Do you sometimes need more motivation to get on the mat? Yoga teacher & writer Rakhee Jasani believes that accountability, motivation and nourishment are keys to understanding Yoga and its impact.
How do I find motivation to do yoga, on those days when I’d rather draw the duvet over my head and not get out of bed? I think that yoga and accountability go hand in hand. Sometimes yoga is the last thing I feel like doing. I linger over another cup of tea and decide that if I take the time to do yoga, I will never catch up or in fact the housework is really pressing! None of this is true. In fact, getting on my mat is what gives me the headspace to face up to whatever the day throws at me. The magical thing is, even if I start feeling lacklustre, bored and distracted, somehow the very act of allowing my breath to deepen, giving my mind the permission to still and having the discipline to get on my mat turns things around.
You are what you do
I think we often end up with some sort of idea of what our yoga practice should look like: sometimes involving a beach, a bendy body and complete with a hollywood soundtrack. I believe, however that accountability and discipline form the heart of any yoga practice. Certainly more mundane than the fantasy: discipline and accountability don’t sound that much fun, do they? But I really think you are what you do every day. The reality is that you get to decide what your yoga practice is. It can be time for you to nurture and nourish yourself. Your time for yoga can be short or long and sometimes you might feel bored, or achy or tired, but connecting with how you feel and taking the time for yourself is what matters. So how can we find more motivation without beating ourselves up?
Mix it up! Do different things. I first got a Movement for Modern Life subscription because it made yoga more accessible. Short classes, long classes, classes that fit whatever time I had was the immediate appeal. I also liked not having to leave the house or being somewhere at a set time. The best thing though, is that it inspires me. I like to make Movelists that explore similar themes in different ways or to try different styles or teachers I haven’t practiced with. I practice to classes online, I self-practice, sometimes I combine the two, I go to classes, I read books that inspire me, or listen to podcasts that open up new worlds. That drip, drip of inspiration motivates me to move. This class from one of my teachers, Adam Hocke offers much needed clarity in the mornings to allow inspiration to take root.
I think we should all get playful. Yoga is serious stuff, but we don’t need to be overly serious. In fact, I find the more playful I am in my practice, the more fun I have, the more the creativity flows and the more I feel motivated. I love to practice with my eyes closed or focussing on different senses. I love to add in Qigong to see what happens. So go on, have fun when you do yoga. Why not try this fun, creative class?
Yoga and Accountability
Being accountable is key to being consistent. Commit to your yoga and make sure others know about it. This is the best way of building a habit and once you have built the habit, it will serve you well. Looking for inspiration? Why not join Kat Farrants for a month of accountability
Your time on your mat should feel nourishing. There’s no way, otherwise you’ll find the motivation to get on your mat. Make yoga your refuge. Current research suggests that restful, mindful movement can be more effective in balancing the nervous system, kick-starting emotional healing, enhancing immunity and improving digestion. There’s a lot to be said for breathing fully and feeling nurtured by our own care and attention. Try this class from my teacher, Mimi Kuo-Deemer
I have found that over the twenty plus years, I have been doing yoga, my practice has changed. I hadn’t really thought about this much, but as I wrote this, I realised that actually understanding this is key to finding motivation. Allow your yoga practice to change. Your body changes, so doesn’t it make sense that your practice would too? Everything changes and shifts and moves apart and comes back together. Your favourite music, food, and clothes change, so why wouldn’t the way you move change too? Do what feels right for you, right now. Tomorrow can take care of itself.
About Rakhee Jasani:
Movement for Modern Life’s Wordsmith Maven, Rakhee is also a Yoga Teacher, creative writer and arts consultant. Rakhee classes offer breath-led yoga infused with restorative calm. Rakhee combines vinyasa and restorative yoga, qigong and meditation practices and draws inspiration from nature, culture, philosophy, myth. She has trained with MFML’s Adam Hocke and Mimi Kuo-Deemer.