Brian Tracy, a well known motivational public speaker, makes the following observations: “Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with” and “Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with.” Bad habits are also very hard to give up; ask anyone who wants to stop smoking, drinking, emotional eating, and they’ll tell you. While the head on approach may be the shortest and quickest way, it is also the hardest. Introducing good habits is a less daunting way of eliminating bad habits. Enough of the former will push out the latter.
Consider a smoker who exercises regularly. Mornings consisting of pre and post workout cigarettes are an ordinary daily occurrences. Suppose now that this person is pressed to seek nutritional supplementation due to some health concern. A typical morning may look something like this: a cigarette, supplementation, gym, grab some fast food on the way to work, cigarette, work, etc. If the supplementation works, the feeling of well being might encourage some dietary changes. The typical day now looks something like this: cigarette, supplements, gym, strawberry and blueberry protein shake, and … cigarette…? If not at that point, the bad habit will eventually stick out like a sore thumb.
Practicing Yoga is one such good habit. Once it takes root, it spreads far and deep into the practitioner’s life. When allowed to grow and practiced as intended, it will lead to a happier and more balanced body. Muscles relax, sleep improves, nerves calm, head clears. More importantly, the inner body becomes healthier and stronger. Through a process which still remains a mystery to many of us mere mortals, the self finds itself. And as it continues to walk a very bumpy road, the practice gives it the strength to seek, face, accept, and live personal truth.
A daily 90 minute Yoga practice may be much as far as starting points are concerned. Putting aside five minutes for some light stretching and breathing exercises at the end of the day (or beginning, or middle) is an easy way to begin; all it would take is the will. Practice the following exercise: for 28 days and no matter what, take the time and do a light stretch for five minutes; start over when you miss a day. Next month, try something slightly more challenging. Continue the monthly challenges and before you know it, you will have faced and conquered all your fears. And it can all start with five minutes of stretching. Amazing!