The Spiritual Disciplines and Practice

When we get out the mat, whether alone in our bedroom or in a class, to begin Yoga, we call it a “practice.” Every time whether it’s five minutes of easy stretches, some planks and ab poses for core strength, or a 60-minute class, we are practicing.

We bring our mind, body, and spirit together to each pose practicing proper alignment, breathing, focus on the muscles we are working. And we practice, and practice some more, and one day we notice strength and balance and calmness that we didn’t know we could experience.

The same with specifically spiritual disciplines. Some people worry about proper posture for meditation or contemplation. Well, the idea is to relieve yourself of worry. So, lie or sit or walk. Eyes open or closed. The important thing is breath and focus.

If we are slouching as we sit, or our legs are crossed too tightly and we arise stiff with a sore back, well then we’ll learn to adjust our posture.

And if our mind wanders too much, well, that is what it does. It doesn’t want you to reach that sublime state of experience of God. We just relax, return to breath, maybe repeat our key word (God, love, spirit, Om, whatever). It just takes practice.

We learn not to be sloppy in any of our practices. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. But, we aren’t perfect. We just focus and come back tomorrow to try again.

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