my yoga asana practice part 3

Here is part 3.

For the leg lift exercises usually I do as many times as my body can do. Sometimes I do more, sometimes I do less. There’s no need to count how many times. It is not important how many times we can lift the legs up, and it’s not that every one can keep the legs completely straight nor can open the legs as wide as some people do, it’s fine. Everyone has a different body type, different physical limitation, and different flexibility and strength. If the lower back is not strong enough or there’s some back problems, then put the palms down side by side under the buttocks to support the lower back. If there’s some injuries or physical limitations that you cannot perform certain exercises, then don’t do it or make some adjustments. Even if your body cannot perform any of the exercises or poses, you still can practice yoga.

Love and peace has nothing to do with whether our body is strong and flexible or not.

Yoga is not determined by how strong and flexible our body is. Yoga is not determined by how many times we can lift the legs up, nor how long we can stand on our head, nor how far our fingers can touch the toes. It’s about developing non-attachment and accepting the reality as it is at the present moment.

It doesn’t mean that we are “bad” or “weak” in practicing yoga if we can only do 5 leg lifts, and it doesn’t mean that we are very “good” or “strong” in practicing yoga if we can do 200 leg lifts. Just do whatever your body can do at the present moment when you are doing it. Every time or every practice it might be different. Sometimes the body is more energetic and sometimes it is less energetic. Sometimes it is more flexible and sometimes it is less flexible. That is the nature of impermanence.

Learn to be comfortable in all the exercises, not struggling and not forcing our body to go beyond its limitation. Relaxed into all the poses and hold as long as you can comfortably. Slowly the body will build up strength and flexibility.

Even if the body still not strong or flexible to perform certain poses after many years of practice, it’s fine. That doesn’t determine that we are good or bad in practicing yoga.

Learn to accept the condition of our body as it is, and be comfortable with our body as it is at the present moment now. Not comparing ourselves with our own past experience. Not projecting into the future what we want our body to become. Let the result or the benefits come naturally. Allow the strength and flexibility to come naturally. Even though we don’t know what are the benefits from doing the exercises or not having any expectation from doing the exercises, the benefits will still be there. It won’t increase when we know about it or have expectation. It won’t decrease nor disappear when we don’t know about it nor not having any expectation. Not comparing with other people nor try to become somebody else that we are not.

Be comfortable with ourselves for who we are, what we are, how we are, where we are, what we are doing and not doing, what we can do and cannot do. There’s no craving nor aversion. There’s no craving to become more strong, more flexible, more happy, more wise, or more peaceful… Because “we” are not determined by all these qualities… We are eternal peace itself. We don’t become peaceful or unpeaceful, that impermanent changing “peacefulness” and “unpeacefulness” is just the impermanent state of the mind… We are not the mind, but we are aware of all the states of the mind. There’s no aversion towards what we are now, how we are now, where we are now, what we are doing or not doing, what we can do or cannot do.

Peace is always there in us. It never increase nor decrease. This peace is not determined nor conditioned by the impermanent condition of our body or the ability of our body to do this or that…

Om shanti.

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