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YOGA: How Do I Motivate Myself To Practice Day After Day – 3 Suggestions

Paula shared her frustration with the repetition part of the asana practice.  Do you sometimes feel like quitting? she said.  I think is fair to say we’ve all been there at some point.

As per me,  I find that the rigidity is mostly  of the “mind” because the mind gets bored easily.  And it wants out.


[If the video is not showing, here is the link]

I also find that when the mind gets “bored” it is probably because a break-through or a deepening is happening.

Leaving the practice could be counter-productive at a time of discomfort because it is exactly when things are shifting.

So, to continue with a daily and dedicated practice, and yet keep it real, I do three things:

1.- KEEP THE RITUAL AND DITCH THE PRACTICE FOR THAT DAY

On days when I cannot practice it because my mind just WON’T, then I do the “ritual”, meaning that I set up the mat and get ready, take one breath or do just one sun salutation and that is it…

I stop right there.

So I keep the ritual, and ditch the practice, for that day.

I get to keep the “container” and the “sacred space” so that whenever the energy or the urge to practice returns everything is ready.

2.- READ INSPIRING YOGA LITERATURE

The energy of other practitioners, funneled through books, stimulates me…

For example I recently read (and interviewed) David Keil’s Functional Anatomy Of Yoga and the book proved to be a gem.

Little tips from the book helped me go within, into the body, and concentrate as I practiced.  I tell a little tip in the video that is making all the difference.

Not only that but I learned new ways to approach poses and correct some mistakes.

There are also books on philosophy that inspire me, like Light on Life by BKS Iyengar among hundreds of others.

3.- GO TO A NURTURING YOGA RETREAT

When I find myself bored or not wanting to practice, that is exactly the time when the practice is about to get deeper, and a retreat helps me…

I choose retreats carefully.

I go to teachers I respect and that know a lot more than me, then I feel this nurturing… this new insight, this time to forget the world and go within.

I am grateful for the questions that people send me here and I hope this inspires you to keep getting on the mat, to practice and let all the rest come.  Because it does come.

Here is a previous question I received at AskClaudiaYoga with the video answer:

How Do I Roll Over My Feet (from down dog to up dog and vice versa)

Stay tuned for “TheYogaPodcast.com” coming up in January.

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3 Responses to YOGA: How Do I Motivate Myself To Practice Day After Day – 3 Suggestions

  1. Claudia November 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Thank you for the great tips. I especially appreciate the suggestion to keep the ritual even if you ditch practice. What helps me the most, is that we practice very early in the morning – I'm not awake enough to think about whether I want to practice or not. Another tip I received from a senior teacher who started with Guruji in the 60's, is to practice to some great music. Yes, I know it

  2. Claudia November 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Thank you Leslie, and yes, great suggestion, whatever works to get back!

  3. Claudia December 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    as for inspirational books…claudia, have you picked up the new ashtanga book, Yoga Saddhana for Mothers? awesome and inspirational and real life stories from senior women ashtangis all over the world about being a woman and mother. just released i think in the US. so good…i loved it.