A Commitment to Consistency

TEXT by Katherine Oakes | PHOTOGRAPHS by Daryl Ferrara


Yoga is palpable connection. And yet, I always laugh at my inability to truly explain it. To make a habit of regularly connecting to your body, on a deep and nuanced level, isn’t an experience that is easy to communicate—in fact, it is incredibly personal. When asked, “What is yoga?”, so many of us are left with only esoteric descriptions to try and convince others to be as excited as we are about all this, er...hippy-dippy...stuff. In short, it is deeply felt, and sometimes deeply difficult to convey.


There’s a beautiful quote by John Muir that goes, “When we try to pick something out by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”. We are hitched to ourselves, we our hitched to each other, and breath by breath, we are always hitched to this moment. Consistency in a yoga practice is a commitment, as well, to constant exploration and intimacy with yourself. It invites you in, but doesn’t force you to really look; it calls you to action, but doesn’t make you work—yoga only offers you the choice. I think that perhaps, the real gift of the practice is the opportunity to recognize just how powerful you are by making that choice, over and over again. And to boldly, make the choice to engage, to move, and to deeply feel the way in which you are moved in return.


Despite my conviction that yoga is hard to explain, I find that most days, I can boil it down to something as simple as this: Practice for practice’s sake. If it’s the finish line you’re aiming for, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it. Neuoscientific studies have discovered that our sense of self is anchored in a vital connection to our bodies, and how we experience, interpret, and engage with the world is directly affected by the way in which we do all of that with ourself first. To me, this committment of connection is incredibly important. Like the practice of living a conscious, inspired lifestyle, my time on the mat both anchors me to myself and offers a larger perspective to navigate the world and this ever-changing landscape of your mind-body with.

So practice for practie's sake, because our yoga has a funny way of mirroring our life, and if ever we think we’re done, something new inevitably begins. Unsurprisingly, some of the most grueling work I have ever done has been on the mat, and yet, like so many of us, I come back time and time again—not solely for the end result, but for the invaluable process of the practice itself.