Yoga practice is a discipline.
So many of us forget that, and end up practicing our yoga when life is convenient, or when we want to, or only on certain days when we “have time.” And we forget that yoga is meant to be a discipline—a practice that we should be doing rain or shine, when we want to or when we don’t. It’s called practice for a reason.
Last week, lounging on a crystal-white beach and playing in sun-kissed waves, I let the discipline of yoga fade into the background. It’s easy, when other things feel all-encompassing, to let your yoga practice fall by the wayside. And sometimes, things really are all-encompassing, especially when you’ve just had a baby or are constantly traveling. But there are always small things you can do to keep your yoga practice alive, even if it’s only five minutes of your day. The key to continually growing and developing in yoga is, of course, to just do it. And keep doing it.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but yoga is not just there to help you feel good. Yes, it absolutely does that, but it’s also there to challenge you, to test your limits, and to help you figure out what shows up in your body when things get hard. If you’re working on a specific pose, doing it every single day will help you find your fullest expression in a much better and safer way than doing it once or twice a week. If once or twice a week is what works with your schedule, that’s better than once or twice a month. And even if you only practice for three minutes each day, seeing progress within your practice and your life becomes clear when yoga becomes a regular part of your routine.
Just as the waves of the ocean continuously work at the shore until it bends to the water’s will, so does your yoga practice continually bend and challenge your body no matter what pose you’re in. Yoga washes away the ego and brings balance to the body. When our practice is irregular or imbalanced, our ego stays, and our bodies do not change to the same extent. So if you want the full benefits of your yoga practice, make it regular. And if you have an established practice and want more, commit to practicing every single day, whether or not your practice is five minutes or an hour and a half. Do what works for you, but do it often and regularly.
And if you’ve forgotten your practice along the way, don’t worry—yoga is always welcoming. Find the routine that works for you and stick to it. Spring is the perfect time to reassess your practice! As the leaves turn green and flowers blossom, let your yoga practice blossom too. Watch as your body—and your life—changes for the better.