Last month I took a trip with the kids to my hometown to participate in the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. It was a delicious, educational and nourishing experience.  One of the activities available was a station to plant maple tree seeds.  My five-year-old, thrilled with the visually represented instructions, has since been repeating the “ingredients” needed to grow his tree as he eagerly awaits the surfacing of the first sprout. 

His patience, consistency, and wonder have inspired me to share some of the ingredients the Yoga Sutras offer for growing your yoga practice.

Two primary components are abhyasa (practice itself, characterized by continuous, enthusiastic effort over time) and vairagya (non-attachment to the fruits of the practice, detachment from the changing nature of the bodymind and material experiences). 

This can also be thought of as cultivating a balance between effort and surrender.  Each day, or as often as you have committed to, you must do the thing…whether it’s rolling out your yoga mat, taking some conscious breaths, sitting for meditation, you take the action.  There may be some days where you can readily observe progress – a change in the content of the mind, a sense of ease in the body, less resistance, etc.  There may be many days when no change is perceived (much like the unchanged surface of the soil my little one peers at each day).  This is where the surrender and non-attachment come in. 

We relax effort into trust or faith that beneath the surface, obstacles are being unearthed, nourishment is flowing and the space for something new to emerge is being created.  

As you embrace this transition into spring, notice what you can add in or trim away to create the conditions for your highest potential to emerge.

Click below to try the Apana Vayu Kriya, helpful for increasing groundedness and steadiness within you.

Meghan Hogan, E-RYT 500, CCC-SLP is Lead Faculty for the Yoga Vidya Teacher Training and In-Depth Studies program, a Speech-Language Pathologist supporting preschool children with disabilities and their families, a wife and mother.

Her mission in sharing yoga is to provide caregivers of all walks of life tools for self-care and stress management.