Personal Practice Challenge – Discipline

The next section of Living Your Yoga is on Discipline or as Judith puts it “practice in action”.  She starts by suggesting in order to begin practicing discipline to keep it simple and achievable.  The disciplined practice should focus on being mindful during the practice.   She discusses making a list of things you always want to do but never seem to have time doing them, such as meditation, exercise, writing, taking a walk, reading a good book.  She advises using a timer and setting for only 15 minutes and to do this every day.  She continues to explore that before each designated activity take a moment to declare the intention of what you are trying to do and afterwards to express gratitude for having the time to do it.  She suggests not going over 15 minutes and doing this for every day until maybe you decide to replace it with another activity.

Other Discipline practices she suggests include:

  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Commit yourself to doing what is possible.  Make a list of what you have to do tomorrow and eliminate activities that are unnecessary, reschedule those that can be and should be postponed.
  • Take a nap every Sunday.
  • Slow down in what ever everyday activity you choose such as driving, speaking or walking to you care.  Begin each activity with one gentle inhalation and follow it with a calm exhalation.
  • Take a lunch break every day.
  • For the next 3 days write down what you do in half-hour increments.  This exercise will help you discover your free time.  Now take a break instead of adding another activity and do something restorative like yoga or painting/artwork.

Importance of living “my yoga”

Judith Hanson Lasater in her book “Living Your Yoga” discusses that in order to develop a personal practice you have to well…make it personal.  She suggests in her first section to develop a list of what is important to you about living your yoga.  Now yoga is not necessarily asanas or poses so “your yoga” really can refer to any of aspect of yoga.  I would go further to say that it refers to any part of “spiritual/wellness practice”.  So whether one does sun salutations in the morning or a daily Christian devotion it is their practice and therefore has importance to the individual that practices it.  So what is important about my wellness and/or spiritual practice?   For me it is consistency. I really need something consistent that keeps me balance.  I also need a practice that helps me maintain mindfulness so that I develop the awareness to know what parts of my body are harboring stress or if I’m am emotionally eating and not just eating for nutrition.  I also need a practice that keeps me strong and healthy.   Finally I need a practice that calms me and provides me a space to be me and connect with my inner peace.  She suggests revisiting this list on occasions to see if anything has changed or needs to be added.