The Ashtanga full primary series seems daunting. Given our busy schedule and crazy demands on our body, it seems hard to find the willpower to step onto the mat to practice. What can we do to find this willpower or discipline to do so?
- Finish what you start
Before you start, set aside the time required for your practice. If you can’t allocate the usual time needed to complete your practice, consider cutting your practice. The point here is to do something that is reasonably that you can complete.
A short practice of sun salutations, standing sequences and closing sequences are suffice. Sometimes, even doing 5 rounds of Sun Salutations A and B are good enough.
Once you determine the sequence you want to finish, roll your mat and place one foot in. Hopefully, this will spur you to kickstart your practice!
And while practising, focus on your practice and tell yourself to finish what you start. Don’t leave the mat until you finish the sequence you planned for.
- Do beyond expectation
We need some small wins in life to motivate further. This is no different on our mat. Today, you can decide to hold longer in your headstand, upluthih. Or it can be as simple as holding your breath slightly longer than usual.
Doing beyond expectation creates some small wins, which will then motivate yourself – “Yes, I did it. Let me try more the next time”. But remember to look after yourself. Don’t push too hard if you are experiencing pain.
- Spend your energy wisely
We have experienced tiredness when we practice ashtanga. The thought of this may deter us from practising. So, learn to spend your energy wisely.
Don’t intentionally expend so much energy when moving into the poses; don’t squeeze your muscles when holding on to poses, you just need to engage enough to stretch; control your breathe, it should be consistent and easy, you shouldn’t feel out of breath.
Hope the 3 steps does help to improve your ashtanga practice or any other yoga style.