Whether you attend class once a week or practise alone at home every day, we can all come up with a plethora of excuses not to go ahead with our committed Yoga practice!

A Part of You? The Sabotaging Monkey Mind Having a Tantrum

Let’s not get confused…these are EXCUSES, not reasons! The difference? Priorities. You can’t deny your kids dinner (is fish fingers four nights in a row acceptable?), and yes, you do need sleep, at least occasionally! Excuses come from the imaginative monkey mind that is operates with the rebellion of a 13 year old, wanting you to slide backwards in your physical and mental health; whereas rational grown up reasons are sensible decisions leading to greater good.

Can you relate to these?:

1. “I went to bed too late, I need to sleep”.

(2) You stayed up late doing unessential chores,

(3) surfing the net,

(4) chatting with friends,

(5) watching TV. The whole time, you kept telling yourself “But I’ll still get up for Yoga at 6am”!

How many times do you have to do this to realize that you and late nights do not equal sustained Yoga practice? Next time, just go to bed! Simple!

6. “I’m running late for class”. “

(7) Ten minutes more in bed/

(8) one more bit of housework/

(9) one paragraph of reading…as long as I leave at quarter to, I will make it”. Next thing you know, you’re telling yourself that you

(10) may not get a park, or two minutes late is way too late to be walking in!

Once again the monkey mind has its way with you. Just who is in control here? Here’s what you do next time…notice yourself having the thought, ask yourself whether the thought is helpful in the long term, then move your butt!

11. “I’ll do it tomorrow instead”. Pick any one of the other excuses and then follow with this one. What happens tomorrow? Pick any one of the excuses.

Hey you, haven’t you noticed that tomorrow never comes, you feel guilty for not doing Yoga and then monkey mind is full volume giving you a hard time AND making more excuses? If you have a home practice, then start with 5 minutes of something, anything, and see what happens.

12. “I’ve practiced 15 days in a row, one day won’t hurt!”. Fantastic, you’ve done really well, 15 days into your 21 day commitment, you’re

(13) feeling so great that one day off won’t do harm,

(14) you deserve a rest.

Hello? Earth to Yogi? Could it be consistent practice that is helping you to feel great? NOW remind yourself that if you truly love Yoga then why would you want to miss it, even for a day? You wouldn’t, monkey mind would. Know who’s talking.

15 “I’ve got too much to do with the kids/(16) work”. The kids are almost asleep and you still have 5 school reports to read and a birthday to plan. You work at a 24/7 internationally available company, there is no shutdown and you have a job you want off the desk before tomorrow.

Find a Way to Yoga – Yoga is Proven to Make You More Productive and Efficient

There’s an old Zen saying: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour”. Meditation has the beneficial side effects of clarity of thinking, calm mind and settled emotions. A meditation will give you the space of mind and energy to carry you through, or the wisdom to know what can wait. Use the guided meditations on Yogasync.tv. Here’s one that’s only 7 minutes long and gives your hips a release too

17 “I’m too hungry/

(18) I’ve just eaten, I’m way to full to do Yoga!”. You missed lunch and now you’re ravenous. Or you sneak a meal in beforehand anyway, telling yourself that you’ll still do Yoga, but then pass into a food coma on the couch!

Use common sense. ALWAYS carry nuts and/or fruit in the car/bag/yoga kit. Yes it’s better to Yoga on an emptier stomach but half an apple won’t kill anyone. If you’re practicing at home then play a Yogsasync that fits the size of your stomach…meditation for a full tummy and pranayama for a shrunken hungry one; blow it up with air!

19 “I need a shower/(20) to wash my hair/(21) have a shave/(22) defuzz my legs”. It’s been a busy day, your pits stink, hair is greasy, you resemble a bearded caveman and your legs could be mistaken for a large forestry project. If all of these apply then do Yoga and get to the Doctor pronto!

O.k. Yogi, are we getting a bit self-absorbed? Yes, you feel less than presentable but who’s looking? Is the person on the next mat checking out your facial hair/judging you for a greasy ponytail? That’s their problem….why aren’t they fully absorbed in their practice? Or perhaps they aren’t and you’re being a tad narcissistic thinking that all eyes are on you! Only in the extreme circumstance of 10/10 B.O then stay home. Besides, you have Yogasync, so lock yourself in a room with your computer Sync away.

If you make excuses and can continue without any physical or emotional tension rising, then GREAT sounds like you’re able to wipe away the angst that the rest of us create for ourselves! If however you miss a Yogasync and your knee injury plays up or you get uptight, then you’re causing yourself unnecessary suffering!

It’s not the excuse that matters; it’s the knock on effect of missing Yoga. Let’s not give ourselves a really hard time though… that’s just more tension! Acknowledge that inconsistency comes before consistency, it’s a psychological tendency we all have. Make a new resolve to be aware of your excuses and they will start to drop away as you see them for what they really are; a monkey mind distracting you from your higher truth and limitless potential. Let the excuses drop away and the real you shine through.

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