Ever had every intention of getting to the yoga class and then it just doesn’t happen. Ever then spend the rest of day disappointed in yourself for not going or does it not bother you? When starting a daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga, sometimes it seems like the hardest thing in the world to come to class. I mean how on earth can ANYONE get up at THAT hour of the day 5-6 days a week. However, with repetition, it becomes easier and easier and before you know it you don’t even think about not coming as it is such a part of your everyday.
A teacher once said to me”the decision to come to class is made the night before” and I have to say that in most instances (until you have small children and babies to keep you awake all through the night) this is most true. Just decide the night before and then do it.
Make your life so that it supports what you want to do. Refrain or limit your weeknight drinking, go to bed at absolutely no later than 10pm and have a positive attitude about the change you are introducing. Those first few weeks/months in my experience are the hardest. Now 10 years later I don’t want life any different. The quiet of the early hours is an absolute blessing and the day that follows a practice is always more peaceful, less stressful and more harmonious than one without. you could say it really does get the ‘Synchronicity flowing”. Personally, I prefer if I don’t have to speak until after I have finished my practice to ensure my mind has every opportunity to stay as still as possible until I need to engage with the everyday.
Until I had children, I found it very easy to go and hard not to go. Even if I felt sick (eg flu) I found that going and just doing a small practice, such as standing postures only, was a positive thing for me. However, if I couldn’t contemplate going then staying home in bed was definitely the best option. In the case of the mind however, ALWAYS go. If you feel sad, or a bit funny emotionally, going to yoga in my experience will really help. I have had other yogis who have suffered from depression or anxiety also tell me that the yoga was an excellent balancer and great reason to get out of bed and start the day. Not only the yoga practice itself, but the strength and silent support from the early morning yoga students was a blessing unto itself. At times like this, you really learn what yoga is all about. Asana takes a back seat as you work through the obstacles the mind presents – going through this struggle can be hard but will be the best gift you can give to yourself.
The other problem with not going to class is that once you get in the flow of not going it becomes easier and easier not to go. The downhill slide is fast and we have seen it time and time again with students. The students who come the most have the best yoga and stick with it the longest.
Written by D.