Many people cite lack of motivation as one of the reasons why they are unable to continue with their yoga practices regularly.
Let’s probe into this a bit.
What could motivate a person to do something?
These are the three most common reasons I could think of –
1. Financial reward
2. Enjoy the experience
3. Sense of achievement OR feel the benefits OR hope of future returns
So if any of these conditions are met, most people wouldn’t have a problem keeping up their practices. Let’s look at these one by one:
1. Financial Reward – If someone was willing to pay you, to do your practices, then of course, people wouldn’t have any issues keeping it up…you would then magically find time for it 🙂
It’s a myth that people think they don’t have time, actually most of them are pre occupied and are unable to manage their time. Even if you cut down their work they would still find other excuses for not doing their practices!
So getting paid for doing your practices will anyways not happen… Hard luck there 🙂
2. Enjoy the experience – Why is it that people like to go for a movie or go out to a restaurant or maybe have a drink? It’s because they enjoy the experience, isn’t it? Maybe they are more free within themselves or involved or whatever else, those moments are something they long for. If the same thing happens to people while they do their yoga practices, then motivation would never be the issue.
There are any number of people, who just experience a different high when they do their yoga practices – for such people they don’t need any external help to keep up their practices…they would anyways long to do it everytime. But for this involvement is the key – either you are involved out of love or devotion or a sense of offering, whatever works for you, but unless there is involvement, you may never enjoy the experience of doing the practices.
3. Sense of achievement OR feel the benefits OR hope of future returns – Think this is the category where most people would belong. Maybe once in a while, whenever you are involved, you touch the zone where you experience some bliss doing the practices, otherwise most of the time, even though you may not be blissed out, you would still continue the practices because definitely there are benefits for you to see and feel.
For some, just the discipline or achievement of doing something regularly for their inner well-being gives a great sense of joy and they want to keep it up. And also there are of course benefits to gain by doing the practices – you may experience health benefits, have become more calmer, feel more energetic ,efficient etc.
Or for some people, though the changes or benefits may not be very drastic, they continue to keep it up, hoping for future returns, which does happen.
So doesn’t matter wherever you belong, as long as one of these is happening for you, you will see that doing it regularly is not a problem at all.
If you are still unable to keep it up, it means that you could have got into a compulsive cycle and struggling to come out of it. Which means that though you have been wanting to keep up your practices, somehow your body, mind, emotions and energies are not cooperating. So whenever this happens, you may need an external push. You need some push to break out of your daily routine and try to infuse some change into it. For this there are many supports you could make use of –
• Take a silence break (for example, you can take three days silence at the Isha Ashram every 3 months, if you have completed inner engineering)
• Take up a residential program or workshop that could help you to break your set routine and start afresh
• Volunteer for a program (you could volunteer for inner engineering program if you have already completed or any other program that you have completed before ). This may help to infuse a new sense of clarity and purpose as well and break your set patterns that you are used to
• Take up a new hobby or activity (you could try to learn music or art or start jogging or read a book or watch some videos or whatever else suits you). This could once again help break set patterns and give you a chance to re-establish yourself.
So, do whatever works for you and do not let lack of motivation become an excuse for you to progress towards your inner well-being. Please experiment and share if this helped!