Those of us who have been practicing yoga for a few years know that the enthusiasm can wax and wane. The high of a teacher training course can drift away after returning home, and the bliss felt after a weekly yoga class with a teacher you resonate strongly with can be hard to recreate in the living room. If you want to go further and maintain a daily yoga practice, Ian Marshall from Yogi Approved suggests a few attitudes you can develop to improve your chances. The first is to recognize that rolling the mat out in the morning is the most difficult step!
Here are 5 secrets to maintaining a regular yoga practice:
Intention. When our practice comes from a deep place of wanting to improve ourselves, to connect with a higher power, and to find inner peace, then we can approach asanas from a completely different—and more empowered—place.
Perseverance. By coming back to our mat again and again, our practice inevitably deepens. We can stretch further and we find energy flowing more freely. Things we hadn’t previously observed about ourselves become clear in those moments. Like anything in life, having perseverance is the key to success.
Patience. If your practice is not going well one day, it’s OK! Keep going, lighten the load, give yourself a long relaxation, and remember that simply arriving to your yoga mat is practice in itself.
Joy. Enjoying what you are doing on the mat is crucial if you are going to maintain regularity in your yoga practice. Enjoy the stretching like a cat stretching its body after a long nap, and if you’re having a bad day, give yourself the chance to practice your favorite asanas. Approach your practice with playfulness and joy.
Enthusiasm. The partner of joy, the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek “entheos” which means “filled with God.” When you practice with a sense of positivity and from a place of wanting to be in this moment above all else, then you are quite simply bringing yourself back to the divine again and again. Which is what yoga is all about, right?!
The most important factor in having a regular practice is keeping the right attitude and approaching your opportunity to spend time in this way with an enormous sense of gratitude. From this perspective, you will authentically want to practice yoga, and not view it as a chore. We all make time for the things we want!