The second virtue of the Eighteen ities, is regularity. Regularity has always scared me. I pride myself in being free, flexible and able to go with the flow. I do not want to feel or be seen as rigid. Sticking with a set schedule not only seems boring, but generates a fear in me of missing out on things.
Fears of being uncool aside, regularity forms the backbone of our yoga practice and creates a strong foundation in our lives. Finding routines and consistency, rather than pinning us down, creates freedom through stability.
We all have different demands and life gets messy and unpredictable. Setting up consistent practices can begin to help ground us amidst the chaos. Rather than trapping us in obligation, regularity in parts of our lives will help us stay connected to our foundation while we rise to meet the challenges of life.
When choosing practices to reinforce, be realistic and find balance. Begin with rituals which feed your soul or nurture your body. If your schedule does not allow for a regular bedtime, work to have a regular wake time. Create consistency around your morning and evening routines and meals. Meditate or pray and practice pranayama each day. A few minutes is enough. Practice asana each day. Try not to sabotage yourself with the expectation of what your practices should look like or how long they should be.
Some habits will bring you peace and feel natural. Those practices will be the ones you will be able to savor and stick with easily. Other efforts will be unsuccessful. Avoid judgment and negative self-talk. Keep coming back to them for as long as it takes to establish a positive pattern.
It is a choice to be rigid. Regularity is not the same thing as rigidity. This week, choose just one change to make. Start small. Invite regularity into your life as a way to ground and strengthen your foundation. Consistency is a pathway to true peace, freedom, and bliss.
What regular practices support your life?