So you want to start a meditation, mindfulness or yoga practice. You have been to a few classes but home life, what with kids, work and activities, makes it tricky to practice at home.
For people who do manage to get a regular practice happening it is highly beneficial to their lives. A regular practice can penetrate, in positive ways, into your relationships, you work and hobbies as well as your sense of fulfilment with life. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it.
Often when people get keen they get up early and do their practice for 30 minutes to an hour religiously. For some this is sustainably but for many it is not. Kids get sick, you get sick, the seasons change, work changes... this list goes on. So the person stops, they are a failure. Maybe they try again, yet many times the same thing happens.
Why do people fail to maintain a personal practice?
People fail because they have high expectations of themselves. There is nothing wrong with high expectations, yet we are not perfect being and we need to be able to forgive ourselves when we don’t meet these expectations, and maybe adjust to different expectations.
Another reason people don’t maintain a personal practice is because it is not theirs. They are aiming for something scripted by another. Each of us is different and lives in different circumstances, which change and evolve over our lives. Should it not be so then that our practice will evolve and change also.
So how do I do that? You ask.
Steps to create a personal practice
Take a course or courses if you have not already. Learn a number of different meditation and mindfulness practices and decide which ones you like the most. Alternatively take a private session so you can work out what your practice could look like with the support of another.
Consider how you can incorporate movement in your practice. Movement, especially with the breath can help to calm the mind and can be a beneficial part of any practice. You may incorporate, yoga exercises, Pilates, the 5 Tibetan rites or even the physio exercises that you have been set.
Incorporate your personal beliefs. What is it you believe in? Do you believe in a god, forces of nature, love, angels...... As part of my practice I briefly give thanks for what I have in my life and ask for guidance for the day / week ahead / towards something I am working on. What or who would you thank? What support would you like? How do you envisage your day, week future?
Allow your practice to infiltrate your day, learn how to use it for intuition, when you get unwell or have strong emotions.
Find one short - just 1 minute – mini part of your practice that you can commit to doing and allow in flexibility. What does your ideal 1 minute, 5 minute, 10minute, 20minute, 1 hour practice look like?
Trust your intuition each day and do the parts of your practice that feel most right today.
So what are you waiting for? Stop - right now - and just breathe for 20 seconds, breathing in, breathing out. There you have made a start. Enjoy the journey.