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This blog is about both scientific, societal/political, and yoga-related issues - individually and considered as different aspects of the same problem/solution. A longer description is found in the first blog entry, and all old posts are found in a structured way here. The blog is an extension of my main home pages and Twitter: @gunnarcedersund

How to get back to your yoga-practice when it feels boring

yoga: theory and materialPosted by May 25, 2012 21:58
I think it is high time that we start to talk about things that have to do with yoga! :)

One of the most important topics - and which one talks about way too seldom in yoga-classes - is how to return to your own yoga-practice once you lost it. The most important thing in yoga is not to do it a lot in a short period, but to not let the breaks of a few days go into weeks, months and years. Because of its importance and normal lack-of-attention, I will therefore start with this. The topic is huge, and there is so much to say, so consider this a first blog-post of many.

The first and probably best advice I can give is to just start. Don't think about it, just start. Right now. Don't keep reading, but just lie down on the floor. Or, alternatively, keep reading, but start to do some yoga movements while reading. Do some easy movements you can do at the same time, or start to breath a bit differently. Do the psychic breath (ujjayi), or take a deep breath, close your eyes, and hold the breath for a while. Or put on a recording of yoga-nidra (which you can do easily and without resistance if you have it as a file on your computer). Either of these things are likely to activate just a tiny bit of your physical body-memory of doing yoga. And this tiny activation of the yoga-vibration will be like a mirror, and like a doorway, which you can go in through. It will make you remember what you are looking for, and it will be something that you can just keep doing, while settling down on the floor and then perhaps moving into a real session.

This leads to the second, and also very very important topic: work *with* the law of attraction, and not against it. The law of attraction is another utterly important and fascinating topic on its own, but for now it is sufficient to say that it is another way of describing how the mind works, and what association actually is all about. Shortly: when you think a thought, any thought, for ~17 seconds or more, it will start to gain a sort of momentum, or attraction, which means that it will start to attract other thoughts that are of a similar vibration (feeling, state-of-resistance/allowance, character, etc). In other words, in any given time, you have typically been thinking a certain type of thoughts for quite some time, and that means that you only have access to that kind of thoughts. If those thoughts are far away from a state of well-being, you will not be able to think about yoga and well-being at the same time, because those thoughts are too far away (just like objects in physical space, thoughts are structured in a sort of distance too). Instead, when thinking about yoga from a state of resistance, you will probably label it "boring", "too time-consuming", or some other similar thing. The trick is therefore to choose a thought that you do have access to, which feels just a tiny bit better (try out a few thoughts, and go to the one that feels the best, and hold that, no matter what thought it may be). When you have done that for 17 seconds, you will start to have access to thoughts that are on both sides of that thought, i.e. some thoughts that appear will be a little bit better than the one you've already picked. Then choose that one, and notice how you already now feel a little bit better. Do the same thing for a little while longer (perhaps a minute or so), and you will already then feel considerably much better (a feeling of resistance is helpless against just a little short while of focusing, if you just know how to apply it). Most importantly, you will have re-gained a sense of power over your own situation, and that will allow you to move even quicker to a place where yoga - which inherently is associated with a vibration of well-being - will be something you are attracted to, and that you will again feel like doing. You will want to start feeling good again.

Another way of using the same gradual-change principle is to do the same thing, or complement the above, with actions. Start to do things which gradually - slowly and non-fightingly, but still with a consistent movement - moves you in a direction of yoga-mode. Perhaps take a shower. Start to clean a little bit. Or sit and do nothing for a little while. Re-arrange the room into yoga-mode, role out the yoga-mattress, or take out your yoga-outfit. This gradual easing is what is so inherent in all rituals, and it is very much built into good yoga-sessions as well, as it is in all the ingenious tantric rituals. What I am trying to say here is simply that this ritual actually starts before you do the first yoga-pose.

Finally, some thoughts about this label "boring", which it is so common and easy to label yoga with, when you are not in a yoga-mode. Boring is a thought, and not a fact. It is an attitude and a perspective, and not an inherent property. In fact, another way of describe the state of boring is to say "non-present". A moment - any moment - that is fully experienced, where you are wholy present, cannot be boring. There is simply no room for that feeling in your mind. Fill yourself completely with what you are doing, with the movement you are doing in the yoga-programme, with the awareness of the body and the breath when you are in meditation, and your yoga-programme will be the most exciting journey you ever made.

Or...use the feeling of boredom to your advantage. Turn off the computer, and the TV. Don't log in to facebook or check your mails when you get the urge to do so. Sit and just do nothing a little while, even though it feels boring. Gradually, or perhaps even suddenly, something behind the previous throng of distractions will appear. Perhaps you will suddenly feel like doing that very important thing that you always wanted to do, but never seem to have the time for. Or...perhaps you will notice that you are really tensed in different places in your body - and that it would actually be a very nice thing to do some yoga!

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