I love self practice, its taught me discipline but its sometimes hard to take that initial step onto your mat. Our mind comes up with all of the reasons as to why we shouldn’t and it can often win. Here are some of the ways I override my excuses:
1. DO NOT HIT THAT SNOOZE BUTTON!
I am a morning person but…… if I hit snooze its game over. Get up straight away. Recently I watched a Youtube video with Mel Robbins explaining the ‘5 second rule’. No, not the one to do with food on the floor, but how to literally get up and go. What she recommends is simple, count backwards from 5 to 1 and go. It stops your brain from coming up, immediately, with excuses as to why you shouldn’t. By the time those thoughts flood in, you’re up and out of bed. It works with procrastination too (if you were umming and arraing about an afternoon or evening practice)
Have your things prepared the night (or morning) before. Mat already rolled out, clothes to wear, post practice meal prepped. Planning sets an intention which you are more likely to follow through with.
This one isn’t for everyone but its certainly got me on my mat from time to time. Watch a Youtube video or have a look (not for too long though :)) at Instagram. There are some really inspiring people out there and that might be all it takes to get you to your mat. If it gets you practicing and breathing it doesn’t matter what brought you there, the practice will do its work anyway.
As a teacher, my students inspire me to keep up my practice. Their dedication inspires me on days were I’m tired, sore or overthinking.
4. TRICK YOUR MIND
Tell yourself you’ll just do one or two sun salutations. Once you’ve done a couple you’ll almost always do more.
5. THINK OF HOW YOU FEEL AFTER A PRACTICE
Im not sure I know of anyone that regretted getting on their mat. Also theres usually a reason as to why you started practicing yoga, more than likely it was to make a positive change. Remember why you get on your mat and what happens when you do.
Try to practice in the same place and at a similar time each practice if you can. It’ll create familirarity, we like to do what is familiar. Having a routine will turn into a habit, which takes around 21 days. Make the process as simple as possible, you’ll procrastinate less.
7. CREATE A SPACE YOU LOVE
You’re more likely to practice if you love the space. I love candles, plants, incense, salt lamps, yoga pictures (you know, all the stereo typical yogi things) in a clean, well lit space (not always possible I know). But be surrounded by whatever you like. Make a place/spot that you want to spend time in.
8. LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME
Looking back doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Its good to see how far you’ve come and positive changes that you’ve made, the growth thats happened. Be proud of where you are today and what you’ve been through to get there.
Most importantly don’t punish yourself if you don’t manage to practice asana that day, that’s the opposite to what you’re working towards! You can still practice the other limbs of yoga. Try again tomorrow. Be kind to yourself.
I hope these tools help, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.