Ashtanga Blog

Practice when you don’t feel like it

Why you should totally practice yoga when you’re lazy, sleepy, stiff and when your body doesn’t want to cooperate.

Tania Kemou practicing Yoga by the lake in Mysore, India.

It is easy to hit the mat on days when you feel powerful and strong.

But what about the other days? What about the days when motivation is nowhere to be seen and the only thing you want is to hit snooze and hide under the blankets?

These days, if you make it to your mat, are the days when you learn the most. Not the days when everything feels right. Not when you have the motivation and willingness and you feel like you’re going to rock it. This is also good but let’s admit it, it’s also entertainment. 

You can read a hundred books and articles on how to find motivation, you can ask everyone around you but the truth is you cannot “find” motivation. You have to create it.

By waiting for motivation to come to you, you’re outsourcing your life, waiting for something external to come to you. But yoga practice is all about going inwards. You want it to become part of who you are, not an activity that you do or not do depending on your mood. Moods come and go, they change all the time so don’t let them decide about your day let alone your life.

By practicing Yoga you’re seeking to become grounded, to tune into a deeper essence that goes beyond moods and temporary feelings like avoidance. You’re practicing to become stronger. 

So practice when you don’t feel like it. Practice when you’re lazy, sleepy, stiff, when your body doesn’t want to cooperate and your mind tricks you into skipping because “it’s not a good day”. 

This is when transformation happens. This is when you learn the most about yourself and how you operate. This is when you learn how to tame your mind. This is when you discover that you’re much stronger than you think.

This is how you make a good day out of any day. 

And believe it or not, this is when you need the practice the most: when you don’t feel like it. 

Ashtanga Yoga is not supposed to always be pleasurable. It can surely be fun but it is not entertainment. It is a spiritual practice and as such it is there to teach you how to overcome obstacles and mainly the ones inside your head. And it will teach you that through discipline, devotion, patience and faith.

Finally, Ashtanga Yoga is a tool for transformation of your body and mind. It is a deep work on yourself that will be as rewarding as you allow it to be.