Yoga and Self-Discipline  

loon mountain yoga classesBringing any new habit into your life requires self-discipline. Getting an exercise bike is a great step toward fitness, but not if it becomes a room ornament instead of a fitness trainer. Choosing to do yoga requires self-discipline. Yoga is a great way to teach your body balance and coordination, and according to the ancient yogis, it is also a wonderful way to achieve mind, body, and spirit balance.

But self-discipline is not always easy to achieve in this busy world. We can make plans to incorporate a new habit into our lives, but work, problems, and life intervenes sometimes and rearranges our plans.

Ways to gain self-discipline

Self-discipline is the one quality that can propel us faster toward success in all our endeavors than any other quality. Wilhelm Hoffman did a study in 2013 which showed that people with a high degree of self-control are happier, because they are a great deal more capable of dealing with conflicts that arise when they are working toward a goal.

We are not born with self-discipline. It is learned behavior, requiring daily practice to attain. If you want to be able to integrate yoga into your life, but have not yet been able to, perhaps these tools will help:

  1. Schedule a new habit into your life

If you really want to include yoga (or any other habit or activity) in your life, you must schedule it in. Decide how many times a week you want to do yoga, and how long each session will be. Scheduling is easy if you plan on going to a yoga class, but if you are doing it by yourself, you need to carve out some time from your busy schedule to do it.

Once you have decided where to schedule yoga into your life, write out your schedule and post it where you will see it daily. That way, each time you look at your schedule and you have failed to meet it, you can take yourself to task and promise to do better.

But please be gentle with yourself. Realistically, there will be times when other things intervene in your life that keep you from doing your yoga asanas. There is a delicate balance that a self-disciplined person needs to strike between his or her determination to do something, and acceptance that the universe has other plans for that space in time.

  1. Tell others what your plans are

Informing our family and friends of our plan to integrate yoga into our lives does two things for us: First, it advises them that we will not be available to them during our yoga time. Secondly, it gives them the opportunity to encourage us in our endeavor.

  1. Take care of your body physically

Eat a healthy diet that offers your body the proper nutrition it needs to be able to function at an optimum level. When you are sluggish, tired from lack of proper rest, and overloaded with sugar, carbs and too much protein, your body and mind do not have the tools they need to successfully adopt new habits like practicing yoga.

Self-discipline is needed in order to bring yoga into your life, and practicing yoga is a way to develop self-discipline. Together, yoga and self-discipline will bring you forward in life with the balance and determination necessary for you to lead a fruitful and joyous life.

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