Thoughts on practice: Just do something.
Is it important to stay inspired in your practice?
Beyond the basics of the movement. What keeps you inspired to spend time on your mat? Does it matter…? Do we need to be inspired to practice or can we just come to our mats for the sake of it.
As a busy mother, wife, yoga teacher, homemaker… I’ve needed to spend time thinking about what keeps me committed to this practice and why it matters to me to keep it up when life is already so full. The principle of “just do something” seems obvious enough and yet, sometimes I fall into the trap of self-criticism, this thinking fails to acknowledge my commitment over the long haul supports me more than that one longer practice I managed to fit in.
When I consider that perhaps yoga practice, despite the obvious photo-centric world of social-media-asana, may include many less photogenic practices such as meditation, breathwork, prayer, time in nature, study, journaling, and the list goes on… Whether or not I’m inspired to practice on any given day becomes somewhat irrelevant. Can I be committed to a practice that has shown its worth to me?
Confession: There are many days I’m not actually inspired to practice, but I am committed. And THAT matters. Truthfully, the thought of having to be inspired to practice seems like a lot of pressure. I’m pretty okay with coming to my mat (or not my mat for that matter) for a few moments of mindfulness within my day and leaving it at that. My world paradigm includes 3 small children, a partner, a job, a home, a yard, and all the responsibilities & tasks that come with those blessings. Putting pressure on myself to perform asana is sometimes too much.
I believe myself to be established in a few practices. I don’t have to find reasons to, or not to, within any given day. They are simply a part of life. I have a short morning routine; I spend time in prayer; I find moments in my day to turn my face upwards and be quiet. Some days I want to “practice” and some days I’d rather not. Some days the process is playful and enjoyable, and others boring. However, I feel about practice on any given day I can appreciate that the practices I’m committed to are uplifting to my life. In general, practice seems to move me in a positive direction whether or not I feel inspired to do it.
Lest you think I live an uninspired life. Inspiration comes to me from so many places. A little nugget of wisdom from a friend, an insight into body mechanics or movement, a small understanding of my place in this world, piques my interest immediately. A change of pace, or place. A different vantage point to look at the same information can go so far. Ultimately we find the yogic concept of abyhasa playing out. Abyhasa can be defined as: “a sustained effort of long duration performed with devotion to create a firm foundation”. An opportunity to sink into the depth of my practice by committing to stick with it.
So inspired? Not always. Committed? Yes. And that’s what I’ll keep recommitting too.