Sustaining our yoga practice, whether at home or attending classes, is not always easy. We get lazy, we get busy, we make excuses…and we postpone. A week off leads to a month, and before we know it a year has passed and we haven’t rolled out our mats. We know yoga is good for us, we’ve felt the benefits, we understand, we get it. But how do we stop stopping, and just keep going?
As usual, we can look to the yogi’s book of inspiration and insight for our answers, the Yoga Sutras. Compiled by Patanjali in the 2nd century, this collection of 196 aphorisms guides us when we are stuck. In the first chapter (Sutra 1:20) smritisamadhiis presented as a pathway to propel us forward in our lives. Smriti Samadhi is the practice of articulating and visualization what is needed in our lives.
If we don’t see ourselves attaining our goals, overcoming blocks and obstacles, then we have don’t have a target to meet. If we don’t have clear targets for ourselves, then how can we attain them? So here’s the link: when we take the time to consciously see ourselves practicing yoga daily (through visualization), it creates an abundance of FAITH within ourselves to do this. By developing what Patajanli calls sraddha (faith with love and reference) we can easily overcome barriers, create new rhythms in our lives, and live the life we want full of abundance. All we need is a little faith, and the cultivation of faith is a practice.
Next time you are in need of some intrinsic motivation (and to reset your faith button), try this. Roll out your mat, sit tall, find your seat, and let your imagination take you exactly where you want to be. Before you know it you will stand up, stretch your arms up your head….and, voila, the practice has begun in Urdhva Hastasana (hands over the head pose). As George Michaels sang to us in the late 1980’s “Yes, I’ve gotta have faith….!”