I’ve been attending a yoga class once a week for the past few months now. From the beginning we were encouraged to continue the yoga practice at home, preferably on a daily basis. I really struggled with trying to do even one day at home on my own. The thought of doing the warming exercises and holding the Asanas for a length of time felt like it needed a lot more patience then I actually had. I tried a few times but my efforts were really poor. I’d race through the warming exercises and hold the Asanas for a ridiculously short amount of time. It was better than nothing I guess, but I don’t think it was really doing a lot.
It probably took a good three or four months of classes before I started daily practice at home. It happened all of a sudden too. I went from not practicing at all during the week to practicing at least once a day, sometimes even twice.
Why I made the transition
I think my sudden change to regular yoga practice was due to the right combination of things, although this combination wasn’t particularly that pleasant. Probably the main motivation was learning a new bandha. Without going into any detail, a bandha is a particular yoga ‘position’ that is part of a yoga routine. This bandha in particular was a goal for me. I knew we were learning it soon so I decided to make the day we learnt it the day I started practicing yoga every day. And I did.
The second and third motivations were the unpleasant ones. I had an incredibly bad monthly cycle (girl stuff) which gave me really bad emotional PMT. So as a result I was feeling quite depressed. To make matters worse, I had a falling out with my best friend so I was feeling hurt by the situation and lonely because I wasn’t spending time with him anymore.
The fourth motivation was the beginning of a new meditation class run by the same yoga school I attend. I can’t explain how but this new meditation class and the initiation process for the meditation put me in some kind of spiritual zone.
So, I had the new bandha, I was feeling depressed and lonely, and was learning a new form of meditation. All the right ingredients to turning over a new leaf with regular spiritual practice. To be honest, I think the depression paid a big part. I can’t really explain it but for some reason yoga and meditation are very comforting to me. Knowing that I have this daily practice of yoga and meditation is like a big warm cuddly blanket. So the first thing I wanted to do when I was feeling depressed was yoga twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. Knowing that the routine and spirituality was there in my life was a very comforting and warming thought.
Now my depression is gone (thankfully) and I’m back to my usual happy self again my yoga and meditation have dropped off a little, but are still a daily regular practice. I do a very basic short routine most mornings, and a full routine every afternoon.
I’ve struggled a little with finding the right time to fit it into my day. I started off thinking the mornings were best because I usually wake up around the same time every day. I find my body is too stiff in the morning though so it makes the yoga a lot harder to do. Late evening has been fantastic when I’ve done it because I sleep incredibly well, however, I can rarely concentrate during meditation. This close to bed time my meditations are filled with yawning and a mind that wants to fall asleep. So, the best time for me is in the afternoon when my body is warm and flexible and my mind is still awake and alert.
It’s important to fit the yoga around your eating routine too, because you’re not supposed to eat two hours before yoga. So, I generally like to do my yoga practice roughly two to four hours after lunch.
The benefits I’ve received
Really, I’ve only been doing this regular practice for two or three weeks now but the benefits I’ve received have been fantastic. It’s difficult to say exactly how because the changes are so subtle, but I feel as though I have an extra comfort and security and warmth in my life. Sounds a bit crazy I know, but for now it’s enough motivation to keep my going.