Be honest ... are you getting in your own way? Do you find yourself making excuses for why you haven't got time to practice? Or do self-limiting beliefs stop you from trying something new for fear of failure? If this is you ... I'm totally with you. Even after years of practice it can be very difficult to silence the voice of self doubt but honestly, your mindset is the single most important factor in developing a beautiful, intuitive yoga practice. With a little bit of mindset training your practice will come on leaps and bounds ... I promise you. Here are some simple ideas to get into the mindset of yoga.
Be your own loudest cheerleader
Alright, time to big yourself up yogis! And before you tell me that's egotistical, and not 'yogic' bear with me. Yes, yoga is about humility but humility it is not about self-deprecation. Being humble is about admitting we don't know everything and being committed learning from our mistakes, it doesn't mean we're not allowed to celebrate our wins! I'm sure many of us could make a long list of the things we can't do or that we're 'bad' at but can you make a list of 50 things that make you awesome? This was the very first task in my core programme. Try it now and after every single practice you do, add at least one thing to the list ... it's very empowering!
Remember, you have as many hours in the day as Beyonce
Where on earth does the day go? By the time you've got up, brushed your teeth and gone to work the day is over right? Nope. You have exactly the same amount of hours in the day as everyone else so start prioritising. What are the 5 things you want to do today that are essential to your health and wellbeing? Is it your yoga practice? Taking 30 minutes to talk to your partner (or cat)? Running a long bath? Put it your diary like any other essential task ... make it a priority. Your health, happiness and wellbeing should be your NUMBER ONE focus and ... I'm sorry ... if you can find 45 minutes a day to get lost in a Pinterest vortex, you definitely have time for your yoga practice. Make the choice ;)
Let go of the things you can't control
A very wise teacher once told me you don't ever get to pick the day when you magically float into a handstand. That is out of your control. But what you CAN control is the energy you show up with every day. And here is one of the most beautiful and profound lessons of yoga. Do the work, but let go of the attachment to the result. Practice for the joy of practicing, not the glory of an end point ... because there isn't one ... and you will drive yourself insane!
Reframe what you see as failure
Think of a time when you really messed up and I bet you learned a hell of a lot from it. Think of something that took you a really really long time to learn and I bet it brings back amazing feelings of accomplishment and inner strength. When we get things right all the time; when things are easy, we miss out on the opportunity for learning and growth. I see it all the time in yoga. It's the student who starts of stiff as a plank of wood and struggles for months to improve their flexibility who sticks with their practice ... because they've done the work, they've faced their internal struggles and they're still showing up for themselves. Now when things get challenging in a new asana they know they've been here before and got through it. Failure has been their greatest teacher.
Unpick what it represents
It's great to have goals ... whether that's getting to yoga class 3 times a week, learning headstand or developing a daily home practice but if we keep it as a superficial goal we lack the discipline to follow through because at the heart of it, we don't really connect to why it's important. What does your goal represent to you? Maybe your goal of attending yoga class 3 times a week is about you making a commitment to your health, maybe it's about carving out time for yourself. Your headstand goal ... is that about trying new things? About putting trust in your body and dispelling fear? Take a piece of paper now and brainstorm one goal .. give it a meaning beyond the physical. As we know, the real practice of yoga extends beyond the mat. I'd love to hear what you're working on!
Wishing you only love