Yoga Practice Growth: How practice, patience, and commitment can grow your personal yoga practice

Now, last Sunday, my husband brought home one of these adorable little flower pots full of strawberry plants from one of our favorite local farmers. My son would turn into a berry if we lived in Willy Wonka’s Factory with all the berries he loves to eat, so we figured it would be a great lesson for both kids to help grow some strawberries–you know, where food comes from, patience (because green strawberries do NOT taste good,) stuff like that…and this mama doesn’t have time for, you know, like a REAL garden.  So, this year we are trying our hand at a “container garden” and our garden consists of between 6-8 strawberry plants.

(My grandmother would say his curls were a “sin” because they are so pretty…and on a boy, but this kid loves his berries!

We were rewarded almost immediately with two strawberries on Monday morning.  Both kids were out on the front porch with me when we discovered the delicious red fruit waiting for us and they were so excited to pick and eat their Monday Morning Present.

The only problem is–here it is Friday…which is like FOREVER to little kids…and there are STILL not anymore ripe berries!  (can you hear their frustration?)

In all honesty, there is one that is sorta pinkish–it’ll probably be ready tomorrow BUT, again to a 3 and 1 year old, that’s like an eternity.

All this week, the kids get up excited to see if their strawberry is ready, excited to water the strawberry (but not DROWN it), and –mostly ready to EAT the strawberry(ies).  Not having that instant gratification has been, well, a THING.

It’s funny because they see the other green berries growing larger, but because they aren’t seeing any RED berries, disappointment–it’s a REAL thing!

I am trying to tell them how things take time to grow, that the strawberries are babies and the berries have to grow just like they do–and I think my daughter gets it on a certain level (she’ll be 4 in June) but the satisfaction of having her strawberry is just not happening…YET.

So…what does this have to do with yoga?


Just like this little strawberry plant, your yoga practice needs to be tended to, daily.  It needs lots of water, nutrients, attention. You may be one of those people that are naturally flexible and coordinated, but the odds are–at least at some point, there will be something that comes up in your practice that takes forever to “ripen” just like these strawberries for my kids.  (for me it is anything that has to do with my feet up in the air—my body is firmly rooted in the ground!)

My hope for you today is that you sit back and enjoy watching your practice grow.  Just like I’m enjoying watching my kids excitement as they check on their strawberry every day, I want you to enjoy where your body goes in practice today, tomorrow–next week, in 10 years.  It’s a lifetime practice, with growth cycles, slow cycles, etc. Your practice will continue to grow as long as you tend to it–just like we are tending to our Strawberry Garden.

So the next time you get on the mat and you are working towards (enter your pose right here), don’t get angry if you can’t get it.  Try 3,4, or 5 times then smile and say “Not today,” (hey, I HAD to quote that episode SOMEWHERE!!–and for those of you that GET IT…let me know!) and then move on to the next pose, the next breath, the next practice.  

Just like the strawberry, your practice will “ripen” enough one day–whether it is into the pose or into a progression of something else, as long as you tend to your garden or practice.

I hope to see you tending your yoga gardens very soon!  If you are in the Chattanooga, TN Area, I invite you to come check us out at Thrive Yoga and Wellness.  We have over 40 intimate classes each week where each student is mindfully guided through their practice.  If you are not in our area, have you heard about Thrive Online?  It’s the latest offering from Jennifer Dixon, ERYT 500 and Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a growing library of fitness inspired Yoga Sequences for you to take your practice to the next level right from the comfort of your home!  Plus, unique to this community, is your chance to gather together regularly to practice virtually together, go over practice questions and stay connected, even if a trip to the studio just can’t happen at this stage in life.  It’s a fun and vibrant community that’ll help you stay grounded and grow!

New this year is the Thrive Yoga Festival!  Unique to our area, we are partnering with our friends at Audubon Acres to help raise money for this amazing 75 yr old 130 acre preserve right down the road from the studio!  With tons of vendors, live music, children’s activities, SUP yoga, Aerial Yoga, Guided Hiking Meditation through this amazing conservation area and a “Silent Disco” style guided meditation (plus MANY MANY MANY more yoga classes and community building activities) this Festival is a GAME CHANGER for our E. Brainerd Community!  September 14th from 12-5 a fun late summer event for the WHOLE family! Be sure to RSVP soon to claim your spot!  These will sell out soon!