Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Personal Yoga Challenge

Instead of my usual Wednesday Green Choices feature, I am posting today on a personal challenge.  When making a resolution to oneself, it is often useful to share the commitment publicly, as an extra incentive to hold oneself accountable.

In recent months, I have felt steadily increasing benefits from the practice of yoga-- physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Too often, when people think of yoga, they think of only the physical practice.  That is an important part of the whole, but still only a part.  I began practicing last year.  I always thought yoga would be beneficial, and intended to try it "someday."  However, what finally drew me into actually starting the physical practice was exposure to a bit of yogic philosophy through reading.  Everything I read seemed to contain answers I sought for many questions.  Yoga is really a vehicle for recognizing the wonder of the universe and the oneness of all things through physical and mental discipline and meditation.  It trains one to better experience the joy of life and the infinite peace that may be gained just by focusing on and appreciating the wonder of each moment.
So, back to my personal challenge.  I wanted to get to the point that I practiced daily.  In honor of September's National Yoga Month, I resolved to make some time each day just for yoga practice, even if just a few minutes.  I think that's my key to being successful, to not set an arbitrary amount of time each day, but to leave it flexible, because there should never be a day that I can find no time at all.
At the end of the month, after 30 consecutive days, daily practice should just feel like a normal part of every day, and it should be fairly easy to sustain long-term. 
This is day 8 of my personal challenge.  So far, so good.  This morning, I warmed up before my run with a nice quick 7 ½ minute routine. I'm sure I'll also find time for at least a quick evening practice also!  The least I've practiced was 12 minutes September 4, and 20 minutes September 2.  Most days have been between 45 minutes and 1 ¼ hours.  Besides, it's never about the time.  It is the quality that is important.


FoodFitnessFreshair said...

Wonderful post. It's true that yoga is so much more than just the physical practice, and thus brings so many more additional benefits with it. I try to do at least 10 minutes a day. Even this small unit makes a difference.

Vern said...

Thank you, Grace!
When I hear many people talk about yoga, even some who practice the physical discipline, it appears that many have not been exposed to the philosphical and spiritual foundation, and only regard it as exercise. It IS great exercise, but that is missing out on the real treasure within!

And yes, only a few quality minutes makes a difference!


Karma Girl said...

Hi Vern! I was visiting your blog to see what you are up to today :)and because I received an email newsletter from elephant journal (an eclectic kind of site) that was about the 15th Annual Yoga Journal Conference in Colorado and I thought, "Vern, may be interested in this conference". You may already know about it, but I thought would at least bring it to your attention in case you did not.

I love your personal challenge this month and I think that, after my son's wedding on Sunday, I will start a personal challenge of sitting quietly for 5 minutes a day for a month. It probably doesn't sound like much, but for me it is not going to be easy. Namaste.

♥ Callah said...

So awesome to hear about your challenge! I totally agree, quality is more important. Even a few minutes can make a huge mental difference!

Vern said...

There goes that "like minds" thing again! I visit the Elephant Journal often! Recently, I read a good new translation of the Bhagavad Gita in order to follow an Elephant Journal discussion group on this edition.

I hope your son has a perfect wedding, and that you all have a great time! Good luck on your personal challenge! Five minutes is a great place to start. The quickest route to failure is to try to do too much too quickly!

Thanks for the encouragement! I actually got the idea from reading about a similar challenge on your blog and on Daily Cup of Yoga!
Om Shanti!