I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘practice’ these past few months. Perhaps the new year period put me in a reflective mood as I looked ahead to what I want to practise in 2022.
There is comfort in practice. Whether your practice is yoga, finding stillness, writing, sketching or something else.
When I was in my 4-year travelling period, my daily practices were where I found stability and comfort while my surroundings were ever changing. I learned to slip my practices into what I call, “the cracks of my day”, and I still do that.
What sort of practice do you have in your day/week?
Did you set yourself some new year goals which included practice of some sort?
If, as we reach mid-February, your motivation is waning, here is some encouragement to keep you going:
Be Kind to Yourself
When you are hard on yourself it can lead to you giving the practice up totally, because your focus has moved from practice to performance.
It doesn’t matter if you miss a session or a day; let go of any feelings of failure and pick up the practice the next day.
[CLICK to see large version of this sketch from my yoga teacher training days where we had to name what we could see, hear or feel in our meditation class.]
There are days where nothing is in our control, least of all time. Don’t let that derail your daily practice. Have several versions of your practice – from mini to maxi.
Can’t fit in an hour of yoga, do a couple of rounds of a salutation; no time for that, do some simple stretches; and when that’s not possible, find 5 – 10 minutes to connect your mind, body and breath through a simple breathing exercise (like alternate nostril breathing).
Know Your Why
Remembering why you are doing your chosen practice helps shift the focus from the individual session to the bigger picture.
When I started sketching, I mainly drew urban settings & landscapes. I sketched people from behind – as shown – as I couldn’t draw faces! Eventually, I knew I had to learn to draw people. My daily practice was to draw people, but my bigger goal was to be able to draw any scene I came upon when I was out with my sketch book.
Enjoy your practice – whatever it is you are working on.
PS. Try cultivating a beginner’s mind in your next yoga practice by putting perception above performance. How do you perceive the movements in your body and the changes in your breathing?