Updated: May 9
In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali explains that yoga requires discipline and consistency (1.14) Yoga is a discipline, a way of life, and requires consistent effort to maintain the practice. For those of us living busy lives with many responsibilities, how do we stay committed to our asana-pranayama (postural-breathing) practice?
It's common to struggle with consistency, discipline and regularity. Life happens and we fall out of our routine. There are ways to maintain regularity and help you to stick with it. Remember, yoga is a long game. Take tiny steps, get support and be soft with yourself. Practice makes PROGRESS, not perfection.
1. SANKALPA. Setting intentions. Intentions are power as they come from your deep core knowing space. Sit quietly and set an intention. Let this intention come from a place of self-love. Make a specific action plan in your mind. For example, I will practice 30 minutes of asana every day after I wake up. Sit with your intention, write it down on a piece of paper and place it on your fridge, sacred space or bedside to formalize and remember your intention.
2. HABIT STACKING. We are more likely to stick with a habit if it is "stacked" on top of another existing behavior. For example, If you wake up and brush your teeth everyday, that habit is established. Stack a new behavior that you want to keep right after brushing your teeth. Now you would wake up, brush your teeth and then sit for 20 minutes of meditation.
3. SIMPLICITY. Keep your yoga practice super easy and simple to start. Don't reach for a 2 hour practice to begin with. Start with just 5 minutes a day to establish a habit. and build from there. Work with your teacher 1:1 to determine which practices you should do and how to add them on appropriately.
4. BUDDY. An accountability friend is a wonderful gift for any yogic aspirant. This could be a person you practice with, take class with or have regular check-ins for support and solidarity. A good teacher will also help you to set and change your practice appropriately. We can't do this alone, and sharing your goals, intentions, highs and lows with someone or with a community can be helpful.
5. CLASS. Take a weekly class. Committing to a weekly class will help with consistency. If you pre-pay for classes or commit to a program or a session it will help you stick with your practice and will motivate you to stay steady on your path - we can't do this alone!
6. SOFTNESS. You will fall off your schedule. Things will happen. Life will happen. It is the nature of the mind to balk at meditation and yoga. It will want to stay in bed or wander around looking for the next shiny object. Be kind to yourself. It happens, and when it does, start back at #1. Yoga is a long game , not a race to a finish line. Everyone needs help from time to time, drop me a <3 below or send me a message if you need help finding your sadhana firstname.lastname@example.org