Maintaining a committed practice

In January the gyms are all packed with people working out there new years resolutions. So most are probably off to a flying start to the year. Come March there’ll be tumble weed blowing across the circuit training area, I’m exaggerating slightly for effect here : )

I’m in my 2nd year of Mysore style practice and am committed to practicing 3-4 days a week. This feels sustainable for me at the moment, but I know that there are many ups and downs on the road ahead.

Something I’ve been thinking about over the break was this: I love yoga and particularly Ashtanga Yoga, with the constant repetition and refinement of the primary series.  But how does one sustain the commitment to this rather demanding practice over a long period of time?

Here are some things that I’ve found useful:

  1. practicing regularly in a group – despite the fact that I’m ultimately developing a deeper relationship with myself through self-practice, doing it in a group is really supportive and motivating.
  2. practicing regularly with a good teacher – having a teacher who cares and is familiar with your body and can give adjustments where necessary is also great.
  3. workshops – I recently did a 2 day workshop where we spent half the first day breaking down each of the stages within Surya Namaskara A. This really had a profound impact.
  4. coffee – I often share the trials of my practice with regulars and this has can lead to a sense of identification when others share their own experiences. We each have to find our own answers but others can shine a light on things in a different way.
  5. reading – Despite the practical nature of regular practice reading books has been an invaluable way of achieving a greater understanding.

I’m curious, how do you sustain your practice?

2 Responses to Maintaining a committed practice

  1. fleepa 28th January 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    I think the key to sustaining any practice is to do it even when you don’t feel like it. It’s not quite as fun but the only way to keep regular 😉

    Also agree that the group thing works wonders too, which perhaps explains why it can be so damn hard to keep up the practice at home!

  2. gstar
    gstar 4th February 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks for your comment fleepa.

    Your comment also reminded me that setting a regular practice time and day in advance can be useful.

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