I remember a conversation I had with a friend last summer, during which I voiced my reluctance to tend to my garden. I told her I used to be an avid gardener and relished in tending for at least an hour each day after work to the produce I was growing. But that was years ago, before I had children. Although I attempted to garden while my children were younger, for several years, I was forced to give up after our vegetables were eaten overnight by unwelcome critters. My countless attempts to keep them out were unsuccessful. I felt frustrated and reluctant to start again from scratch.
I’m not sure what it was that finally inspired me to create a new garden, but several weeks ago, I got to work, digging in the soil and planting seedlings. I now find myself checking the progress every day, and delight in every small success. It’s because I have been so invested in this project that I notice every seemingly minor detail. I watch the golden courgettes transform overnight and am overcome with awe as I recognise that, like children, vegetables do most of their growing during those resting hours. Stepping outside and walking across the lawn toward the garden bed, I feel my body and mind soften as my awareness becomes focused. I lean in, immerse myself in curiosity.
At the beginning, I worked hard, sweating while I turned the soil mix and compost, pulled weeds from an existing garden bed to make room for more friendly, agreeable plants. These days, when I stop in for my daily visits to water and observe the changes, without much thought, I reach over and pinch a tiny new pesky weed here, and another there. I stay consistent, doing just a little bit every day, and the progress is delightfully rewarding. It no longer feels like work.
You may have guessed where this story is going. I believe that we can glean lessons from our projects off the mat that often reflect our practice directly to us. If you have been practising for several years, you may recall how new and perhaps challenging everything felt at the start of your journey. You may have felt uncertain about what you were doing in the first few classes you attended. You may have wondered whether yoga is ‘working’ for you. With time and consistency, we have come a long way. During full days, I often feel I don’t have much time for my practice. Yet, I remember why I practise, what it is that brings me back. I roll out my mat. I sit and breathe; sometimes I move for 15 or 20 minutes. It doesn’t take much to remember, to reconnect.
What are you tending to in your life? What new seedlings are you caring for? The progress might seem slow at times, and the work might feel challenging. I hope that you can stay patient and curious. I hope that your work feels purposeful and, ultimately, brings you joy and fulfillment.
See you on the mat.
Katia, with regards from the team at 3118 Yoga