I sometimes wonder how many downward dogs, triangles or tree poses I have formed with my body since I first started practising yoga. How many times have I practised Nadi Sodhana or meditated? Have you noticed how we work on some of the same poses or pranayama techniques every in class as gradually our body begins to relax, and perhaps learn another of the 84,000 asana available?
Some of you have probably heard this many times when people say to you “Why do you practise Yoga?” What do you say, how do you explain what Yoga means to you?
I know that Yoga is much more than just practising asana and whether or not I can tie my body in knots. I know and feel the effect yoga has had on me from when I first stepped into a yoga class and onto a yoga mat. There are many layers to yoga; from the physical benefits which help with our aches and pains, to yoga for the mind and our spiritual journey.
Yoga is said to be a method that helps to awaken in you a sense of balance and harmony, a journey of self-discovery. Our body and mind need the repetition, that’s how we create and maintain new learning patterns and behaviours.
- It takes 21 days of consistently repeating an activity before your mind accepts it as a habit.
- It takes 40 days of consistent practice to break a bad habit or institute a positive habit or lifestyle change.
- It takes 90 days to confirm the elimination of the bad or the establishment of the new behaviour.
- After 120 days, the new habit is a part of you.
- In 1,000 days you will have mastered it.
Establishing a regular yoga practice and being dedicated to making the change happen has to come from within and that takes commitment. Typically, a modern day sadhana lasts 21, 30, or 40 days and will inevitably help shake us free from our usual routine by creating new healthier habits. For me, my practice is for 365 days a year, and affects how I act, in thought, word and deed.
“Yoga is a mirror to look at ourselves from within”.
Mr BKS Iyengar
Let me know why you practice and what Yoga means to you.
If you have any suggestions or photos for the focus of the month, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Balasana © istock images
Sharon Price, January 2016