Lucy Lucas

Lucy Lucas' Blog

Yoga & Mind Blog by Lucy Lucas

Abhyasa: Steady effort in the direction you want to go

Photo 02-01-2017, 12 04 09Everytime new year rolls around, we get all obsessed about resolutions and #goals. Usually, we go all out for a few weeks, then give up, exhausted and demoralised.At the heart of our #yoga and #mindfulness practice is abhyasa - steady effort in the direction you want to go. So let's take a look at this.My old boss from Walking Ibiza liked to say that life is just putting one foot in front of the other. On the mat or cushion, as in life, we practice in a steady way. Showing up regularly, completing the poses and breathing exercises. The regular application of the poses and breathing starts to do something to the body and mind. Steady means regular and disciplined. Effort implies doing so even when we might not feel like it.

The 'direction we want to go' is very different from the modern idea of #goals. It opens us to the possibility that the outcome might change; that the outcome is not the goal, but the journey is worth focusing on. As we practice, we open the parts of the body that need to release, and strengthen those parts that need stabilising. Our direction might be headstand, or to have better balance in tree pose. But we can only get there with regular practice of strengthening, opening and repetition of the moves.In meditation, this steady effort means sitting on your cushion or chair everyday and doing the practice. Guided, un-guided, just a steady focus on the breath as it is in this moment. The moment you 'try' in meditation, the moment you aim for a goal, is the moment the monkey mind switches back on.No matter what your new year resolutions, steady effort in their direction can be rewarded no only with any progress you make, but in the experiences you have on the way.