Establishing a regular yoga practice

When you commit to regular practice, do not set the bar so high that you create resistance or set yourself up for failure. Start by making time every day for at least one asana, giving yourself 10 mindful and breath-filled minutes.

When you commit to regular practice, do not set the bar so high that you create resistance or set yourself up for failure.

by Kathleen Bryant — 

You arrive home from your weekly yoga class, feeling blissful. The next morning, the alarm rings, you jump out of bed and it is off to work. You are a little sore from class the night before, but you still feel great. By the end of the day, you are plain tired. You go home, pour a glass of wine, flip on the television … and repeat the same steps the next day. You know you’d feel better if you went to yoga class more often, but it is an effort to get to the studio. Besides, it takes up half your evening and, well, $12 per class adds up.

How can you extend that yoga bliss? If the obstacle is time or money, continue the weekly class for inspiration and camaraderie, but add two or more at-home sessions. Sample yoga videos from your local library, then buy your favorite. Call a friend who might be interested in joining you in a practice at your house or theirs. Check with local studios; some offer low-cost community classes, which are a great way to expand your practice and your circle of yoga buddies.

Is lack of motivation the problem? You might feel stiff and creaky in the morning, but beginning your day with yoga — even 15 minutes of sun salutations — will make you feel better all day long. If your morning routine is already maxed, kick off those shoes and try 15 minutes of legs-on-wall when you get home from work.

Remember, there is more to yoga than asana, and there are easy ways to incorporate yoga into your day. Chant “om” in the shower, instead of singing your favorite oldie. Practice three-part breathing while sitting on the bus. Do joint movements at your desk while talking on the phone. None of these is as wonderful as being in class, but they are better than being in a slump, literally and figuratively.

When you commit to regular practice, do not set the bar so high that you create resistance or set yourself up for failure. Start by making time every day for at least one asana, giving yourself 10 mindful and breath-filled minutes. A little time and effort, along with a steady commitment, will reward you with a more balanced and blissful life.

 

Kathleen Bryant teaches postnatal and restorative yoga and assists with teacher training at 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona, Ariz. 928-203-4400 or www.7centers.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 5, October/November 2005.

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