I was recently rereading a section in a book by a leader in the field of Yoga Therapy and came across these words, which have certainly rang true in my experience.
Although we may often conceptualize transformation as sweeping change, we must consider that transformation may more often consist of the subtle and incremental. (Marlysa Sullivan, Understanding Yoga Therapy)
We have probably all heard some dramatic stories of transformation from the world of yoga, spirituality, and fitness. Perhaps you have even been promised that a certain program, book or training would transform you in some big way. Chances are those promises have not always rung true.
These stories and promises of “sweeping change” can be inspirational and may indeed start you down a path of transformation, which is great! Yet, if we expect dramatic change to happen quickly and easily without consistent effort we could simply be setting ourselves up for disappointment and a feeling of failure. What if we recognized the slow and steady approach as the strategy to get to our desired goal?
I am reminded of the story of the Tortoise and the Hare where of course it was the slow steady tortoise that won the race, not the quick, inconsistent hare. Despite this story being so well known, it is speed and quick results that tend to be celebrated in our culture while the slow steady approach is actually the one that in the long run may more consistently provide the desired results.
When I look back at my own journey with yoga as a tool of transformation the changes from the beginning, over 18 years ago, until now are huge in summation. Although they came over time through subtle and incremental shifts, I can identify certain key shifts that happened that then allowed for other subtle changes to begin, leading to additional shifts.
From the outside some of the changes that I made may have seemed to be quick and sweeping changes. Like when I read a particular book and then quit my job to commit to yoga therapy training – in reality the desire to become a yoga therapist had been present for at least 7 years at that point and I was making progress toward that goal- in retrospect I needed those 7 years to experience gradual changes that allowed me to feel ready to make that seemingly large shift which was really created by incremental shifts along the way.
I sometimes get ahead of myself and wish for something that seems impossible to be a reality right now, and then I try to remember where I am now in my life would have seemed impossible 18 years ago when I began this journey or even a year ago when COViD was a new reality.
Looking back at the progress so far allows me to have faith that although I don’t know exactly where this path of slow steady change will lead me by consistently showing up to study and being willing to explore in practice the journey will continue to lead to new opportunities and new understandings.
I love to offer this slow and steady approach to yoga students, yoga therapy clients and retreat participants. I don’t make grand promises of quick sweeping change and yet I do believe you will experience shifts if you 1. commit to the practice, 2. really and truly study yourself while practicing, and 3. in so doing connect with and honor your unique spirit.
If you are looking for a little deeper dive exploring slow steady transformation our retreats offer opportunities to do this in community, while the exploration of private yoga therapy sessions is a way to narrow in on your own personal wellness goals.
If I can be of any assistance along your journey please do reach out!