Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why daily?

Why daily?
Because it's easier to practice daily than here and then.

Sometimes I'm admired that I practice daily. I swear you it's so much easier daily than to practice not daily.

- To practice once in a week is in my opinion rather frustrating. Progress is slow, or scarcely seen. Every week it's a struggle. The danger to get injured is high. Ashtanga yoga is a challenging practice, it requires more practice.

- It's all examined nowadays, tested, compared. If one wants to learn anything 3 times a week minimum must be invested in this sports, language or other skill or knowledge. Then progress can be seen. Here it starts to be an interest, a hobby. It can be the beginning of a passion. It's still yeah moderate.

- When I started a daily practice I knew: Ashtanga yoga is for me. As soon as it is a habit to step daily on the mat it's easier to do this. A habit is built, I've learned when you do something 30 days in a row. This might be the difficult phase. Afterwards it's easier, never a piece of cake.

The advantages of a daily practice are:
1. I get up every day at the same time. I wake up alone, the body is used to it.
2. I don't have these inner discussion: Shall I practice today, or better tomorrow? Today I'm busy, moody. These self-talks can last so long that the time that was reserved for the practice  is over. Today I might be tired, but tomorrow the situation has not changed. The discussion can begin again. When I have scheduled a daily practice I avoid these redundant self-talk. This does not mean that every practice is as intensive as we wish it were. Sometimes sun salutations might happen, nothing else. This is good, too. Sun salutations are wonderful movements. The psychological factors are very important, too. I sticked to a routine, that I wanted to do.
3. To practice Ashtanga yoga on a daily basis avoids injuries. Ashtanga yoga is the most intensive yoga practice I saw on the market. Even in first series we put the legs behind the head in supta kurmasana. Nobody does this in daily life. It's demanding. To be able to do this one has to practice daily for years often. Surely there are these young talented people who see this pose and can do it. But this is not true for the average Ashtanga practitioner.

On the picture is krounchasana. The chin shall move to the shin finally. The leg is supposed to be stretched. One could think that if one is able to reach the leg with the head when practicing tirieng mukha eka pada paschimottanasana,  this pose should be possible, too. This is not the case. Hahahaha. Yep, this krounchasana is also a pose, I'd say, it's work on progress. Attention: construction ahead. It requires a lot of practice.

Kindle:  Sooner or later we all have such a kindle. It's a perfect Christmas present. It saves place. Books are usually cheaper when you buy them for your kindle. It's also possible to underline important sentences. Thank you for buying your kindle via my blog.

PS: What "daily" means differs: Usually it's 6 days a week with a day off. Some Ashtangis have additional days off because they do not practice on full moons and half moons. Then there are the "ladies holidays".

For me daily means 6 days a week. I don't care so much about the moon. But yeah, sometimes the Gods don't want me to practice, then it's less. Accept what is, I think then, and I practice detachement, being cool.

The day off usually is very supportive. The body can relax, also the mind feels refreshed after a day off once in a week.


Alice said...

Hi Ursula

I find if I don't practise daily I start to suffer from trapped nerves in my legs and derriere! Or my shoulder blades. Maybe because I was stiff to start off with.

I agree, daily practise, even a little, is very helpful.

Thanks for all your posts; I still read every day.

Ursula said...

Hi Alice,

This is also my experience. The body starts needing this practice to feel good.

Thanks for spending your precious time reading my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Excellent! My thoughts exactly. I have two that join me almost daily in my east facing yoga room, and if I don't show up they roam around the house wondering "when is she going in there?" ...It's my two fur babies (one white, one black) kitties, Phin and Twyla. And, they too like to lay out and stretch with me.
Ashtanga yoga can change your life, if you let it!

Namaste ♥

Ursula said...

How super sweet. Animals like to have habits, too. What a great invitation from your sweeties.

Oh yes, Ashtanga yoga can truely change ones lives (for the better, hahahaha).

Happy practices.

Anonymous said...

If I don't practice it feels like something is missing from my day. When I rested this week after falling on the ice I didn't know what to do with the time when I would normally be doing practice.

Nobel said...

Nice post! Why do I practise daily? Hmm... I think I agree with you: It's actually easier to practise daily than, say, once a week. Besides, it's a great way to wake up. There are days when I feel so sleepy when I get up that I want to just go back to bed. But I always feel so much better (physically, mentally and emotionally) after I practise.

Tui said...

I like these last two posts Ursula - very informative. I will give waking up every day at the same time a go. It makes sense - then early mornings become normal.

denise said...

Dear Ursula,

thank you for this nice post, it really inspire me to do my daily practice. It's truth, when one do not practice every day you can notice the difference, it's really like that something is missing. I wish you a nice sunday!

TokyoLotus said...

Hi Ursula!

Thank you very much for this post!

I was having trouble doing ashtanga every morning because I was trying to do the full primary and my body isn't quite used to ashtanga yet so it might be too much too soon, not to mention some mornings are busier than others. I still want to practice every day, though, for the benefits of waking up my body and staying limber, so I'm so glad I read this post and the "how to practice at home" post beacause now I will try to just do salutations and finishing poses. When I have more energy and time, Ill do the full!

Thanks again, I'm super excited at this revelation you have given me!