Since I came back from Mysore, India I started a regular morning practice of pranayama, meditation and asana. I tried not to set any great goals for the moment, just doing my best, fighting the morning laziness, training my mind to be focused and enjoy my time on the mat. As a self-employed yoga teacher working from home, I have the flexibility to organize my schedule, but somehow there will always be things to do during the day that will interfere with my practice. Doing my practice in the morning means I make sure at least one practice that day is done.
Besides making sure that I don’t skip the practice because of external factors, I’ve also noticed that it changes my day. It helps me to stay focused, observe my thoughts, actions and reactions better, it brings more calmness throughout the day, it energizes me and it puts a big smile on my face 🙂
It’s not a perfect practice and it’s not supposed to be perfect. There are days when I wake up and I’m so excited to get on the mat and there are others, like today, when my mind has a hard time to focus.
The thing is, keep doing your practice. Even if you unfold your mat and just sit in a cross-legged position for a few breaths, do your practice. Straighten your spine, open your chest, close your eyes, bring your attention to your breathing and like a witness, observe yourself. Do this for 5 minutes and soon you’ll start to see that those 5 minutes become 6-7-8-9-10 and then slowly even 30 minutes or 1 hour.
We humans, like to have fast, big changes, amazing changes and results, if possible without putting too much effort into it. We don’t want to have the patience to work on something for a long period of time without seeing fast results. We hear that something is good for us, but because of being so comfortable in a place where we actually don’t want to be, we keep postponing that moment when we take action and decide to live a healthier and better life. But the most important changes do not happen all of a sudden. It happens after a long period of time, after bringing more discipline into your daily routine until that good habit becomes part of yourself.
In order for the brain to get used to the new habit, you first need to train the brain to accept that new habit.
From a personal point of you, I wouldn’t recommend setting great goals like “Starting from tomorrow I will be doing yoga for one hour every morning”. If you are not used to that, it will soon become a burden. Start small with 10-15 minutes and then gradually start to increase. You will notice that at some point, you will enjoy it so much that you’ll actually forget to check the time. If you force yourself to do a lot in a short period of time, it increases significantly the chances to give up and even get sick of that new thing. This is simply how the brain works and it’s valid for any new good habit you want to bring to your daily routine.
Try to be consistent in your practice, do little and often. Drop the perfection. We are all so beautifully imperfect 🙂
©Unfold Your Mat
Beautiful article, could not agree more!
[…] of mind. And since we are talking about that, you might want to check out this other article about perfection I wrote a while […]