I've thought about where we could begin with this Adventure, should we talk about space, logistics, brainstorm ideas around time, where to find videos, sequences, some thoughts on what to do... and realized that before any of this could occur we should talk about setting our intentions.
This comes down to planning, but I like the phrase: "Setting your intention" for your practice. The first few times I heard the yoga instructor ask us to "set our intention" for our practice that evening, I thought... "um practice yoga" and felt like it was a waste of time. I was afraid, you see, that I'd somehow set them too high, or fail. A lot of my insecurities around yoga (and life) revolve around my fear of failure.
Of course, in order to begin anything, we must have some sort of intention on what we would like to do. The trick... is to set realistic intentions. I could very well say: "My Personal Practice Intention is to practice yoga every day at home like those intense Ashtangis advise"... and fail miserably. I know that my life and my schedule with my work would not mesh well with a sudden every day "have to" practice and I'd give up completely within a week. This is also why I don't "do" bootcamps or other intensive challenges. At the end of the challenge you haven't nurtured a practice that will continue to grow and work with your forever life and are left trying to figure it out.
As creatures of habit, all change is unnerving, work and often scary. However, in small manageable destinations on our adventure we can shape new habits, new routines that gradually become something beautiful and effortless. This, sadly, takes a bit of planning. I am definitely not a great planner in my own personal life, and much prefer events and life to be "if I feel like it". This is why I am not a fan of pre-booking yoga classes. I want to go, when I want to go.
Unfortunately, any sort of practicing at home is extremely vulnerable to distractions and "punk outs". Our first step is to recognize that this fantastic Adventure will take a bit of work, but that it won't be anything we can't manage. The next step is to figure out just what is the perfect "extra" intention you'd like to do for the next little while. No time limit, no pressure on being 100% successful, just mindfully reviewing your life, your habits, your schedule and what small practice intention would work for you.
Perhaps you'd like to begin meditating outside of class; maybe one evening a week of 20-30 minutes would be a nice intention. Or you'd like to try practicing yoga on your own for the very first time, one practice a week. Perhaps you practice at home but would like to lengthen the time you spend, or change your space. Being realistic about your life will also be essential. If you have small children, work full time and have a partner who also works full time, carving out that sacred space is going to be some work... and perhaps every evening for 20 minutes is a bit much.
Beginning small gives us the space to be successful, happy and fulfilled so that we can always add more when we feel ready.
I do better when I choose an intention that is concrete, down to the day and time I will be practicing. Voicing my intention to Andrew especially helps, as saying it outloud makes it more real and helps others to support your new Adventure. Letting loved ones know that this is important to you and that you'd appreciate their support in your small steps as you will support them in theirs.
We have our intentions!! It's something concrete, doable and my next post will be about time :) What are your intentions?