When I say “practice yoga every day,” I mean: do what resonates in your heart as yoga – whatever fosters presence, whether it is running, yoga asana (postures), playing music, breath work, practicing compassion, cooking or painting.
With whatever you consider to be your yoga practice, I am sure there are many answers to the question: Why?
For example, some reasons to practice yoga asana include:
- Increase flexibility and build strength
- Reduce stress and increase sense of calm
- Develop body awareness
- Reduce and prevent pain
- Manage weight
- Breathe better
But this focus on doing yoga every day is less about the benefits of the practice itself. It isn’t about the lovely long hamstrings or fitting into your skinny clothes; it is about building tapas.
Tapas is the Spanish word for “appetizers,” but in Sanskrit it means something very different. Tapas is sometimes translated as “fierce discipline” or as “burning enthusiasm.” Ultimately, it is about cultivating an unquestioned commitment to your practice.
And practicing every day is how you cultivate this unquestioned commitment. Consistency builds commitment.
At this point, you might be thinking, “But I have tried to practice every day and it didn’t get easier – it got harder.”
My guess is that you made the same mistake that most people make: You tried to do too much every day.
Central to the practice of tapas is learning to live with your most compelling priorities in mind, which means, unfortunately, that it is not about doing everything you want to do every day. Tapas requires that you weed through your “To Do” lists and your grandiose visions for what you will accomplish each day/week/year, and deepen your understanding of what most nourishes you and supports you in living the life you want to live.
If your daily yoga practice involves traditional practices such as yoga asana, meditation or pranayama, drop-in yoga classes can be a wonderful place to deepen your knowledge, connect with others, and give over to the guidance of a teacher, but they are not a sustainable way to develop a daily practice.
Whether it is time constraints, health, location, energy or finances, there will always be things that prevent you from attending a class every single day. Developing a home-based practice is essential to practicing every day. Your practice needs to have elements you can practice when you are sick with the flu, and your practice needs to be manageable enough that you can make time for it even on the days when you feel like you don’t have any free time.
Yoga has been a powerful tool for transformation in my life, and unquestionably, one of the most positive shifts has been a result of developing tapas. Learning to shape my practice into one that is manageable and sustainable throughout the roller coaster ride that life can be has taught me to develop unquestioning commitment in other areas of my life, and it has ultimately led me to a sense of freedom that I had historically been looking for in all the wrong places.
I want to help other people to find the freedom I have found in unquestioned commitment.
For the rest of the month of January, I am offering a special double-private session – where we meet twice 30-40 days apart – and set up a sustainable daily yoga practice for you.
All the details are below.
Two 75 minute private classes for $100.00
- For the first session, I will come to your home and together we will carve out a practice space and develop a realistic and sustainable daily practice for you
- After this session, we will set up the date for the second session, which ideally will be 30-40 days after the first
- I will come back for the second session during which we will reflect on your experience with the practice and further refine it to meet your goals and suit your lifestyle
To arrange your private classes, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org