Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 15 of the "30 Day Yoga Challenge"

We're half-way through the "Challenge"!  I've been hearing from a number of you who've been doing the "30 Day Yoga Challenge" and it sounds like it's going reasonably well!   Don't worry if you miss a day or two here and there -- just pick up where you left off.    You don't have to "make-up" the days that you missed,  but do try not to miss too many -- that just makes it too easy to quit altogether.

I was thinking back to when I played classical guitar 30 years ago.  I loved it and was pretty good at it for awhile, but ended up putting off my practice too often for too long, and finally gave up -- kind of sad considering how much satisfaction and enjoyment I got out of it when I DID practice!

If you feel now that the original goals you set for the "Yoga Challenge" are unrealistically high, re-evaluate and change them to something you can stick with, but don't give up entirely!  Just do less for now.   Find a practice pattern that works for you.  

If you start to feel stressed about the whole idea of practice -- quickly do 3 or 4 of your favorite poses -- maybe it will take you just 5 minutes -- and don't worry at all about if you're getting them "right".   Just do them because you enjoy them.   I assure you that you'll feel better for it! And maybe the 5 minutes will turn into 10 or 15 or 20 minutes...and maybe not, but you've done those 5 minutes and your favorite poses!   That's a good thing!

On the other hand, if this has been a fairly easy process for you and you're really enjoying your practice, consider occasionally adding in a longer practice.    Think of it as a treat for yourself!

I do a longer practice once or twice a week on quieter days when I'm not teaching as much, and don't have many other obligations.    On these days I can really settle into the poses, turn them around in my head and experience them more fully when I feel I'm not rushed.     It's during these practices that I see more rapid growth in my understanding of the poses.

You may not have time to devote to long practices -- I understand how busy you all are -- but even commiting 10 - 15 minutes a day 3 times a week solely for your own practice, for your own self, is a great gift to yourself, and will leave you feeling more centered and refreshed both physically and mentally.

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