Maintaining a Regular Yoga Practice
- Wednesday, 17 November 2010
As much as it shocks me to say this, the holiday season is practically upon us (I'm actually working on the 2010 Holiday Gift Guide this week). While I enjoy the holidays, I dread the busyness that comes along with them. It seems a bit overkill to me and each year I try to eliminate unnecessary tasks associated with the holidays. I'd rather spend time enjoying than run around like a crazy person trying to "get everything just right."
Does Your Yoga Practice Fall Away When Time Gets Short?
Regardless of my attempts at simplicity, this time of year still gets a bit busy. The same goes for the majority of my clients. Not only are they busy from a time perspective but for some, this time of year brings up a lot of emotional upheaval. But these two things together and one's yoga practice tends to fall by the wayside. Of course it's a catch 22 -- the busier you are, the more likely your yoga practice will falter and the more likely you are to drop your yoga practice, the more likely you are to suffer.
So, what's a busy -- or emotionally distraught -- yogi to do? I used to wonder the same thing. I always wondered why something that can be so beneficial (in my case a regular meditation practice) brings up so much resistance. I was practicing yoga regularly, so why not meditation? That's when I realized that it came down to my mindset. I was a firm believer in discipline -- pushing through, force vs. power, will power, buckling down and gutting through. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me. And since human beings tend to shy away from pain, it's not a good strategy for developing a regular practice of anything, be it yoga, meditation, knitting, etc.
A New Way to Look at Discipline
Even though I had discipline when it came to my yoga practice, I hated to use "the D word." In fact, I cringed every time I thought of the word discipline. Until I listened to a discussion about a Dalai Lama interview with Larry King. At one point, Larry King asked the Dalai Lama about fidelity (he actually brought up Tiger Woods -- how crazy is that? You have an hour with the Dalai Lama and you waste his time asking about Tiger Woods' sexual activity?!?!?! I suppose this is why I never watch Larry King.), citing that the Dalai Lama had once said that fidelity was a discipline -- it's a little over 2 minutes into the segment). It was the answer that changed how I look at "the D word" -- he said that discipline is "protection of your own interests."
As the discussion about this interview progressed, the idea of discipline being an act of protecting what's important to you came up. Rather than being something