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Reader Question

June 23, 2010

A truck in India... always trying to remember the magic of India.

Q: Hey Kyle,

I’m emailing as Im trying to find the motivation to start a committed daily practice. I’ve hummed and hawwed and analyzed about what I should do and how I should do it and on and on and on while my mat sits in the corner collecting dust. My question to you is whether you can share a similar experience? ARe you naturally flexible or did your amazing asanas come from dedication and commitment? ANd if so, what does that MEAN? 2 hours a day every day? 15 minutes every other day…

Im really struggling with wanting to see shifts on all levels and not being able to “just DO it.”

Warmly,

Eryn of Barrhaven Yoga

A: I struggled with committing to my practice for years!  In high school, I would battle with myself, should I work out, should I not?, I want to, but I’m lazy/tired/busy/just washed my hair. As I started getting more and more into yoga and learning about it, I realized that I was only fighting with myself, that I wanted to be someone with a regular practice, that practicing always makes me feel grounded and happy, that this HAS to be a regular part of my life (etc.).  Really noticing how I felt after practicing (especially compared to days I hadn’t practiced) helped me get there.  In the beginning, I would come to class just for the feeling after.

Once I stopped fighting with “to practice or not to practice,” and committed myself to coming to yoga 5-7 days a week, the benefits started coming.  First of all, you can go deep in your practice and notice improvement quickly.  You can also see the practice as a refuge, as a safe haven, as a satsang.  It doesn’t have to be the same everyday.  And when you have a regular practice, you don’t have to do every class like it’s your last; just coming and taking it easy is ok.  I definitely think its better to keep your momentum and take a restorative class rather than skipping all together.

As far as what actually defines a daily practice, it is up to the practicioner.  For me, it is going to a studio and taking a class (I love not having to think about what to do and listening to the words of my teachers’), but doing a home-practice, or even a few rounds of sun salutations could also work.  As long as you are going inside and challenging yourself, I think it can be your practice.

Oh, and all of my flexibility comes from my practice!!

If you have any questions, please email them to me at ky.w.miller@gmail.com.  Thanks!
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 8:30 pm

    These are the words you have used in this article: “work out,” “tired,” “lazy,” “fighting with myself.”

    Please understand that, in my opinion, “yoga” is not a workout, it is a work-in. But better to call it, “a worship.” You go into the worship or meditation with enthusiasm because it makes you feel good. “Sthira Sukha Asanam,” says the great sage Patanjali in his Sutras.
    You have read the Sutras I believe, then you know the meaning. It means “comfort, stability is Asana. He does not command and say you have to compel yourself to do it. The nature of an asana is such that it is stable and comfortable. Sukha is the opposite of dukha (sorrow or pain).

    The other words you have used are all negative. Yoga stresses positive thinking. Take the example of a two-year old who cannot stop smiling. So be like a child and wonder at the world. Isa Vasyam Idam Sarvam says the upanishad. Which means all that there is the divine, nothing else exists. So love yourself, love all.

    Develop a passion for yoga like you have passion for ice cream. Then you love yoga. Yoga is joy, yoga is harmony, yoga is health, yoga is peace.

    Begin the day with love, fill the day with love, spend the day with love, and end the day with love–this will lead to happiness, harmony, and peace.

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