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Your Yoga Practice: A Hobby or a Lifestyle?

How dedicated are you to yoga, or it is more of a hobby? I started yoga as an alternative to stretching (I obviously had no idea what I was getting into). It soon became my favorite hobby. It took several years for it to grow into being this essential part of my life, which where I'm now and my relationship with yoga is still constantly evolving.

But I want to make this important distinction between yoga being a hobby (and there's nothing wrong with it if this is what you want) and a way of life. The distinction is not in the number of asanas you can do, but the dedication to your mat and your willingness to sacrifice things for your practice.

Do you have a daily routine, possibly early in the morning - or do you practice when convenient? Do you practice when you're sick, injured, jet lagged, traveling, tired, even for 15 minutes - or do you put if off? Do you prioritize your practice over other physical activities, parties, dates?

A couple of years ago I realized it was time to stop treating it as a hobby and dedicate myself without compromises. It changed my practice, both physically and spiritually, and I can't be happier about it. I sometimes get criticized by my friends and family for putting yoga above everything. I reply that it's not correct since yoga IS everything.

I wish all my fellow practitioners to make the same transition if you haven't as I believe this to be a natural progression. It's like imagine you had a garden: the more time your invest in it, the richer is the harvest. Same is with yoga.

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