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  • Atsuko

Finish Your Practice with Appetite for More

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

A few years ago I bought a dark red woolly jumper from a high street shop. I really liked it and wore a lot, but last year I noticed it was getting thin at the back. Then I saw on the internet a project to make blankets out of old woolly jumpers. You need 4-5 old jumpers, wash them hot and cut them up into squares and stitch them together.It sounded fun.

I worked on the project in my head for a few months and collected the jumpers. Then finally washed them and cut them up, and started putting them together. I was excited!

Then one day, I overdid it. I spent too much time stitching the pieces together until late at night. And somehow I lost the enthusiasm. It suddenly felt like a hard work. It wasn’t so much of a fun project anymore.

This reminded me of what my teacher David Swenson said.

‘Finish your practice with appetite for more.’

It was so refreshing to hear this from somebody like David since, especially in Ashtanga yoga, it is very easy to get carried away. Yoga is not meant to be competitive, you know that, but even when you are practising alone, it is easy to get competitive with yourself. You need to do every vinyasa. Maybe even full vinyasa. You must do every single posture in the primary series. Only then you feel mildly happy with your practice.

I had many students who became very keen and excited initially. Many of them very enthusiastic and bought books and DVDs and wanted to talk about it a lot. And they stopped coming.

Maybe they moved to another teachers. Maybe they moved away.

Or they gave up?

Yoga is a long, slow and sometimes tedious path. Yoga is not particularly exciting just like having a balance diet is not exciting. Sometimes you don’t know why you do it.

But somehow you continue. You notice some benefit. You look back and realise something has shifted. You notice you don’t feel so good if you don’t practice for a while. So you continue.

Yoga becomes part of you. Practise every day if you want. Once a week if it suits you. Just don’t give up and don’t lose the appetite for it.

Anyway, my blanket. I will go back to it but allow myself only 30 minutes each sitting. Hopefully I will have a lovely warm blanket for my savasana soon.

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