Thursday, May 21, 2009

97/139 - Keeping Practice Special

Tuesday Off

The day 138 meditation is short and simple.  Gates first points out how asana practice works positively on body, mind, and spirit.  Then says something that Bikram teachers say all the time:  that often the hardest part of Asana practice is just getting to class.  Most people can be geniuses at inventing reasons why today isn't a really good day for going.   

One answer to this resistance is to find ways to make Asana practice special.  Gates suggests finding yoga buddies, treating yourself to nice yoga clothes and equipment, taking a yoga vacation, joining workshops.  I think these are all very good ideas.  The book that got me started again, Younger Next Year,  makes a similar recommendation about any exercise activity you start.  The idea is to make it a treat instead of a chore.  One trouble with Bikram, however, is that its pretty hard to lavish nice yoga accessories on yourself with it.  I've got three nice sets of shorts, yogitoes towels, and two mats.  That's pretty extravagant for a Bikram practitioner, and it means that over the course of a year I've spent maybe $250 on yoga stuff.  (Compare cycling, where you could easily drop $250 on one wheel, or on a nice pair of shorts and a shirt.)

I haven't done any workshops yet, but I'm looking forward to any that come nearby.  That's definitely something I want to try.  Challenges in Bikram are another way to keep the practice special.  While the challenge goes on, not going to class is pretty much unthinkable.  And if the challenge lasts long enough, I think you eventually realize that you really can do the practice every single day, and that that is closer to the norm than the exception.


thedancingj said...

Ooooh yes - I am a BIG fan of getting to workshops/seminars whenever possible. That definitely keeps things fresh and interesting. Right now I'm signed up for advanced seminar, so that's giving me motivation to practice a lot and kick my own ass in class for the 6 weeks leading up to it, then I have the week there, and then I'll probably be extra inspired for a couple months after, so all told I'm getting extra energy for almost 1/3 of a year from a 1 week event! :)

Duffy Pratt said...

That's cool. Mary Jarvis may be coming to our studio for its three year anniversary in June. I need to check with Amy about that and see if tis going to happen. That would probably put some real fire into my practice for the next month or so, and who knows for how long afterward?

thedancingj said...

Oh sweet, that'd be perfect! I hope she makes it out there. :)