Till a few weeks ago, I used to practice yoga almost every day. I’d diligently go through vigorous practice on a daily basis, punctuated occasionally by a couple of off days. Seeing that I used to give the practice a couple of months miss altogether, I was pretty smug with this routine.
A year ago I gave up the idea of stringent practice for at least an hour every day. This freedom helped me get more(!!) consistent with my yoga practice (and even got longer!). But all this practice did not quite make perfect.
Then, a few months back, I finally did my 500 hour yoga teacher training in Bali. My preparation for the course extended to practicing yoga every day, for the entire six weeks leading to it. Did not miss a single day. The practice went on for 45 minutes or more, occasionally as much as two hours. I practiced yoga every day during the seven weeks of training. After this, I am yet to miss a day’s practice despite all the holidays and additional travel. Having practiced yoga on-and-off for more than a decade on a daily basis, I have to admit that strictly adhering to a daily routine has been life-changing.
You come to realize that you have ample time to do what you wish.
There are several things that you need to prioritize when it comes to your fitness and especially, yoga. Despite being extremely busy at various times, as surely everybody is, I still made time for the studio—because it was and always has been one of my top priorities.
Making “not missing a day” a priority often meant getting up earlier than comfortable on occasion, but I lived. You’re maybe disoriented for a few seconds, then you get your bearings and continue on with it.
The trick is not to linger on. Turn off the alarm and get off the bed immediately. Get out and about, perform your bathroom rituals, drink some water, put on your yoga clothes (hopefully set out the night before), and get on the mat. All this – to get from bed to mat – takes only a few minutes. And, you realize how silly your excuses can be.
Feeling worn out? It will pass on in a couple of minutes. Just make sure that you don’t wallow in it. Feel a bit stiff in the morning? You loosen up as you get up and about. Too cold for practice? Turn on the heater. Once you’ve moved past all these handy excuses, you realize something that held you back often to be the trivial issues they are.
Have trust in yourself.
Following through on promises you made to yourself is one of the most effective things you can do to build up your self-confidence and mental strength.
And you feel better.
The best part of a regular practice routine is in how I feel. Even though I can tell you a lot about it, you have to experience it for yourself. A morning yoga session sets the tone for the day ahead. My mind is clear and my body has never felt better. I’m calm and ready for whatever the day may bring.