Probably the biggest road block to any kind of transformation is lack of self-discipline. It's that age-old phrase 'we are what we repeatedly do', if of course, we can squeeze that repetition in between the myriad of things we are told we need to accomplish in a day. But it's that feeling of euphoria when something becomes so routine that the positive benefits start to show that is the real reward of self-dicispline. It's basically its own muscle that needs to be flexed daily in order to be changed. I'm terrible at routine, clearly, since I don't even keep a consistent posting schedule here. I started to change my routine a bit to try to jump start that discipline and better track results. The bikini beach guides and all of that do not work as well for me personally and aren't as effective for getting me motivated. I need to find things that truly catch my interest and make me want to get out the door. Spinning is one of those activities that I brought back into my world because I found a great class that has candlelight and more inspirational music rather than drill sergeant style. The second is something that I had been hinting about being interested in for a while and finally started to devote a lot of time to, which is ashtanga yoga particularly in the Mysore style. It's one of the most disciplined practices I've tried so far and requires total and clear presence.
I've made more strides in flexibility and strength in the past 3 months of practicing this style than I have the whole few years I practiced a more jumbled mix of power yoga classes. It requires me to be so present that I rely on only myself to memorize the sequences. Most of the time I'm a fumbling idiot falling on myself trying to get through even the first primary series but then there are those moments when something clicks. I'm going to try to track my progress and document it as much as possible. Here are some of the things I've learned so far from bringing that discipline into my life:
Strength is Internal
I talked a lot about this in a previous post and it keeps ringing more true to me the more I experiment with my body and different workouts. HIIT and weight training make me superficially strong. I couldn't believe how weak I was when I started to try to combat some of the ashtanga poses because those deep internal muscles weren't getting much love. I felt so fooled.
Presence & Concentration
I'm guilty of showing up to workout classes half checked out. Someone calls out an order and I go through the motions because I think I'm too busy or too stressed to take an 1.5 hours out of the day to commit myself to, well, my self. In reality that 1.5 hours brings more productivity to my day then if I stayed at the desk trying to solve all the problems in my universe.
Tradition is Discipline
I love anything with history and tradition. I also think that tradition leads to self-discipline. If something has been around, practiced, studied, loved for years and still continues to thrive then there is a level of collective self-discipline that exists in that energy space. It's true for cultures around the world who still function the way their ancestors have and it takes discipline to continue those traditions.
Thanks for reading!