The other night I found an old new book on my book shelf. As I pulled it off and opened it up, the page opened to an article by Hart Lazer entitled, Developing Your Own Yoga Practice. Throughout this article Hart encourages his readers to become clear about the what motivates them in their practice.
As he surmises, we are dispensing energy on a continual basis. Each day we awaken and are plugged into our electronics and our to-do lists. We become involved with the tasks of daily living, being plugged into our jobs, raising families and dreaming dreams. It can be very easy for us to become robotic in our responses and oftentimes override the self care portion of our lives. Let’s face it, sometimes we just aren’t motivated.
This my friends is where Yoga can so beautifully plug into your lives. Maybe you have been thinking of attending a class? Perhaps you have been practicing in your home and long for a community? Or maybe you’re simply curious about what Yoga is? Regardless of your longing, it becomes critical for you to get in touch with the energy of your motivation.
In Hart’s article he encourages students to take classes and then after a class that has really touched you, write about your experience. Be as specific as possible. How did you feel? What sensations were you experiencing? How was your thought process after this particular class? What did you enjoy learning about your body? Are you excited to keep exploring? By creating this tangible memory for yourself, you begin to create an association that anchors you to this experience. When life gets busy, your mood gets lousy, or road blocks hit you like a game of dominos, you’ll have this experience to go back to and hopefully it will remind you why you practice.
Not only do you need to get clear and to become motivated, you also need to notice in what ways you might be sabotaging yourself. Hart suggests that you make a list of your 10 best excuses for why you aren’t going to practice. No censor and no filter- just let whatever needs to flow, flow. In the ancient texts of Hatha Yoga and the Yoga Sutras there are 11 obstacles. They are lack of interest, doubt, laziness, sensuality, false knowledge, failure to concentrate, pain, despair, unsteadiness of body, sickness, and unsteadiness of respiration. Guess what, only four of these have to do with the physical body. Hart suggests that you compare your list with the list from the ancient texts. How do they compare? He suggests that by visiting these great works and engaging in your practice you will clearly be able to remove the obstacles in your life.
So my friends, hopefully as the New Year approaches you’ll become clear about your motivations as well as the ways in which you sabotage yourself. As Iyengar said, “The brain is the hardest part of the body to adjust in asanas.”
Happy exploring my friends!