How do our inner dialogues relate to our routines and our ability to make desired changes in our lives? Like a flick of the wrist our inner dialogues transpire so quickly they are almost unconscious decisions. “I practice on Mondays or only in the evenings or only in the mornings,” is a familiar inner dialogue we all can relate to but how does it play out in our daily lives?
One scenario may look something like this: your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button to catch those extra fifteen minutes of sleep which don’t really make a difference but you just gotta have them. When you finally do rise, thirty minutes later, you quickly rationalize that now you won’t have time for yoga because your day is too busy and you lost your window of opportunity for practice by sleeping late. The inner dialogue about when you practice is a subtle aspect of your weekly routine that may be undermining your ability to attain certain goals.
If you can begin to bring greater awareness to your inner dialogues then you can create healthier patterns for your life. One way to do this is with a consistent Ashtanga practice. Mental flexibility cultivates consistency which leads to equanimity in life (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.12.)
Routine acts like a boundary and provides a container from which we can move and expand. Without routine we lose focus and direction. However, structure like all things good in life require balance. Routine without flexibility is not always practical within the constantly changing circumstances of our daily lives.
It is important to be flexible so that if you can’t practice at your usual time, you can practice in the evenings or in the middle of your day. One of the beautiful things about an Ashtanga practice is that if you can’t make it to a class you still know what to do to practice on your own. Another option is to shorten your practice but with greater emphasis on drishti, bandha or breath. The greatest benefits from practice arise when we least “want” to practice. With flexibility comes consistency then your very being is the container for expansion.