Yoga at The Time of Plague. Practicing Yoga at Home.

It's a difficult situation in the Czech Republic nowadays: not only yoga studios are closed, but even restaurants and shopping centres. How to sustain your yoga practice at home?
I have been practicing ashtanga vinyasa yoga 6 days a week for more than 5 years. Basically, I practice alone at home or in my studio early in the morning. From the very beginning, I practiced with teachers in the studios a maximum of 2 times a week - I just didn't have the oppotunity to come more often. And recently, I've been practicing on my own every day before the morning classes that I teach. They begin at 6.30 am, and in order to manage to do my practice in the usual non-quarantine mode, I get up at 3.40. I know something about how to discipline yourself, so let me give you my recommendations
1. Morning practice starts in the evening.

You will not get up early in the morning if you go to bed too late. If you eat too much at night. If you drink alcohol. Or you do get up, but your practice will be very difficult. And you may even decide that morning yoga is not for your physical constitution. However, that's not true. It's for everyone's constitution.

All your decisions have consequences. Think of it as instant karma. You ate a lot at night - you feel like a sack of potatoes in vinyasas in the morning.

Practice is best if there are least 12 hours between it and your last meal. If you had dinner at 6 pm, you feel great starting to practice at 6 am

- Do not eat at night
- Do not drink alcohol
- Get enough sleep

2. It is important to understand WHY

You need a goal to get up. Remember what yoga practice brings to you? Why is it worth it?

It's like going to work. Why are you going there? Because of the salary, moral satisfaction.

And why do you need yoga? State it for yourself. Just write on a piece of paper and read it in the evening before you set the alarm clock. Let me tell you what it is for me:

  • physical and mental wellness
  • more energy
  • сlarity of mind and inspiration
  • sense of belonging to the community of people with the same interests
  • daily cleansing of the mind. Every day a huge amount of information is rushing on us from the outside, which clog our internal «operating system». Practice is the "spirit shower" that I perform to purify the superficial and - over time - the inner layers of the mind
  • an act of love for myself, for the divine within and outside of me
If I'm not practicing, I feel uneasy, anxious, tired, I can hear myself worse. I know the difference between "before" and "after." And so I prefer to practice. I never want to go back to "before"

Do not expect instant high from yoga like after coffee with sugar. Here the pleasure is subtle, but long-term
3. Make yourself a promise to do the practice for at least a month 6 days a week

It is easy for us to perform actions that bring instant pleasure - delicious food, sex, pleasant sensations. Pleasure is associated with the production of dopamine. We are all dopamine addicts.

But if we were slaves to such a cheap dopamine only, we would just lay on the sofa and watch TV shows

We are biological creatures. In any case, we will be slaves of dopamine high. The good news is that we can get used to the more subtle pleasures, and replace one addition with another. The pleasure of practicing yoga instead of the pleasure of eating a cake - that is how it works. But in order for those new neural connections to form, time is needed.

Tell everyone that you will practice for a month. Write about it on your social networks. So it will be harder to quit. And do not expect instant high like after coffee with sugar. Here the pleasure is subtle, but long-term

4. Be honest with yourself

Everyone can skip practice from time to time. Nothing horrible about that. Analyze why this happened though. Do not come up with excuses like: "I have a high workload, I did not have time." It is always only about your choice. Ask yourself a question - Why didn't I want to do the practice? Where did I spend too much energy? What am I afraid of if I do the practice regularly? Will destructive social connections and habits disappear? Destructive, but somehow dear as old mold in the bathroom? Am I ready to sacrifice my cheap dopamine from chocolates at night and empty gossip with friends until the morning for pleasure of a higher level?

Practice in the morning is for everyone. Regular practice is for everyone. It is only important to understand whether you want it or not.


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