Or do you have already a daily asana yoga practice and would love to add chanting, meditation, studying of yoga philosophy or sanskrit?
The ultimate question is: how to find the time?
When I met ashtanga, I was going to the gym about 4 to 5 times a week. Soon I started swapping gym time with yoga time and that allowed me to create space in my week to attend yoga classes. After a few months, yoga practice became a must in my life and I took it up every morning before going to the office. That meant waking up a couple of hours before my usual time and, as a consequence, I started going to bed earlier at night. Some other changes were involved as well. And now, finished with my second Vipassana meditation retreat, I faced again the same issue… how to add extra time to my day for regular meditation? We’re talking about a couple of hours more…
I’m a photographer, a yoga practitioner and teacher, a householder, a partner to my other half, I have friends and I don’t live as a hermit on the Himalayas… I also have a blog! 🙂 So I need to take care of clients, students, the house, the writing, my beloved relationships and all that comes unexpectedly. Amongst all that, I still find the time to dedicate between 2 to 3 hours to my daily personal practices.
1/ Jot down how you allocate time in your day to different activities. Than, see which ones are a pure waste of time and cut on them; see which ones you could optimize and do it. i.e. That brought me to live without a TV (Yes, it is possible! :-D) and over time to go out a bit less.
2/ Be more efficient! Many times we waste a lot of time for different reasons, mainly because we don’t want or we don’t like to do a certain activity. In those cases, consider if it has to be done, then don’t hesitate and do it or, if you can avoid it, drop it. Worrying about something requires more energy than just doing it.
3/ Prioritize! Not all that you do is of the same importance. Do things that matter first! i.e. That led me to do my practice first thing in the morning, and I got the unexpected benefit of recharging my batteries for the rest of the day 😉
4/ Build ‘adhitthana’, strong determination! If your practice is important to you, you will find the way to do it but, at the beginning, it needs special care. Fix your goal about your practice (i.e. ‘2 asana practices per week’) and then stick to it. After a few weeks, it will become just natural. And this applies to other practices as well.
5/ Don’t struggle! There will be days when unexpected things will happen and you’ll be prevented from practicing. Don’t get upset, rearrange your plan / schedule for the week and work around it. And sometimes the better answer is just to take a day off 🙂