If you are struggling to maintain a daily meditation or Yoga practice here’s a few things that I have found helped me over the years.
1. Have a range of practice options; Good, Better, and Best.
This really has saved me from breaking the habit of practice. What it means is, most days I manage to do my Best practice, the full thing, in a spacious and deep way.
There are some days, however, that I just can't quite manage that, so I go for my Better practice, I might trim a bit off, do it for less time, or be slightly distracted.
And every so often all I can manage is Good. Good is done. Good is better than nothing. I allow myself to do the bare minimum, but I do something.
Having these three options means it is easy to sustain my practice on a daily basis. This consistency is where the benefits start to kick in.
2. Be kind. Seriously.
This might be the first place to start. Notice the inner dialogue you are having around the practice. The foundation of all practices is love, so please, if you are being mean to yourself in an attempt to get yourself to practice, just stopping that would be a powerful start.
Try to use your inner voice kindly, gently encourage yourself to overcome your resistance. Acknowledge the feelings of not wanting to do it. They are there for a reason.
The aim of all spiritual practices is ultimately the same, whatever they are. To connect, with your inner life, higher self, universal consciousness, to experience the truth of who you really are.
They all require a quiet mind. This in itself can be a barrier to daily practice. Sometimes our minds are just crazy busy and to get to the quiet we have to move through the outer, noisier layers. This journey of introversion can sometimes mean confronting/ feeling/ meeting our deeper feelings. This is not always easy. We may have tucked some pain and hurt away, below the surface noise. I know for me the days I don’t feel like practice are usually because I don’t want to cry. There’s a hurt in there, and I know my practice will bring me in contact with it.
3. Get your senses on board first.
They can often simply override any mental resistance.
Light a candle, some incense, put the right clothes on, roll out your mat or get your meditation cushion or blanket out. Just do it without thinking. Often times this is enough just to get you started. And mostly that is the main challenge. Once we are rolling the practice itself is usually enough to keep us in it.
4. Make sure it is rewarding.
If your practice feels dry perhaps it’s the wrong practice. There are so many types, styles, traditions of spiritual practices available that it is possible for everyone to find the one that works. By works I mean it has the desired effect that you are seeking. Keep looking if you haven’t found it yet. If the practice isn’t fulfilling it is going to be an uphill battle to keep going.