|So why doesn’t everyone just do some yoga? …
Well, for some, the short term benefits are not obvious. We may need to develop some self awareness that is more finely tuned than we currently have capacity for. This self awareness is developed through self study; Svadhyaya in yoga.
And the commitment to rolling out your mat or sitting on your cushion verses taking a pill may not sound appealing. Yoga and meditation practice do require commitment. Tapas refers to this intense commitment that is required. We may have experience with hard, “stick” like discipline, feeling as though we are being hounded onto the mat and into practice. What helps us more efficiently is to begin by doing small amounts of practice, paying close attention to the effects and letting ourselves be drawn by the “carrot” of better mood and physical health. Carrots are better than sticks! (for those very geeky folks, here’sa psychological perspective on why carrots are better than sticks ) Just sit on the cushion; just roll out the mat; breath; move; all else is coming!
We can also addressing lapses as “normal”, with gentleness, care and connection to our personal values. E.g. I say I have a daily yoga practice, but in 25 years, there have of course been days (but probably not very many weeks) where I haven’t stood on my mat or sat on my cushion. When these “lapses” in practice occur, if I beat myself up to “get back to it” with internal “should’s, musts, ought to’s and have to’s”, any return brings this harshness to the practice, actually strengthening the negative mood. If I remind myself about my values, what is important for me (i.e. long term health and well being, good connections with others) from a place of care and compassion, the mat gets rolled out with relief, promise and possibility; brightness from the first moment. In yoga, Ishvara pranidhana refers to your personal connection to your own god / path / direction; values from a psychological perspective.
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