When you step on your mat next time, no matter if you’re in class or practicing on your own, do one thing: take your practice serious. It’s not a fun tool, a fitness regime or anything to tone your body. It’s about you. It’s about quietening your mind, while your body is moving.
No matter how many people are around you or if you’re on your own: your practice is about you, only you. Don’t care about the postures. Do it. Flow through.
Keep on going, stop complaining. No, it‘s not too hot, it’s not too cold and no, you are not too busy. Practice. Move your body and give your mind a conscious break. Find peace in yourself. This little smile that no one can see and everyone sees.
“Remember, the main thing that shapes our body is how we feel, so don’t waste your sacred moments in senseless distraction.“ (Samadi, Bali)
When I start a class, I usually ask my students to allow themselves for the next 60/90 minutes to be present, in the room, on their mat, and most important with themselves. I ask them to practice mindful as a commitment to being here and now. I know this isn’t easy, particularly when practicing over lunch, when students arrive stressed and might have challenging stuff to do or lots of appointments in the afternoon. The more important it is to grant our monkey minds a break. The morning is past, nothing to do about it and the afternoon not yet there. Integrating the attention of presence in action, this is what it’s all about. Sounds simple, anyhow, not always easy to realize.
There are a couple of things that might help:
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Direct your energy and your full attention to yourself
- Keep your focus on your breath (and simply bring it back each time you lost connection!)
- Be gentle with yourself
- Feel what you are doing
- Relax and enjoy the process
Next time when you hit the mat, give yourself permission for the time of your practice to just do that, nothing else, physically AND mentally. Any thoughts that pop up, let them come and let them pass, knowing they will get the required attention after your practice. I promise this will change your practice significantly!