The Top 7 Habits of Highly Effective Yogis
As is the case with most things in life, to grow and expand our practice we must be mindful of our actions and, most importantly, our habits. There are actions we can take to refuel our passion, such as trying a different style of yoga or jetting off to yoga retreats. But, quite often, I find that it’s the little, day-to-day things we can do that can make a huge difference.
In Stephen Covey’s mega-hit self-help book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, he guides readers through the attitude adjustments we all can make to perform better in every aspect of our lives. Upon reading the seven habits, I immediately recognized how they can be applied to the practice of yoga to help even the most experienced yogi flourish and renew. Give each one a try and you might be surprised by how much of an impact these little things have on your mind, body, spirit, and practice.
1. Be Proactive
In yoga, each of us is responsible for our own success. It is up to you to join a yoga class or to wake up every morning and practice in your home. You are the only one with the power to decide what your yoga practice will look like and you are solely responsible for the commitment it will take to get on the mat. Be proactive in making the time to develop this aspect of your life by making it a priority.
2. Begin with the End in Mind
What you put into your craft will determine what you get out of it, so visualize your goals. Are you looking to increase your flexibility or use yoga as a means for meditation? Is your practice for better physical health or to bring wholeness to your mind, body, and spirit? By being honest about where you want yoga to take you, you can better identify the steps needed to get there.
3. Put First Things First
While enthusiasm is key in any practice, it is important to focus on first things first. Taking on too much, in any aspect of life, can wear a person thin. To avoid overextending yourself, look to mastering the fundamentals so you can build upon your skills, one by one.
4. Think Win-Win
Too often we find ourselves competing with others, whether it be at work or in our personal lives. One of the most rewarding payoffs of making yoga a lifestyle is becoming a part of a dynamic, like-minded community that wants you to succeed. By motivating and inspiring others, you’ll find yourself more driven to enhance your own practice. For me, this is one of the reasons I love teaching and hosting yoga retreats. The energy in a room of passionate yogis is truly rejuvenating, healing and transformative.
5. Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood
You might have started practicing yoga 20 days ago, or you could be 20 years out from your first lesson; wherever you are in your journey, it’s important that you never stop learning. As you learn, regard your knowledge and understanding as a gift and pay it forward by passing on your teachings so that others may expand and grow.
Because two heads are better than one, collaborating with other like-minded yogis is a sure way to add zest to routine. Find or create a community in which individuals can come together to contribute their talents, share their skills, and lend their strengths. You may discover a new approach that you haven’t yet considered or might find yourself helping someone overcome an obstacle based on what you learned from your own experiences.
7. Sharpen the Saw
Do what you can every day to enhance and preserve your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Yoga becomes a lifestyle in which we take care of our bodies by eating well and sleeping deeply, as well as our minds by treating ourselves with care and respect. This habit really resonates with me as it is one of the key ideologies behind our yoga retreats in which we inspire our students practice to maintain a healthy, vibrant, and balanced body. When you create a balance and take care of all aspects of your health, you will find yourself renewed.