The Perfect Yoga Practice
For the beginning Kundalini yoga student, one of the most common questions is: How often should I come to class or practice yoga?
“How often” means there is a measurable number, an amount of time, or a finite quantity that you can achieve, mark off, and finish. Sort of like brushing your teeth twice a day, changing your oil every 5000 miles, or visiting your mother-in-law once a year. You did it. Mission accomplished.
Is there a measurable amount of yoga we need to do?
Some experts opine that practicing yoga two to three times a week brings results. But what results? A flexible body? Reduced stress? Firm yoga butt? Cosmic union?
For over 35 years, students often asked Yogi Bhajan, the master teacher of Kundalini Yoga, how often should they practice yoga. Time and time again his answer never changed.
Before you get his answer, be warned that it will provoke you, change you, and challenge you. Okay –read on!
Realize that the word “practice” is misleading when we talk about yoga. To practice something implies doing something over and over again until you become proficient, like learning to play the piano or make a basketball fall through a hoop. After all, “practice makes perfect,” right?
Maybe for water skiing or ballroom dancing, but not for Yoga. In yoga, practice never makes perfect.
The quest for perfection is an illusionary goal that keeps you playing the game of ego accomplishment and that by practicing enough, you will be perfect, you will arrive at your goal. But this is not true for yoga. Yoga is about the journey and not the destination.
Does that mean that practice itself is a misleading way to view yoga? Absolutely not. Yoga is 99 percent practice and one percent knowing what to practice. You need a teacher for that one percent but the rest you must do by yourself.
How often must you do this yoga practice?
You should practice enough so that it is no longer a practice. You should practice yoga until it becomes a habit, it becomes your routine, it becomes your life. And then it stops being a practice and becomes your sadhana.
When your yoga practice becomes your sadhana, then you realize that there has never been a time when this “practice” was not already “perfect.”
So – one more time: How often should you practice yoga?
For the rest of your life.