My son is learning the piano, so every morning I harangue and cajole him to do his practice. Let me first say we have established that he wants to keep playing the piano and he enjoys it. Nevertheless, he still needs a bit of a push and the conditions to be created for him to get a good practice done before we rush off to school. As I see him wrestle with the difficulty of maintaining a practice, even when you’ve already decided you want to do it, I am of course reminded of the difficulties of establishing and maintaining a yoga practice.
As I try to impart to him my years of wisdom about the discipline of practice I find myself laughing to (at?) myself. “What are you laughing at?” he demands. “Because it’s difficult to be disciplined,” I reply, “it’s just like my yoga practice.” We don’t want to be practising frustration, or practising fear, or practising anger. When we’re playing the piano, or practising yoga, we simply want to be in the music, or in the yoga, totally absorbed.
To do that we have to create the space, the time and the conditions. For yoga that means having a dedicated space you can go to to practice, allocating time in your day (after I’ve dropped Luke to school works well for me or first thing in the morning) and creating the conditions to support a practice. Creating the conditions means everything from making sure you go to bed early the night before to taking a job that still gives you time to practice. All we have to do is maintain the consistency and then, as Luke says “It’s easy to practice!”