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Commitment - what Tapas teaches us (not the Spanish ones)

Are you struggling to stick to your commitments? Don't worry, you are not alone. It's interesting how we are so predictable as humans. If you think about it, every year come January, we set goals. plans, ambitions, intentions, you name it. We are a full powerhouse for those first five weeks that somehow always feel more or less like a whole year. Then February arrives and some of us begin to feel a bit overwhelmed, some of us power through just a little more, because after all, it's just a short month and we promised ourselves that this year would be different. This would be our year. And now we're in March and we've had enough of certain things, we're looking forward to spring blossoming, longer days and some of those goals seem to be taking the backseat. Does any of this sound familiar? Keep reading, you'll find out where I am going with this.

This week I want to talk with you about commitment and what it means to us, but most importantly why the word itself seemed so loaded. Let's unpack this concept and see how we can make it more simple and accessible. Whatever your commitment is, whether it's something you've set out for yourself or to others, should always start by replying to these simple questions: "Why does it matter to me?" followed by "What value will it bring me?".

If you can't answer these questions then why would you commit to something in the first place? If something doesn't hold a special place within you, then don't even bother. If your answers are hard to piece together, don't feel honest to you or have to do with someone else other than you, then maybe you should rethink about your commitment.

Now let's take a step further. If this something you have committed to is a priority for you, why is it so hard to be consistent with it? Well, this might come as a shocker, but the best things take time, effort, dedication. But don't worry, it's not impossible. Let's say you have commitment yourself to make healthier choices when it comes to food or movement, what can you do to be consistent? Show up. In whatever way or form you can possibly think of. Even if it's as simple as swapping an ingredient for another, rather than removing something completely. Or move for 5 minutes instead of zero. Just show up and be proud of yourself. Make it a priority. It's in the word itself, priorities fo first and foremost, so maybe it's the first thing you do everyday. You will see incredible benefits from doing this. If you want to learn more about morning routines, I would encourage you read "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. It's a book that had a huge impact on my life and I really believe that it's a strategy that works. Although, full disclaimer, I don't follow his entire 60 minutes routine, I have set up my own rituals that work for me. If it's not in the morning, that's also fine! Just make sure to set aside some time you can stick to, no matter if it's a daily, weekly or monthly thing. It's your priority. Set reminders. When life gets in the way, it's okay that priorities shift and change. It may also happen, especially at first, that you will forget or that you will find excuses. You have no idea how many times I have heard people telling me they couldn't come to yoga because they ran late at work, I totally get it. But then ask yourself, if you left on time or took a break, would your work still be there? Unless you save lives, I'm pretty sure you can drop everything you are doing for whatever your commitment if (it doesn't have to be yoga!), if it really is your priority. So set your reminders. Find someone to hold you accountable. This can be anyone or anything, even a list on a piece of paper that you can write off (I find that incredibly satisfying), an app, a friend or a partner. Whoever or whatever you choose for this task, make sure they have some sort of authority over your excuses. Someone who can be really strict with you. I find my whiteboard in my kitchen very strict and an awesome reminder.

Accept failure. Even though failure is a strong word, I know that's exactly how you feel like you cannot stick to your commitment - or at least I do. However, you need to accept that it might not happen all the time, and it's okay. Move on.

When I first started journaling, I remember I would hate it when my pages weren't consecutively dates. I would almost stop altogether because I was disappointed I had failed, until I realised that as long as I kept going, that was me showing up and making it a commitment. Accept that there may be other things and distraction, know that it's okay.

Now how does all of this has to do with yoga, you might ask? Well, self-discipline is a key lesson we learn in yoga, both on and off the mat. Tapas, which loosely translates from Sanskrit to "discipline", invites us to practice with passion to find true greatness. Through passion, dedication, commitment, we grow as individuals. This lesson has been shared from one yogi to another for thousands of years, so now you might understand better why I say that yoga is so much more than physical movement and it's not for "spiritual people" or vegan hippies. Yoga is in our everyday life, whether we call it that or not, and it's entirely up to you how you want to embrace it. If you would like some help in building and cultivating your personal practice, you can either work with me on a 1-to-1 basis, or join my weekly group classes. Click here to learn more.

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