Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Self Discipline - What Do the Yoga Sutras Say?

Would you like more self discipline?
Do you find it difficult to be self disciplined? If so, you are not alone. Of all the comments and questions I receive about a home practice, the biggest one is "How do I motivate myself?" Excellent question!

In my last post, Yoga at Home, Glam Spirit left a comment that mentioned the need for discipline, especially for a home practice, but that the home practice was well worth it. So, how do you get yourself to do something that you know will be helpful?

Consider the following:

1. Do you know, I mean really know, that a disciplined practice will have a pay off? Let's find out. Start by committing to practicing just one hour every Wed morning (or pick another day and time) for 2 months? If you can do more, then pick 2 or even 3 days a week. The key is select the days and times first. Then carry through for 1 or 2 months. This is only 4 to 8 hours over 1 or 2 months to test something out that just might change your life! You are worth that piddly amount of time. So, DO IT!

2. Dr. Wayne Dyer, when asked how to find time to meditate, said, "I don't have time to get sick. So, I find time [to meditate]."

3. Do you find time to tuck your kids in at night? To help out friends? To feed the dog? To shop for your family? To run errands? To watch TV? Why not honor yourself with some time to nourish, rejuvenate, relax, strengthen, and care for just you?

4. In an airplane, the steward instructs all passengers to place the airbag on yourself first. Then you take care of children or the disabled. That's right. It's not selfish to take time for yourself. It's necessary.

5. If you say, "I practice Yoga", then remember the fundamental text that most Yogas today are based on, The Yoga Sutras. In the Sutras, Pantanjali lists the third Niyama as Tapas. Tapas is committed self-discipline. So, part of the practice of Yoga is to practice self-discipline. How wonderful. It's a practice! That means you don't have to be perfect. The neat part about a practice, is that you are always learning and growing. That's why we practice. Instead of saying, "I don't have a home practice because I'm not disciplined." Say, "I practice Yoga, and part of that is learning discipline. I'm growing more disciplined every day." Remember, part of the practice is the discipline. Soon you'll reap the rewards in more discipline in all that you do--eating, sleeping, relationships, etc.

6. Create a comfortable space to practice in. You only need about 4'x7'. Buy a mat and start by unrolling it at your chosen time. If nothing else, lay in corpse (Savasana) for 5 minutes. That's a practice. Next time, you might just add some sun salutations (Surya Namaskars).

7. Check out for some ideas. I don't know how long this link will be available, but it's up right now. And the ideas for a home class are all FREE! So is a home Yoga practice.

In summary, start today, not next month. Step one is selecting the time and day. That will only take 5 minutes. Don't you owe yourself 5 minutes?

Love Much,


Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

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