(waves lapping) So, how do you know if your practice is on track and if you're quote, doing it right. Here are eight questions to help you assess. First of all, before practice, a key question is, are you looking forward to your practice? So, sometimes, in the beginning it can feel like something that we have to make ourselves do, we can feel like a bit of a warrior of the practice. Slowly, with some time, it becomes something that we really look forward to, we feel loved by our practice.
And then with a little bit more time, it becomes something that we become devoted to. We become devotees of our practice. During the practice, there are three questions that can really help you know if what you're doing is right for you. One. Is this pain good for me?
So, there are two general kinds of pain in yoga. Good pain and bad pain. That good pain tends to have kind of a dull, achy like, oh, I've never stretched this before in my life. Kind of wide, unspecific feeling. Generally that pain's okay.
Bad pain tends to be hot, sharp, specific, fiery, searing. (growls) Generally, we recommend staying away from that kind of pain. So, as you play within your practice, know that sometimes you'll come across something that's uncomfortable but it's okay. When you get the feedback of that hot, sharp, generally avoid that. Two.
How's your face? So, our face is this wonderful dashboard instrument of how things are going. All of us have been in a situation when we say one thing but the person's like, "your face says something else". Your face will indicate what's really going on and sometimes you'll feel this clenching in your jaw, your eyes, your forehead, your mouth, your ears. And sometimes you can just simply relax your face but sometimes if you can't relax your face then chances are you need to back off a little bit, make a move, change, so that your face can be soft again.
The third question to ask while you're practicing is, how's my breath? So, unintentionally constricted breath almost always indicates that we're over-efforting. Now the breath won't always be full and deep but it can always be even and steady. So, sometimes the breath will get very shallow, sometimes the breath will be very deep but as long as we're maintaining a conscious relationship with what the breath is doing, we're gonna be okay. And so then, after practice, there are four questions that can help us assess if our practice is really effective or right for us.
The first one is, how do I feel after my practice? So, you might feel really good during your practice but later on in the day, if you're exhausted, sapped or more irritable or more annoyed, then the chances are the practice you're choosing isn't quite right. So, really do, just like playing with any kind of medicine, do assess what are the results. Another place to look is how's your sleep. Are you more easily able to fall asleep at night?
Are you sleeping deeper, are you waking up more rested? With proper practice, your sleep should be able to support you more easily. How are your relationships? Are you finding that you have more patience, more openness, more understanding, more tolerance? Are you more easily able to assess what relationships nourish you and what relationships drain you.
Are you more easily able to tell the truth, be kind, not take what's not yours? These are kind of the questions that you want to start to assess. Your relationships should start to have more room and space. Simultaneously, you should be able to assess which relationships are more supportive and more nourishing and which ones are more challenging and difficult. The last question to help you assess whether or not your practice is working is, how are you treating yourself?
Generally this is our primary relationship. Our most intimate relationship is with ourselves. And so, if the practice is working then it should be easier to be more loving, more honest, more caring and more accepting of who we are truly. Stay close, we're in this together. Glad you're here.