It takes a while to find a style with writing and, whilst I’m no stranger to writing formal articles on yoga and philosophy, I’m enjoying the free-flowing, more personal approach I feel I can take on this blog…. Hey, it’s my blog after all, right?
I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago on ‘Constancy & Connection’, and it got me thinking much more about consistency and what that means for me personally… not just in my role as a yoga teacher but also on my path as a yogi.
From the outside, it can appear that the world of teaching yoga is dynamic and continually in flux, but for me, consistency has always represented the cornerstone of both my personal and professional journey.
You’d often find me saying that consistency is a myth, and part of me still still holds on to that belief… but I cannot deny the profound impact that consistency has had on my path, my self-discipline, student relationships and, perhaps, what I would call an enduring legacy of a dedicated practice.
I have been teaching yoga for almost 10 years, and during that time my personal practice has served as the foundation of my teaching journey. Consistency in my own practice has not only honed and expanded my skills but also deepened my connection with the essence of what yoga actually is.
By my own commitment to the practice and to the ongoing study of the yogic texts, I find I can embody the principles I teach in a way that has meaning and relevance in the modern world in which I live; I gives me the the confidence to demonstrate my personal authenticity and establish a resonant relationship with my students - because I walk my path, I can show others the way to walk theirs.
The consistency I demonstrate in my personal practice, physical or otherwise, holds an emanative potential as a source of inspiration, instilling within me the discipline required to navigate the challenges of both personal and professional life.
The consistent application of myself to my teaching methods and communication has built trust with my students - when they know what to expect from my classes, they can more comfortably dive into their own practice.
Maintaining regular communication with my students through newsletters, social media, or workshops (and even this blog!), helps me to establish a presence in people’s lives that, one would hope, offers encouragement, opportunities to grow together and creates a relationship in which to share hopes, dreams, fears and desires… and, honestly; I think a lot of people find comfort in knowing there is someone out there who “gets it” and who actually cares.
I know of many souls out in the world who have never taken a class or a retreat with me, but have written to me expressing their gratitude for the offerings I freely share via the internet and how connected they feel to the teachings and ethos of The Bearded Naked Community - and that is a deeply intimate connection to have with people, with whom our paths may never cross.
Perhaps the most powerful (and personal) benefit of consistency is that it serves as a constant support when I am faced with the challenges of life - my own examination and exploration of who I am, why I practice and what I teach are the rock upon which I have built my teaching practice and, I know in my heart, it is the strongest and most stable foundation I could ever have.
Having a consistent routine and mindset cultivated through personal practice act as pillars of resilience for me; this resilience gives me the ability to navigate the ebb and flow of life, emerging stronger in my commitment to my practice, to my students and, in all honesty, to my calling in life.
But does this consistency create a lasting impact?
I believe it does.
As mentioned previously, I have come to recognise that the consistency of simply being here and continuing upon my path offers an extraordinary and familiar touchstone to students and to the broader community that makes up The Bearded Naked Family.
Students come, students go and students return, but a steadfast commitment to my values and principles has, over time, extended way beyond individual classes.
For me, a commitment to consistency is not a rigid adherence to routine; rather, it's a dynamic, evolving journey that gives a person a particular fortitude in adapting to the changing landscapes of life - as many a wise person has said, all things change but we can remain ever constant…
How do you apply consistency in your life?
What are the rocks upon which you build your own foundations?
Until next week Friends… keep breathing… and keep smiling.
Matt - The Bearded Naked Yogi