August 16, 2009

Why do we avoid Yoga Practice?

I’ve fallen off the Yoga wagon. How do I get back on?

Lately, my yoga mat has been lonely, rolled up, dusty—and yet not forgotten, I think about how I’m not practicing every day. One of my new favorite blogs, Shanti Love Yoga, knows why I’m resisting, procrastinating, unable to get back:

Practice Practice Practice!

sometimes i don’t feel like it. the very idea of getting on my mat is just … AHHHH!

why is that? i love practicing yoga! and once i’m on my mat, i never want to leave. i think that as much as it’s good for me (and it’s very good for me), it’s such a mindful practice that i’m forced to address problems or issues that i’m not always in mood to deal with in that moment – that tight spot in my shoulder, why is that there? my mind, why is it racing instead of being here now? my breath, where did it go?

but as many times as i’ve felt less-than-thrilled to hit the mat, the number of times i’ve left feeling disgruntled with my practice is few. yes, sometimes it feels like a chore instead of a beautiful, moving meditation. but that’s ok. i made the effort, and part of being mindful is being aware of those feelings. i keep thinking of that quote from the bhagavad gita, “…even a little of this practice…”.

“even a little” is exactly right. i used to feel like if i didn’t get in an hour and a half long class, then i didn’t really do yoga that day – like my 30 minutes at home didn’t really count. but most of us can’t make it to the studio every day, and part of this process is achieving balance and harmony in your life. so whether you have two spare hours to go to a class or five minutes at home, you’re doing it. practice, practice, practice!

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Jennifer White Oct 14, 2013 9:20am

I look back at when my definition of a good practice routine was most days and for no less than an hour. I also look back at the times when I really should have been doing something else with my time or with the people in my life instead. After becoming a parent, my nazi-type mentality completely shifted (although to be fair, it had been shifting for awhile…slowly), and I still consider regular, committed actual physical practice to be essential to yoga practitioners, but how I define it is a lot more fluid.

Michelle K Apr 7, 2012 10:53pm

It can be a challenge all right. It's just nice to know it happens to others too! I've been procrastinating all day, but now no more excuses – i'm rolling my mat out right now – namaste!

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Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.