Priya Patel –

Practitioner Profile #7

Practitioner Profile #7

Priya Patel 


Perhaps ‘Not Applicable’ is appropriate at the moment. But lets go with Inspired Yoga Student, Aspiring Yoga Teacher and Medical Doctor 

What Does Your Practice Look Like
This question is really beautifully phrased, because although I may have read about Yoga, and learnt a lot from various Teachers - Practice is exactly what it is - the action of doing, not only of knowledge. So as it appears, my Yoga practice involves a (mostly) daily Yoga Asana practice, followed by a short Pranayama practice, 10 minutes of Mediation, and Journaling. Over the years, my practice has evolved off the mat, and my patience, compassion and reactions toward events and people have become softer, easier, more mindful (not always, but better). It’s not a perfect practice, I’m not sure it ever will be, but it has a daily presence to the eye and the mind - and some days its more obvious than others. 

What First Brought You To Your Spiritual Practice
I was 22, four years into Medical School, with a big group of friends and an ‘abundant’ social life. It is the cliche story. I appeared to be living my dream, and appeared to be ‘going-places’. But I was deeply depressed, lonely, and my self-love was beneath my boots. 

I was craving space from my reality. I went as far as Sri Lanka that Summer and was introduced to Buddhism for the first time in my life (I was raised a Hindu, but I never practised), and I just kept reading about it. One book took me to another. Learning that being alone was virtuous, healing and I started to see the light shining within me when I wasn’t surrounded by so much noise. Eventually, I landed in a Yoga class (because it was trending), and I started to fit the two together, and eventually my path opened towards the trueness of Spirituality. At 22 it didn’t save me or my loneliness, but because of it I started to ask more Questions, which has led me here, Hi!

What Has Been The Biggest Obstacle In Your Practice
Striving for perfection. Often even hurting myself because of the stubbornness of achieving perfection. Perfectionism has no place in understanding and accepting physical and mental limitations. And being stubborn and practicing Yoga do not live harmoniously. So sometimes accepting that ‘less’ is ok, is hard for me and often I judge myself for going too far and not far enough. 

How Have You Overcome This
First, the hard way—thankfully it was only a mild injury to my shoulder from pushing through too many Chaturangas when I was tired. So now I think about the longevity of my practice, and not just the hour I have to ‘prove’ anything. 

Second, was Therapy. The perfectionism doesn’t live just on the mat for me. Talking and re-working my mental/emotional associations has helped me a lot. And so, I feel less guilt taking a Child’s Pose when I’m tired now. 

And third, intention. I’m learning to Surf at the moment, and I’m not very good at all. But a friend of mine told me recently that ‘the best surfer is the one having the most fun’. I think that definitely has a place on my mat. 

What Is The Biggest Insight You’ve Received From Your Practice 
That I know nothing. That intention holds SO much power behind your practice, and probably anything you do in your life. That curiosity will lead you to a place you’re not expecting, but nevertheless a beautiful (and sometimes difficult) place. And that the words - ‘root down, to rise up’ - are not just verbal cues for Asana. 

Connect with Priya on instagram.