NO MOTIVATION TODAY? -WAYS TO THE MATT ON A LAZY DAY
It’ s one of those days: you wake up tired to the shrill sound of your alarm clock, maybe it’ s cold outside (in contrast to the comfortable warmth of your bed), your energy is low or you don’t want to face the tasks that await you today. You just don’t feel like taking up your practice at home nor making the effort to go to the studio. I get you- yoga teachers get it too!
Inventing ever new avoidance strategies is one of the major trades of human minds. Seeing how well they work shows that willpower is really the key to most things. Knowing that, rationalisations can give you the final kick in the as to overcome your resistance and make you practice happen or in the words of yoga“ using the mental fire to burn all impurities”.
Here is how you find your way to the matt on days you are not convinced:
Know why you practice
have a good understanding of your motivations. “ why do I practice Yoga/meditation?” is a good question to ask from time to time. Be it for health, fun, a more peaceful every day life, to feel more comfort, for a challenge, for spiritual seekings, self-realisation….there is not just one answer to the question and it may change with time. My current favourite is “to put peace into my body”
Think how past practices made you feel
Remember how good the breathing felt after your agitation, didn’ t you totally forget about that problem that weigh so heavy earlier?! Didn’ t you walk out the studio more relaxed? Maybe last weeks practice revealed something you didn’t know about yourself? Maybe you noted improvements or how f* challenging it was this time because you were not completely present or emotionally wind up? It’s worth looking closely at those things with a curious and non judgemental attitude.
Get ridd of your expectations
You may have expectations towards what a “ perfect yoga practice” feels or looks like. You always want to feel good, you always want to stretch wide- throw this attitude away! There is no such thing! One of natures biggest principles is impermanence and constant change. It becomes pretty aparent when we look around in our environment: spring follows winter, the trees blossoms bloom, become fruit that falls from the tree eventually, decompose and contribute to the growth of new life. We see these changes but often don’ t want to acknowledge them in our own human lifes as we think we can control anything and everything. We are pretty good at welcoming change when it’ s pleasant and reject or deny it once it hurts.
In your practice the body, nor mind, nor feelings can possibly be in the same condition every day. Your are influenced by weather, the quality of food that you eat, what you think, what you feel, the people you have around and how you relate with them. Everything around and within feeds into your experience, so rather accept what is there and surrender to the moment.
Find your time & space
What time of the day are you high in energy? Some people work better in the mornings, some are bats- find a time that works best for you to practice. Knowing your biorhythm can boost your motivation as much as practicing in a place that you are fond of. I noticed my practice has a different quality when I am in natural outdoor surroundings, where I can breathe fresh air and feel the wind or sun on my skin.
Less is more
We are living fast lifestyles, life is busy and to fill with many good things.
You don’t have to practice always the same amount of time. Make as much time as you can afford today, be it 15 minutes or even the reminder to breathe deeply and stay centred when something or someone annoys you.
a great motivation booster. I could come with statistics how yoga and meditation have health benefits on many levels, can improve overall happiness and relationships, but we all know that it ‘s good for us anyways, don’t we?!
Do what you need instead what you want
Choose what you practice accordingly to what you need. You feel agitated and have short breath? -a longer deep breathing practice might be the thing you need today instead of a full 1,5 hour Asana practice. Think for example of how good it feels when you stretch yourself out after a long distance flight squeezed for hours on economy class seats between many people-your body is literally asking for the stretch. Yoga has the power to transform your energy level: from low to high, from agitated to relaxed- you tried it, you know it!
Good things need time
It takes some practice to learn to identify these needs, so be patient and listen to your body, build your awareness! Rome wasn’t build in a day! To establish a yoga practice takes time and everyone struggles with different challenges. Don’t get discouraged by something you might call “ a step back”
Remember: Yoga is not just Asana
…and meditation doesn’t have to be seated! Ultimatelly we don’ t only want to practice yoga on the matt but take what we learn into practice into everyday life; to give attention to the moment no matter if we eat, talk, play sports or prepare ourselfs for bed. Ultimately with time you might find it difficult to not meditate, not to be aware.
Always acknowledge what you did! Ending your practice with a positive affirmation creates a much more beautiful vibe than anger or impatience. As mum told us: say thank you – also to yourself.
Have a great practice, on or off mats