Staying committed to your practice
Denzel Washington famously stated, “Goals on the road to achievement cannot be achieved without discipline and consistency.” Remaining consistent is how you reach long term goals and ultimately continue to improve at anything you decide to commit to in life. Consistency helps build momentum and the more you do something the easier it becomes. Once you form that habit, habits are hard to break. The more you simply decide to show up at your yoga practice and step on your mat, the easier it will be to continue to take that time for yourself on a regular basis.
Commitment is the main way you will progress in your yoga practice. No matter what your goals are, whether they are to improve your strength and flexibility, have a calmer mind and reduced stress, or to improve your mobility and have less joint pain, everything will benefit from long term consistency.
So What's Stopping You?
We all have mental limitations that may get in the way of remaining committed to our practice. Sometimes we make excuses to ourselves and we think we do not have enough time. Saying you don’t have time will just hold you back. Everyone’s day is structured differently, but we all should be able to find the time to take care of our minds and bodies. Even if that means for some people just taking ten minutes. Once you can change your mindset and stop viewing your yoga practice as just another task on your endless to-do list, and instead as something that you want to do because it makes you feel good, you’ll find yourself more eager to make time in your day for it and less likely to make excuses to avoid it.
Another mental limitation that may get in the way is self-doubt and procrastination. You may not know where to start and that overwhelming feeling could lead to just putting it off and never taking that first step. Something else that can lead to procrastination is perfectionism. I know when I first started yoga, I was scared to make any mistakes, and that made me not want to do it at all because I thought that if I didn’t start, then I wouldn’t be able to mess up either. My first yoga practice, all I was worried about was making mistakes. But as time went on and I stayed committed, I not only learned and improved, but I also let myself accept that it’s okay to make mistakes, and as long as I’m trying my best that’s all that matters.
People usually focus more on the desired outcome rather than the struggle of the process it takes to get there. Even though the journey is the important part, people may find themselves quitting during that process if there are not immediate results. However, if you trust the process, once you get the hang of yoga and meditation, you will feel immediate rewards at the end of each practice even if they are not your long-term goals yet. You’ll find that your body feels lengthened and less tense, and your mind is clearer and more focused, and these are things that can improve the quality of your day-to-day life.
Here are Some Tips!
● Schedules are your thing? Find a specific time each day to do yoga and put it on your calender!
● Can't find the time? Wake up a little earlier and start your day with a yoga practice.
Personally, for me I found that when I wake up early to exercise and do yoga it sets the tone for a productive day. I also know if I don’t do it first thing, as the day goes on, I will be more likely to make excuses and keep pushing it back, so an early morning routine is what helps me remain committed.
● Schedules aren't your thing? Break up your yoga practice into a couple of short sessions spread out throughout the day.
• Can't make that commitment to yourself? Try finding a buddy who has the same goal and commit to them. Sometimes letting someone else down feels worse than letting ourselves down. Allow that commitment to a friend keep you coming back for more.
There are many options, and it’s about finding a balance and a schedule that works best for you as an individual because everyone has different needs. It is important that you listen to your body. If you try to commit to more than you can handle, this could lead to injury or burnout and make it even harder to remain consistent with your yoga practice.
With dedication and commitment to your practice you will start to notice a change in your overall well being! Here are some comments from a few of the committed yogis at A Dancing Yogi
I've been practicing yoga since I was in my 40's, and have found that I am able to continue being active into my 70's. Practicing on a fairly regular basis, I am able to continue to move freely. When I do some more physical exertion, like helping a family member move house, doing yoga after the day is over and before I go to bed makes a big difference in how my muscles feel the next day. I am less prone to sad moods, and depression. I have a calmer outlook on life, and am more able to deal with life's vicissitudes. The communities that spring up around yoga classes have been a great joy and support to me through the years.
When I first came to you, I had never stepped on a mat before. Over time you have taught me how to relax my mind, body and soul. I feel my body moving more freely and I have felt a difference in my soul. I am always glad I showed up on my mat.
Yoga has done so many good things for me. I think the most beneficial item is has brought a sense of calm to my life.
So what has yoga done for me? Ms michelles yoga class is a safe space for all people from all walks of life. Positivity and encouragement to work through ailments. So that we may not only succeed in loving ourselves. But love others too!