This time that you have

This is the number one reason people give me for not practicing yoga. Time. “I want to practice yoga, but I just don’t have the time, you know.” Or “I know I should do it and I always feel so much better, but…” Sound familiar? We have all this technology in life that’s supposed to give us more control and more time, and yet how come there’s not enough time to take care of ourselves?

Five years ago, I started practicing yoga on a more regular basis. At first, it felt like I should be spending that time doing “more constructive things.” But, I noticed the days I practiced yoga, I felt better. And when I practiced on a weekly basis, there was a greater sense of peace. I thought to myself, “WOW, all of this for doing just a little bit of consistent practice.”

What takes us away from a regular practice? What do people spend their time on if they’re not practicing yoga? What are these “more important” things that take priority? The answers are probably something like this: watching t.v., going out, shopping, cleaning the house, uh…

One of my fierce and wonderful teachers, Yogananda, said that it’s really laziness that prevents us from practice. Ouch. He just cuts right through our attempts at rationalizing or defending our lack of practice. When I first read his books, I felt like a thunderbolt was going through the top of my head. It was relentless and I found in his texts a strength, an integrity, and a clarity. Through his words he didn’t let me wiggle out of my reasons for not practicing. He said it bluntly and directly, “you are lazy.” Hehe. WOW! When I first read it, I gulped, broke a sweat, and had to close his book. But, even though the book was closed, his words still resonated LOUDLY! He said we as human beings have the power and capacity to strengthen our will power to determine our destiny!

Your life is composed of time. How you use it is of your own making. Your time and attention are precious commodities. Think of the activities you spend them on. Are they useful? Are they enriching you? Are they done out of habit? Are they done so you feel accepted in a group? Or are you not even sure why you spend time the way you do?

I used to think yoga took time and it felt like pressure. “How am I supposed to find time to practice when I have to work, clean the house, run errands, etc...” But, now instead of feeling pressured, I feel inspired to make time and the question has shifted to, “How can I be more present and create quality moments?” Now I know yoga makes time and gives me space to be present in my own life.