Charting Your Yoga Practice

Taking stock of your yoga practice

Many people take up the practice of yoga and other internal arts, and eventually quit when they feel that their progress has slowed. The purpose of this article is to give you some guidelines with which to assess your progress. Please bear in mind that these guidelines differ from person to person and with the amount of time spent on practice.

1) Initial signs of progress at the beginner level consist of increase flexibility, strength and balance.
2) As we progress our minds start to calm and we experience less thoughts.
3) As we now have fewer thoughts, we start to experience a calming and relaxation of the whole body mind complex.
4) Our breath elongates and we tend to realize that our practice time feels like only 10 minutes have passed, when in essence we have been on our mats for 1 hour.
5) As our thoughts slow down, our minds start to clear. Often old emotional memories start to float into our consciousness.
6) Eventually the time necessary for us to calm down after incidents gets smaller and smaller.
7) Old problems become less important and we spend less time pondering them.
8) We start to focus on solving our problems and making our decisions based on our intuitive judgment.
9) We start to breath from our belly, just like a baby, and we discover the lower abdominal region where our breath originates.
10) The quality of our thoughts starts to change and we start to experience more good thoughts then bad thoughts
11) Our anger starts to dissipate and does not stay with us endlessly.
12) Less cursing occurs in our minds.
13) We are now able to receive loving thoughts, replacing hateful thoughts of the past.
14) We start to treat all peoples with respect and compassion.
15) We no longer need to speak about people who are not present.
16) We see our practice as a connection to the entire universe and treat it as a holy experience.
17) It becomes a ritualistic dance performed with love pulsating from our heart chakra.
18) Our mats are our temples and our asanas become our prayers.
19) We start to experience states of blissful happiness from time to time.
20) We now see and perceive the universe in
A new way.

So, there you have it. Something for you to ponder? This list will give you a chance to access your progress; however don’t spend too much time on it. Just do your practice and remember to stay on the road instead of focusing on the goals.