The most beneficial, transformative yoga practice that you can ever have will be a consistent practice. It’ll be the practice that you can’t walk away from. It’ll be the practice that you keep coming back to, even when things get tough. It’ll be the mat you return to on the days when you don’t feel like it. Consistency is challenging. It’s hard because it requires commitment and sacrifice. It’s hard because it doesn’t just require motivation, it calls for dedication.
Motivation is an amazing feeling. It’s our drive, what keeps us going and what keeps us working hard. We find motivation in different places. It might come from attending an energizing yoga class or meeting up with someone who is passionate about the same things that we are. The downside of motivation is that it can fade. Maybe you’re starting to feel uninspired or maybe it’s been a while since you did something that fed you soul. When motivation starts to wane, it’s easy to give up, put your mat in the closet, and leave it there. This is where dedication kicks in.
Unlike motivation, dedication is not necessarily going to you that burst of energy. Instead, your dedication will be your “why”. Whether it’s setting aside time to self reflect or time to challenge your mind and body in new ways, your dedication will always be there. It ruminates in the background, like a soft, steady hum. Most of the time, you don’t hear it above the noise that is your motivation. But your dedication will be there when you need it most, especially on the days when you simply don’t feel like practicing.
Establishing what motivates you and why you are dedicated to your practice will help you to stay consistent. There is no one definition of what consistency is. For some, this could be every day; for others, this could be once a week. Creating an achievable schedule will help you to make the time for your practice and commit to it.
The great thing about creating a custom schedule is that you can do what’s right for you. For example, there are many ways to practice yoga on the daily basis, if that’s what you choose to do. Your practice could be a mix of both power and restorative with meditation sessions so that you alternate between high and low intensity days. You can practice for 10 minutes or choose to do a longer session. Once you’ve created and maintained a routine, your practice will become a habit. And even on the days when you’re tired or sore or just don’t feel like hitting to the mat, you’ll have both your motivation and dedication to support you and your yoga journey.