“It’s so easy to let life get in the way (of yoga practice).” -Susan, my longest-time yoga student (20+ years)
Me to a student: “You’re being very regular in class (after not being regular for many months).”
Her: “I put it in my calendar!”
She went on to say that her life is driven by her calendar, and for so long she didn’t have yoga classes in her calendar so subsequently she wasn’t showing up. All that it took for her to get to class was to have it in her calendar. (And another long-time student and yoga teacher trainee said, “yeah, and it’s so easy since you can just click “copy to my calendar,” on the website calendar if you have google calendar.)
With my yoga teacher trainees each year, right at the beginning of the course, since home practice is so key to that training, we clarify not only what but WHEN they will be practicing, and I tell them, as I have for years, that if they tell me a day of the week, I can tell them approximately when I’ll be doing my yoga and meditation practice. I can say that BECAUSE it’s in my schedule. It’s not specifically noted on my calendar, but it’s mentally there. I’m sure you can tell me, at least approximately, when you will be brushing your teeth each day because, though it’s probably not written down or on the calendar on your device, it IS in your schedule.
I have known for years that if something (whatever it is doesn’t matter that much) is in my schedule, I will be pretty sure that it will happen. If it’s not in my schedule, no matter how much if I SAY I want to do it or even need to do it, it’s almost guaranteed NOT to happen. If yoga, or anything really, is something that you profess to value and find helpful, just getting it in your calendar MAY make a big difference as it did for that particular woman. That was certainly not the first time I’ve seen that happen for a person other than myself.
If putting it in your calendar DOESN’T help you showing up (for yourself) as much as you’d like, then it’s time to look deeper. Feel free to revisit this blog from February 2015 on Resistance and Excuses.
Later, Susan made her above comment that it’s so easy to let life get in the way of yoga practice. She’s been practicing yoga almost as long as I’ve been alive. She’s speaking from experience and knows what she’s talking about! I think the key word in her statement is “let.” (“Easy” is another key word.) Life doesn’t get in the way. We LET Life get in the way; we LET something apparently external stop us from doing what we want to do and what would best serve our long-term interest. We AGREE to be stopped, too easily in many cases, from taking some positive and life-affirming and love-enhancing action.
Certainly from the small-mind perspective, Life appears more than happy to “get in the way”… of my plans, my desires being fulfilled, my goals, peace, ease, yoga, meditation, whatever. Though it is actually possible that Life actually does “get in the way,” I think if we’re honest, even mildly so, it generally is that really we are in our own way. Life is simply a reflection/projection of what’s happening inside.
Without a firm commitment, possibly with the aid of our calendar, we could spend an entire lifetime of wanting to take some positive action and then find ourself at the end not having done it. If you used to do yoga or meditate or dance or walk or eat good food or…, and you want to be doing it again/still, what’s the trajectory you’re on now? Does that thing need to be in your calendar?
Remember, yoga works best when you DO it.