Discipline is so important in maintaining a daily yoga practice, especially in Ashtanga. When we are wanting to make a lifestyle out of the practice and really dive into what the Ashtanga Yoga Practice is meant to be, it is crucial that we are being consistent. Here are some tips that helped me in developing consistency in the practice.
Time and Place
Make practice a habit. Focus on showing up to your practice around the same time each day. Ritualize it by scheduling a specific time six days out of the week for practice. If you aren’t feeling as great about your practice that day, do not skip. Change the practice and do as much as possible, but always show up to your mat.
Create a dedicated spot for practice. If you are an at home practitioner, set aside a part of your home only for practice. The studio can be your practice spot as well, do what is best for you and motives you to show up to the practice each day. In Ashtanga, we always place a picture of our teacher in our practice space as inspiration, this keeps you going when you practice. Make your space sacred.
The Ashtanga Community is an amazing one! Find inspiration in your peers. Connect with fellow yogis that leave around you and make friends at workshops or classes that you attend. This has been a huge one for me. I never thought that I would be connecting with yogis that I look up to, but they are so humble and support others in their practice. I have gotten so many tips from more established practitioners just by posting videos on my IG with postures that I am struggling with. Connect! It is so inspirational and helps push you through the rough spots in the practice.
Every practice, I set a goal. That may be to focus on bandhas or breathe, maybe leading with the chest in the postures. Whatever it may be, set a goal for the practice that you can use to guide and set the tone for that day. Stick with just one goal so it is attainable, but one goal each day.
Be Kind to Yourself
Some days will be rough, others you will feel like you’re flying! Practice non-attachment and absorb the practice, then let it go. Accept where you’re at. Don’t be too hard on yourself or compare yourself to those around you. Your practice is your own, just as they have their own. A goal of practicing yoga is to drop the ego, do not let it become part of your practice. When you show up to the mat each day, just accept whatever it is that unfolds on the mat (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).
I hope this helps all of you on your path towards a consistent practice!