3 Elements of a Successful Yoga Practice
Most of my students that attend my classes at Lotus Yoga know that my personal mantra is “Do your practice”. I believe that your life will be happy and successful if your “practices” that enrich your daily life are done frequently in order for them to become “habits”. This applies to all practices on and off of the yoga mat, but for the purpose of this blog I will be referring to the physical aspect of yoga or what is known as Asana (postures) practice. I have been practicing yoga for over a decade and my asana practice has changed over this time due to age, injuries, time, learning, self growth, etc. But I have found the following key elements to be absolutely true for a Yoga practice to be successful.
Yoga is about the long term. It must be practiced for a long time, consistently, in order for it to become part of our selves. We cannot expect to be able to touch our toes or perform an advanced posture the first time we step on our mats. It takes time and patience. We have to learn to be patient with our bodies without judgment.
By practicing yoga every day, or at least a few times a week, we nourish our bodies physically and mentally more quickly than we would with sporadic or occasional visits to the mat. For example: you come to class on Monday and you leave feeling all blissed out. On Tuesday you still feel great and on Wednesday you are feeling good , but losing that “blissed out” feeling, and then by Thursday and beyond its gone. So imagine if you came to class on Monday, and then again 2 or more times that week….that blissed out feeling would nourish your body more frequently and keep that fire stoked!
Your practice must be done with intention. I often ask my students in my classes at Lotus Yoga in Ormond Beach WHY they come to their mats? What do they hope to accomplish? If you come to your practice with INTENTION and DEVOTION your practice will have staying power. If you limit your practice to exercise alone, it probably wont sustain you for long. Commit to your practice…even if it’s just 10:00 a day! Try to attend class 2- 3 times a week, and simply do a home practice of 5- 10 Sun salutations a few days a week with intention. See what happens!
Know that YOGA (all 8 Limbs of yoga) is a conscious lifestyle choice that can enrich your life and your relationship with yourself and others. The practice of yoga is not designed to be a “casual” hobby or seasonal sport. When done consistently and with intention and patience, it can help athletes perform better, It can heal us from injuries, and It can help relieve stress, anxiety, depression, illnesses, and overall well being.
What are you waiting for? DO YOUR PRACTICE. Start today. Just show up!