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Motivation To Start Yoga: 5 Steps to Bring Yoga into your Life Every Day.

Remember, though, that yoga should be enjoyable and should fit your mood and schedule each day. Whether you’re traveling, too busy to get to your studio, too exhausted, or can’t fit studio membership into your budget, here are five great tips to making a daily yoga practice accessible and enjoyable.

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Have you ever seen photos of chiseled yogis smiling in some acrobatic posture and thought to yourself, “If only I could do a one-handed handstand?” Well, the journey to levitation isn’t short or easy, but this article will help you create the space for a daily yoga practice and make your personal goals within reach.

For many, attending a yoga class at 6:30am might seem dreadful, and after a long day at work, it’s easy to understand if you’re too exhausted to opt for an hour-long sweat session. That’s why teachers often ask students to offer gratitude to themselves at the end of each class for having the determination to show up on their mats.

Remember, though, that yoga should be enjoyable and should fit your mood and schedule each day. Whether you’re traveling, too busy to get to your studio, too exhausted, or can’t fit studio membership into your budget, here are five great tips to making a daily yoga practice accessible and enjoyable.

1. Create the Space

Creating a physical space in your home or office that is inviting for you to move through some yoga postures can turn the thought of a tough practice into a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. 

Begin by setting the mood with music appropriate for the kind of practice you’re looking to have. If you want to sweat and flow, put on your favorite pop or electronic playlist and turn up the bass. Similarly, if you want to relax and unwind, create a soothing ambience with peaceful music of your choice. Personally, Krishna Das is almost always my go-to.

Next, adjust the temperature so that you’re comfortable; more than simply making a winter class tolerable, a good space heater can also make for a great addition to your own hot yoga practice. 

Finally, bring more serenity to your space by adding candles, a plant, or even a rock with a positive intention like strength, stability, or balance.

Having YOUR space will make the goal of practicing yoga each day a reality and bring you one step closer to that cover on Yoga Journal.

2. Do a Song’s Worth of Yoga

Who says a yoga practice has to be an hour?!

Put on your favorite song and get moving. Tune in to your breath and enjoy the benefits of stretching your mind and body even if for just a few minutes of practice.

Several half sun salutations will give your body much-needed relief from sitting hunched-over at your desk all day and awaken your body after a night’s sleep. 

Besides, if you tell yourself you must do 20 minutes of yoga, you may never find the time. One song’s worth of yoga is a great place to start, and, again, you’re one verse closer to chiseled one-handed handstands.

3. Take Yourself Lightly

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t practice. The worst mistake you can make is to create and put yourself into a box that is full of suffering, shame, and guilt. 

Focus on the positives and, if you miss a day, create the time and space to get back at it the next day.

Remember that yoga is an ENJOYABLE journey of self-improvement, empowerment, and freedom! … And chiseled abdominals. Be patient and persistent, and you will see the benefits and positivity of your efforts blossom before your eyes.

4. Goals!

Whether you want to ease stress, back pain, become more limber, or gain strength, be mindful and realistic of your goals. 

No yogi ever appeared on the cover of Yoga Journal by accident. By defining realistic goals, you will give each yoga session more meaning and allow yourself to acknowledge your efforts through achievements.

Over time, you may surprise yourself with your progress and with how your goals encompass feats that were, before, beyond your scope of vision. Start with an attainable goal, and new doors will soon open.

5. Rewards

Train your mind and body as you would any household pet and give yourself a reward for good behavior. 

Personally, I love donuts; unfortunately, there just happens to be a donut shop on the corner by my yoga studio. A while back, I began rewarding myself with a maple bar a couple times a week. I soon realized, however, that the donuts were outweighing the benefits of my yoga practice. I’ve learned to keep the donut treat to once or twice a month so that I can enjoy it without guilt and recognize my hard work. 

Similarly, make a rewards system for long-term goals. With the purpose of this article being to implement a yoga practice into your daily life, start with a realistic goal of practicing at least a song’s worth of yoga each day for a month. Set an appropriate reward for yourself, such as a day at the spa, and remember to enjoy the journey and to not be critical of yourself should you fall short of your goal. 

Tell yourself, “If I don’t honor myself, who will?”

Remember 

At the end of each practice, remember and impress upon your memory how good you feel. Each time you think of yoga, remember THAT feeling. The awareness of the benefits your practice brings you will keep you coming back to the mat – guaranteed!

Pretty soon, you might be smiling upside-down, if not on the cover of a yoga magazine, at least in your living room.

Sujantra McKeever is the founder of Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga in San Diego, which serves over 1,000 yogis a week, and also helped create Pilgrimage Yoga Online. He is the author of five books on eastern philosophy, success and meditation. Sujantra studied meditation with spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy and has lectured on meditation and yoga in over 30 countries.

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The Power Of Negative Thinking & How To Think Positive.

Like seeds, the negative ideas grow in your mind and keep you in their vice. When something triggers them, they sprout forth and ruin our sunny day. Through meditation, however, we can develop two solutions to reverse our negative thoughts and self-talk.

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Do you ever have down days? Of course – we all do. It is a part of life. But, are you aware of what’s causing this? Why are things great one day, fine the next, and gloomy the day after that? In this blog, we’ll explore the factors that drive our ups and downs so that you can recognize your own patterns and prevent another ruined day.

The answer behind our mood swings is often quite simple – negative thought patterns. Maybe you’ve recognized this when you’ve been in a bad mood and noticed feelings of jealousy, insecurity, or fear. Beneath those feelings is where we can find the patterns of self-doubt and negative self-talk that drive us, unconsciously, to bad moods.

We pick up these patterns from different sources – maybe, for example, it’s something your parents said, something that was drilled into you like, “You’ll never be a success,” or “You’ll never be good at this,” or “There’s no value in doing that. You should focus on this in life.” On the other hand we pick up negative thoughts from culture, from society, and even from those we love the most. For example, maybe a close relationship went bad, and someone said some really negative things to you. Because, you care deeply for that person, or you did, you absorb that negativity, granting their comments merit.

Using Meditation to Counteract Negative Thinking

Like seeds, the negative ideas grow in your mind and keep you in their vice. When something triggers them, they sprout forth and ruin our sunny day. Through meditation, however, we can develop two solutions to reverse our negative thoughts and self-talk.

The first is through the use of our intellect. In meditation or the yoga philosophy, the term intellect signifies your discriminating mind, your ability to discriminate between what’s true and what’s false. 

If someone had put it in your mind that you’re no good, for example, you might continue with that belief dragging you down forever. Through the practice of meditation, however, you will come to the realization that that is incorrect – “I am a good person.” Meditation enables us to embrace the power of our minds and use reason to eliminate our negative thoughts and patterns.

The other way that yoga philosophy teaches to combat negative thought patterns is to counter them with their opposites. To understand this concept we can use the imagery of waves where a positive thought wave counters the oncoming wave of a negative thought, restoring balance and evenness of mind by cancelling each other out. This process involves really identifying what’s going on in your mind and then bringing in an emotion, feeling, or thought that would cancel out the negativity.

If a negative thought pattern involves how angry you are at somebody, for example, then the way to counter that feeling would be thoughts of forgiveness. For the feeling of hatred towards someone else or even yourself, the opposite thought would be unconditional love. For self-doubt – confidence. 

You can also incorporate imagery for this exercise. If you doubt yourself, for example, and you see yourself as weak or lacking a certain capacity, you could visualize yourself as powerful, even introducing the imagery of a mighty elephant that can get through anything. 

The ability to meditate and incorporate these techniques allows you to shift your pre-conceptions and negative ideas about your emotions, yourself, and others. You will find that confidence in yourself feels so much better than doubting yourself, as forgiving others feels so much better than holding on to anger. It often takes just one or two times of realizing these patterns and shifting our response before it becomes easier to identify and eliminate our negative ways.

To practice these techniques in your meditation practice, you can use the prompt below to guide you through the process of developing your intellect to discern truth from falsehood and using positive affirmations and emotions to restore balance to your mind. You can record yourself reading the meditation, read it to yourself during your own meditation, or take turns reading it to a friend. Whichever way you choose, begin your meditation as you normally would and invite these exercises in when you feel relaxed and at ease.

How To Think Positive Meditation

Bring to your awareness a challenge that you’re currently facing or a situation or circumstance that poses a challenge. 

The source of our challenges is usually within us, so through a little bit of reflection, observe what’s making it a challenge: 

Do you have to let go of something?

Are you attached to something?

Are you afraid of something?

Ask yourself: what’s causing it to be a challenge or what qualities do you need to overcome it?

You may recognize that you are afraid or attached or insecure.

Invite this feeling’s opposite such as security, confidence, or courage.

If you’re not really sure what the challenge is but you know that there’s a quality that you need to cultivate to get through this circumstance or situation, then focus on that quality, inwardly repeating the quality as you breathe in.

Now, visualize the challenge and the quality resolving the situation. Imagine the situation as you want it to turn out. Use your imagination to feel the positive quality growing within you.

Focus on your breath, the positive quality, and the visual images of you overcoming your situation.

In the process of ending your meditation, move your mind back to your outer senses, your sense of body, sense of the room, but inwardly hold on to your sense of self and whatever inspiration or energy you got from the different visualizations and techniques.

With time and practice, you will root out your negative thoughts and develop a discriminating intellect free from falsities about yourself and others. 

Sujantra McKeever is the founder of Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga in San Diego, which serves over 1,000 yogis a week, and also helped create Pilgrimage Yoga Online. He is the author of five books on eastern philosophy, success and meditation. Sujantra studied meditation with spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy and has lectured on meditation and yoga in over 30 countries.

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Printable Inspirational Quotes About Life.

Print out this poster of inspirational quotes about life. Perfect for hanging at work or at home to keep your mindset going strong!

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Inspirational Quotes Infographic By Norm Reeves

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Meditation Podcast E45: Find True Love Within and Without

Exploring the Heart. Find true love within and without…

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The Pilgrimage of the Heart Mediation Podcast is a recorded broadcast of Sujantra’s weekly Tuesday night meditation class held in San Diego California. Each week Sujantra introduces a new topic related to meditation and leads the class through various types of meditations including: visual concentration, yogic concentration, breathing techniques, chanting and much more.

Ep 45: Exploring the Heart. Find true love within and without.

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