Consider for a moment the activities you most enjoy: Playing an instrument, listening to music, reading a really great book, eating a decadent dessert or going to a movie?
Now ask yourself this question- Why do I like this activity?
Nine times out of ten, we answer- because its fun, or I’m good at it, and when my focus is on this activity I feel good, light and free.
Why then does exercise or physical activity have to be ANY different?
We know that physical exercise is good for our health. We know that we should incorporate approximately thirty minutes of physical exercise a day, or so our doctors tell us.
Why not make that thirty minutes fun?
Yoga Asana, like any physical calisthenics, should be fun. If you want yoga to be a “habit” or an activity you make a regular part of your life, try finding the fun.
Start by asking your Ego, to leave the room. Sometimes Ego is the sarcastic coach on the sideline picking apart every bad move you make, the “you’re not enough” voice convincing you, you mine as well give up. The Ego reminds you of your fears, or the chance you may look “bad” in front of all your acquaintances.
No one needs Ego along for the ride in a yoga practice.
Ego can be blamed for many injuries. Ego can talk so loud it can drown out the breath, the attention inward to the body. Ego has no place, and
Ego is NO FUN in a yoga practice.
Instead…take steps to find the FUN.
Try this, start with mindfulness, bringing awareness to your inner voice during meditation. Start by meditating 5 minutes (or more). While you are meditating, pay attention to your thoughts, give them a name (like, that’s my EGO, that’s my TO DO list…). Then, journal about the experience.
Secondly, decide to be kinder to yourself. Invite your thoughts to be more positive. Let the words you are thinking be the same as if you were speaking to a person in your life you love the most. Decide that if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, you won’t say it to yourself. And then hold yourself accountable for taking back negativity and judgment toward yourself.
Lastly, practice, practice, practice. When you notice EGO coming between you and your mindfulness on the mat – decide that the fear of failure, the fear of looking bad, won’t stop you from the FUN that can be had when moving and “playing” on your mat.
Then step back, and let the world open up. What will you do sans EGO, sans FEAR, sans CRITISCISM?