I lost my joy because i lost my faith. My path is now a great path, one that is in God's hands.
One of His greatest gifts to me has been putting kettlebells into my life!
Sometimes things have to go wrong before they can go right. Sometimes you have to let the wrong people walk out before the right people can walk in. Sometimes you have to feel weak in order to know what it's like to truly be strong. Sometimes you have to take the good in with the bad, knowing that in the end it's all a worthwhile learning experience....
We must not only bring joy to our practice-but also bring joy back to our lives!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Let loose! No body reads this blog anyway! lol (kidding Universe! Everybody reads this blog!)

"practice joy" in what ever you do, in whoever you are, and get into the habit of doing it everyday is really the message.

dherself said...

Thanks, Tracy. Your words echoed some of my own thoughts lately. A couple of weeks ago, I began keeping a gratitude diary. It helps me see the joy in my life. But your words opened up new ways to feel positive in my life. Much appreciated.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Great! I ended you having a great yoga class that day, and it wasn't because my practice was better, it was because I was better!

guy said...

"No body reads this blog anyway!" What am I, chopped liver?! ;) lol. Great post! I practiced/taught a freestyle martial art called American Karate for years, when I lost joy in it, I stopped! Took up Krav Maga & Combatives 10 years ago & have'nt looked back. Sometimes, loss of joy signifies need for change.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I should have wrote, "no body that is judgey reads this blog"!

Anyway, you are absolutely right about listening to when it's time to move on. And that's how I was taking it, and may, in fact, look in other directions too. It was when I felt like I was "blaming" that was a red light to me.

I may be tired of Bikrams, or I may have out grown it, and it may be time to move on, but I can chose to move on by looking back without any feelings of regret.

Thank you for bringing that point up!

Hanneke said...

"I am looking for ways to bring more fun to my run"

One of my positive thoughts for running and I love it. I always smile and try to say hi to most people I pass by. I think it's important to smile and stay happy and positive, it makes a big difference.

Tracy Reifkind said...


It never, never hurts to smile! Well, maybe sometimes it feels like it's going to, but it never does!

bip said...

Well, yes life is too short to waste it having not enough fun, the time to suffer comes on its own, no need to be proactive about it ;-)

If things stop being fun, might be the time to move on. I think that Crawling thing, Primal Move n MovNat that sort of stuff might be worth exploring. We might have to start thimking less about keeping in shape and more about the pleasure and fun of moving freely and gracefully :-)

Tracy Reifkind said...


everything physical is worth exploring! One never knows what they will develop an affinity for.

Not everything is for everybody, even kettlebells and PM. But that doesn't mean that most everybody could benefit from a little of both, or either.

Right now my yoga practice has benefits, improving my mood, well I've got something else going on! But it improves my health, and for that I am grateful.