My youngest daughter is fond of saying: “If you want to be a runner, you have to run; and if you want to be a weightlifter, you have to lift weights.” A runner, she knows that the only way she is going to improve on her race time is to run. Her no-nonsense attitude toward running serves for me as a reminder of the spirit and importance of a daily yoga practice.
Why practice yoga daily?
Daily yoga practice is a commitment to yourself and to your own growth. A daily practice is essential to help us stay physically fit, mentally balanced, spiritually connected, and emotionally strong. It is a simple, accessible, and affordable practice that can be done almost anywhere. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, even if you only have 15 minutes per day, it will still benefit your body, mind and spirit.
The Yoga Sutras (1.14) teach us that to become firmly established in our practice, we must attend to it for a long time, without interruption, with an attitude of devotion and service, and a full heart. When we practice daily, we create a powerful foundation and clear attention to progress along the path towards enlightenment.
The challenge of daily practice
Students often come to yoga filled with enthusiasm. They invest in yoga mats and athletic wear; they sign up for classes and declare they now “do yoga.” As they immerse themselves in their practice, they begin to come face to face with their ego, their fears, frustrations and anger that they can’t touch their nose to knees. Bodies long conditioned to a state of numbness respond with pain as under-used muscles are summoned to the work they have long leveled on joints. Egos suffer as yogis look around the room comparing themselves to advanced students.
Many stop coming to class and eventually quit. But it’s at that juncture where we meet our obstacles and excuses that the true challenge of our practice begins.
The benefits of doing yoga everyday
We will not transform our practice—nor, in turn, our practice transform our lives—if we do not practice regularly. The more we practice, the deeper we delve into our potential, our true selves.
What happens if you practice yoga every day? A daily practice empowers us with the spiritual confidence gained from progressing through the asanas and breaking through mental, physical, and emotional obstacles. A daily practice cultivates the attitude that through patience and compassion, not brute strength, we can accomplish just about anything on and off our mats. A daily yoga practice has many great benefits! It helps keep us grounded, centered, balanced, flexible, strong, calm, clear-headed, focused, relaxed, happy, healthy, and free from stress and anxiety. In other words, it keeps us sane!