As we come into spring I am starting to see more ‘challenges’ on social media, particularly ‘yoga challenges’. I am just not a fan of them so you won’t see me participating in one anytime soon. There is nothing inherently wrong with them and if they assist you to get started with yoga or meditation or back to a regular practice then no harm done. They say it takes 21 days to establish a new routine and maybe more like a few months to form a habit. But I just don’t feel the word challenge along with all its definitions really fits with the philosophy of yoga. Isn’t life at the moment challenging enough? In times of challenge we need to lean into our yoga practice but in testing times we need our practice to be flexible. Be kind and meet yourself where you’re at each day. One of the benefits of practicing Dru Yoga and Meditation is the amazing tool box of practices that we learn and can call upon to meet any situation or circumstance. I highly recommend the book “The Dance Between Joy and Pain” published by Dru which is filled with tips and practices to bring emotional well being and can be ordered here.
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.” – Marie Forleo
Often people that attend a Dru Yoga class for the first time will be amazed by the effects and benefits of a single session. But the real preventative benefits come with a consistent practice. This means more than attending a weekly yoga or meditation class and preferably practicing daily even if it is just for 10 to 15 minutes. Maybe some gentle twisting or a stretch while you wait for the kettle to boil. Some equal ratio breath while you wait for the computer to start up. Mindful awareness as you brush your teeth. Also let me add that the other reason I am not a fan of yoga challenges is more often than not they are gymnastic feats and the results to be broadcast via videos on social media. Yoga does not have to be hard, you don’t have to challenge yourself to do more or take your body past its physical edge. If the aim of your yoga practice, like mine, is functional body health and good mental health a challenge mentality is counterproductive.
So I am all for a new term or phrase instead of a ‘yoga challenge’ but lets face it ‘consistent yoga practice’ does not have the same marketability or ring to it! Here are some tips to establish a consistent and regular yoga and/or meditation practice:
- Embrace the journey – enjoy your practice, don’t let it become a chore.
- Find the joy – find your time, place and style of yoga.
- Make it a priority – dedicate a schedule time to practice.
- Start by doing anything – maybe just roll out your mat and light a candle.
For some tips from Dru Senior Tutor Jane Saraswati Clapham watch her video here. I can relate to what Jane is saying, I sometimes wake up and don’t feel like doing my yoga or meditation practice but I still get on the mat and once I start moving I feel like doing a little more. I am a morning person so prefer to do my practice first thing followed by a walk in nature, my day doesn’t feel right if I don’t start with my practice. I often do the same practice, some activation movements, Energy Block Release 1, Prana Kriya sequence and sit for 10-15 minutes of meditation practice. Each morning brings a new depth to the familiar practice and I am curious and come to the mat with a sense of self inquiry. You need to find what works for you, maybe practice in your lunch break or before going to bed. I also find it helps to keep a yoga and meditation journal to record your practice and maybe write notes as to how it made you feel. I have bought a mindfulness planner from My Yoga Lifestyle every year for the last few years as there is space to add a daily mantra, practice and what I am grateful for.
No need to wait for a ‘challenge’ to get started! So just start, if you miss a day, be kind to yourself and start again another day. Keep it simple with just one or two practices. If you practice consistently you will be aware of and notice changes gradually. What and when will you practice? If you need some direction reach out to me for a one to one session to look at what Dru Yoga or Meditation practices could support you. I am available for a one to one session at a cost of $80 per hour on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons by appointment and bookings can be made here.