Quote from Hatha Yoga Pradipika:
“Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success.”
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
One of the most powerful changes I’ve witnessed since beginning my teacher training journey is the speed with which my practice improved once I learned to remove the self-defeating thoughts ruminating in my head.
I used to think that the metrics for success in yoga were predicated upon flexibility and strength in the poses, but I have since learned that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In simplest terms, yoga is designed as a system of discipling your mind. That’s quite a profound statement, but once I really understood this and could embody it, a new level of awareness and understanding started to develop.
I love this quote from the Pradipika because two things I struggle with are integrity and discipline. I’ve flitted in and out of yoga for close to a decade, never fully committing. This quote reminds me that success isn’t about being the strongest or the most flexible, it’s about showing up on your mat every day despite anything else that may be happening in your life. Once you start practicing you realize that everything that happens on the mat is applicable to outside your life too. For example, strength is something I’m trying to cultivate in my life right now, and every day I come to the mat and work on my physical strength I am actually developing my emotional, mental, and spiritual strength as well. Every day that I practice yoga is a ‘success’, it's the days when I'm too tired/busy/etc, that my mind wanders into dangerous places and I’m less likely to feel ‘successful’. As I deepen my practice and internal exploration I find myself coming back to this quote to remind myself to not be too hard on myself and to demonstrate gratitude to myself for showing up to class.