Staying Committed to Your Practice

“Allow commitment toward your path to fuel your determination. Turn the obstacles on your path into stepping stones. Let nothing deter you from your happiness – see your path clearly.” ~~ Ritu Ghatourey

Ahh…summer is fast approaching, and many of us are getting summer fever. It’s that time of year to get our yards in shape, go on vacation, relax, catch some sun and have fun.

Many times, our good intentions end up with us having TOO much to do, and we end up more stressed than relaxed. Sound familiar? I know it is for me. Each summer, it seems like I take on too much “stuff”, the result of which is that my commitment to my own yoga practice ends up suffering.

I’ve been practicing yoga since 1999. And through my yoga journey, I have seen the consistency of my practice wax and wane — not just during this time of year, either.  Just as with anything in life, it’s sometimes hard to stay dedicated and committed to something you love when other distractions come up or get in the way.

However, this summer, I am really going to try my best to maintain my commitment to do my daily meditations and maintain my regular yoga practice on the mat. I might have to reduce the amount of time I spend on these things than I do now, but I’ve seen so much growth in myself this year, and I know it’s because I got more serious about these things and really invested the time in myself. I can’t lose those gains. I won’t.

Now, will I beat myself up if things don’t go as planned? No. I’ve learned through my experiences that you can’t judge yourself too harshly. There will be days when I find it hard to get on the mat or concentrate on meditating, as my body and mind may just not have the energy or enthusiasm needed on that given day. And that’s OK. But if I listen to my body, I know I’ll be able to figure it out. Maybe my planned Vinyasa practice might have to change to a more restorative practice. Or maybe I change the amount of time I’d planned on to something more manageable. As long as I am listening to, and honoring, my body and mind on that given day, all is good.

It’s all about balance, and if we can remember that, it will be much easier to meet our commitments. Obstacles will be thrown at us from time to time, and it’s how we respond to  those obstacles that will determine our success. 

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali mentions effort and surrender. Without both of these aspects, our practice can get out of balance and collapse (i.e., your body gets too tired, or your mind gets clouded by anxiety or dullness). So make sure to take the time to find your balance, and be OK with the fact that you may have to be a bit more flexible in your plans in order to maintain your commitment. When you find this balance, you’ll be able to see your path more clearly and will be able to more intuitively practice in the way that’s right for YOU.



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