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5 Secrets for a Long Haul Yoga Practice

ashtanga yoga long haul sustainable practice Nov 06, 2023

A famous quote attributed to Pattabhi Jois states, "Do your practice, and all is coming." As we delve deeper into our yoga journey, we begin to realize that this adage rings true. The good, the bad, and the downright challenging aspects of life all seem to make an appearance. From jobs and relationships to illness, injury, pregnancy, and relocation, the world can throw countless distractions our way, making it feel like everything is conspiring against our yoga practice. So, how can you stay dedicated for the long haul?

In this article, I'm excited to share with you my "5 Secrets for a Long Haul Yoga Practice." But let me emphasize that these secrets are most effective when you're wholeheartedly committed to your yoga practice. Half-hearted attempts won't do the trick.

In the world of yoga, we bend, twist, and breathe our way to peace and strength. It's a journey filled with self-discovery, but it's not without its moments of frustration. These five principles are simple, yet essential, to ensure your yoga practice endures the test of time. So, unroll your mat, take a deep breath, and let's dive right in.

1. Own Your Practice: Make Decisions Based on Your Body and Don't Apologize for It

The first secret is rather straightforward—own your practice. It's your journey, your body, and your experience. No need to ever apologize for making decisions that suit your unique needs. Whether it means opting for a gentle modification or taking a well-deserved break, your practice is yours to command. Comparisons to others have no place here. Trust your instincts and do what feels right for you. After all, letting someone else dictate your practice can lead to injury and unnecessary frustration.

2. Have Fun and Find Joy in Your Practice

Yoga is all about striking a balance, and that includes balancing effort with enjoyment. Secret number two is a delightful one—infuse your practice with fun and joy. While yoga can be intense and demanding, it also provides a wonderful opportunity to smile, laugh, and savor the journey. Cultivate that childlike wonder within, experiment with poses, and remember not to take yourself too seriously. It's not just about nailing those physical postures; it's equally about fostering a positive and joyous mindset. To stay committed for the long run, you must genuinely enjoy your practice.

3. Check In with Yourself Daily: Recognize Our Bodies Are Impermanent

Our bodies are incredible, but they are not static entities. Each day presents different energy levels, emotions, and physical capabilities. Secret number three serves as a daily reminder to check in with yourself and acknowledge the impermanence of your body. Be kind and patient, whether your practice feels effortless or slightly more challenging on any given day. Embrace the fact that change is the only constant. In doing so, you'll set more realistic expectations for your yoga journey.

4. Protect Your Practice Fiercely: Hold Time and Space for It

Life can be a whirlwind, with a never-ending array of competing priorities vying for your attention. Yet, safeguarding your yoga practice is paramount. Make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Secret number four urges you to carve out dedicated time and space for your yoga practice. Treat this time as a precious gem, for your practice isn't solely about physical postures; it's your sanctuary for self-care, self-reflection, and personal growth.

5.  Seek Support from Others

Yoga is often viewed as a solitary journey, but that doesn't mean you have to navigate it alone. The final secret is a reminder that seeking help and community support is entirely acceptable. Whether it's guidance from a friend, fellow practitioner, or a knowledgeable teacher, never hesitate to reach out. Support communities that you value. The wisdom and encouragement from others can enhance your practice, offer valuable insights, and keep you motivated. We all require a helping hand on occasion, and there's no shame in seeking support.

These simple yet powerful principles will guide you gracefully and enthusiastically through your yoga journey. Embrace your practice, find joy in every moment, honor your body's fluctuations, protect your practice time, and don't hesitate to seek the support you need. Keep in mind that yoga is a path of self-discovery and growth, as unique as you are.

☀️🧘‍♀️🌊 I have a few rooms left for my Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Sayulita. If beautiful Mexican beaches, Mysore-style yoga, and delicious food are your thing, consider signing up. Email me if you have questions.

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About Jen René

Hey there! I'm a dedicated Ashtanga teacher and fourth series practitioner. I'm also a Pilates enthusiast. I taught my first class in 2005. And since then I have learned lots of amazing tricks that can help you on your own yoga journey.


Connect with Me! @jenreneyoga