Here’s why it can be difficult to practice alone: you hear everything you think and feel everything you feel. Distracted, bored, angry, disappointed, depressed, joyful. And those are just a few. And they move at light speed through your system, changing from one into the other and back again. Whew. What a ride.

When your teacher’s around, and a bunch of other practitioners, you can be distracted by the environment: everyone’s practicing, so it’s easy to join in. Feel like just giving up? How could you, with your teacher there?

At home, you deal with each instant on your own. And it’s astonishing to see how much happens in each instant.

You can hear important stuff too. Yesterday I heard that I need MORE savasana. Otherwise I’m going to burn out. Today I heard that the TV’s been on too much and that it is pulling me outside of myself too much. More quiet time is necessary.

Interesting, when you’re with yourself, how it seems remarkably empty of a lot of the stuff we’re brainwashed to want: noise, visuals, food, interaction, chaos, stuff. Nice to get a break from that. And interesting how it can feel like an alien environment. Just the self.


5 Responses

  1. I was thinking exactly the same thing today. I’ve been practicing alone for 2 weeks and the difference is amazing. Until the end of week 2 (today) it has been an uphill struggle. Today it changed. I took it slow and steady and listened to everything instead of trying to block it out with the breath. I need to look after myself more, and that starts on the mat. I need more savasana too 🙂

  2. Yes. I like the way you describe this. Practicing alone does give a new meaning to “facing myself” for me too. Often, when I’m alone there in my little kitchen (not exactly a place I consecrate most days–the energy of my habitualness there is toward mindlessness), my practice wants to fall apart. I’d never realized until CJs comment, though, that my home practice could deepen once I did it over time, instead of on random holidays and whatnot. Duh. Two weeks… two months… two years….

  3. i love my self practice so much. it used to be a struggle. but now i don’t really want other people with me, i find it more of a distraction.

  4. Hi Karen
    I agree with you. When I was tired, not doing vinyasas in between seated poses and thinking of leaving the room this week, the arrival of other students made me resume on the vinyasas. Then the teacher arrived, and well, it’s difficult to not be cheerful. Teachers are so dedicated.

  5. Oops, here I add a few notes, after reading everyone’s comments. For an entire year I practiced at home and in the shala on Sundays. My practice was nice, yes. I also took the liberty of allowing myself to progress through the series up the the beginning poses of Third. I was doing many poses incorrectly, though. But I made the practice pleasant by waking up at the same time every day, lighting a candle, burning some insence, playing a CD of sacred Indian chants in the background, and doing the practice. I was consistent and rarely missed practicing. On days that I missed practicing it affected my mood negatively.

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