Can’t Get to the Mat? Let’s Talk
By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | May 20, 2022
It can be hard to prioritize yoga practice – out or at home. The struggle is real. And challenging times seem to make it even real-er because it’s hard to practice when your nervous system is stuck in survival mode.
But many of the complaints against practice start with the claim: “Yoga is too expensive, so I don’t go.” I’m not going to argue with that. If you feel like yoga is too expensive, that’s your call, not mine.
But I do have some questions (and you may wish to use this blog for journaling prompts if you like):
- How much do you regularly spend going out to lunch, dinner, or movies?
- How much do you spend on alcohol, olives, face creams, or Starbucks?
- How much are your subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube TV, your phone?
- How much do you spend on clothes, shoes, flowers, gifts?
Maybe nothing, maybe you don’t have resources for anything, so again, I am not pushing here – everyone has a different situation. But there is plenty low cost yoga available – both online and in person. At that point, the argument may shift to: “Well, I’m just too busy.”
I hear you. It’s a busy world. Again, I’m not going to argue with that.
But I do have some more questions:
- What DO you have time for?
- What do you do in your free time?
- Do you have time to scroll through Instagram?
- Watch YouTube videos?
- Fret that others are happier than you are?
- Worry that you’re getting old and life is passing you by?
- What do you prioritize instead of yoga, with your time and money?
- And where do your priorities come from?
So next, let’s dig a little deeper into time and money.
First, if you struggle with extenuating circumstances like not working, or having a very demanding job, or struggling with physical or psychological issues, then of course your choices around time and money may be limited by factors beyond your control and in that case, these following questions may not apply.
But if you have some time and you have some money then these question may take you a little deeper and help you unveil the heart of the matter:
- What matters most to you?
- What are your values and priorities?
- What are your goals?
If these any of these include health, happiness, clarity, focus, financial security, relationships with others, and the relationship with your higher self then here are some more questions:
- Does your yoga practice support your values, priorities and goals?
- And if so, then what would help you prioritize your practice?
Other questions: Do you spend a lot of time on stuff that DOESN’T support your values, priorities, and goals? Like perhaps TV, shopping, wine, partying, eating out?
Now we can get into some of the juicier stuff.
When you start to get clear about what supports you in your values, priorities, and goals, and what doesn’t support you, does yoga move to the top of the list?
If health, happiness, relationships, etc. are top priorities for you and your yoga practice supports you in actualizing those priorities, then, it would appear, that yoga has become a non-negotiable.
You HAVE TO find time for it, no matter what. Even if it feels annoying to do so. And, BTW, the inner voices that are annoyed are not your best ones, just saying.
Still, sometimes after time and money arguments evaporate, there is often one more card to play: “I’m just too tired. I have no motivation.”
Okay, that’s great to admit to yourself. You are too exhausted, unmotivated, overwhelmed, fried, sick, tired, lonely, miserable, stressed, etc.
I would like to gently point out that this declaration lights up the sky with a big glowing arrow pointing to one thing – self-care.
Some days, maybe you just get to your mat and lie there and breathe.
Or put your legs up the wall or up a chair.
Do not demand sun salutations of your weary self.
Give yourself the gift of being still and feeling the love of this world softly holding you, with kindness and compassion.
Do not allow your yoga practice to become another thing to check off on your To Do list.
If you can tolerate being with yourself for just a few minutes each day, you will start to feel something shift, crack, and fall away.
You will start to see the spark within you, how brightly you shine, how much you have to give, how you are an overflowing vessel of love.
Perhaps there is a part of yourself that feels like you don’t deserve to be happy, healthy, connected, and relaxed. Or that you don’t deserve self-care time. These are important issues to discuss with a therapist or trusted counselor.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Your personal problems are never the result of a singular bad decision, your personality, or karma – they are intimately interwoven into your social networks, your education, where you live, if you have access to help and support, etc.
You cannot blame yourself for the bad things that have happened to you – but, regardless of the negative self-talk records that someone helped you start playing in your head years ago – you have more power and capacity to change that than you realize.
You can polish your own inner diamond a little brighter each day by stopping, being present with yourself, and gazing in wonder at your incredible gifts and your incredible life.
Get out of bed, brush your teeth, splash some cool water on your face and do some yoga.
Then go out and do something beautiful for the world.