The following article is a guest post from Mimi Lewis. Mimi has written a series of posts for her final project, which is required for graduation from our Hot 26+ Teacher Training course. She is looking forward to graduation in May 2018. You can read more of her posts here.
If goals and visions are the destination we strive for, then self-discipline is the vehicle to get us there. It is the seed that turns dreams into reality. The concept is simple but not necessarily easy. Training our minds how to tap into this form of self control can empower us to achieve whatever we set our minds to.
In our yoga teacher training course (hot26tt.com), one of the five pillars we are learning about is called Personal Growth. We define our purpose, we plan how to achieve it, we create a process to get us there, with the goal to become the person we were born to be. Without self-discipline, none of this can become a reality. It’s where the rubber hits the road.
Having the gift of Bikram yoga in my life has prepared me to take on personal and professional challenges in ways that I didn’t realize until taking this course. It has also empowered me to dig deep at times when I wanted to walk away. Or find a reason why I don’t need this challenge in my life. It’s amazing how the mind can find ways to run away when the going gets tough.
SETTING THE STAGE: WRITE IT DOWN, MAKE IT HAPPEN
Making a commitment to show up is only the beginning. You write it on your calendar, but then life happens. It’s cold and rainy outside, the dog/family is sick, you have other obligations, you name it and the reason to bow out is always there. This is a 90 minute class that requires your undivided attention, so sticking to the commitment to be there takes finding your WHY and deciding ahead of time that you will make it happen no matter what.
SHOWING UP: PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY
Next you arrive and see your friends that you prefer to chat with, but time is ticking and you have to prepare to start. Get focused. Make up your mind to give it all you’ve got that day. Clean your slate and begin. There are 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises, so there are plenty of opportunities to decide what you don’t feel like doing in that moment. Enter the rule of self-discipline. Tune out the voice in your head and do it anyway. This takes practice, but it happens over time. When it’s over and you start to reap the rewards of your efforts, it leaves you hungry for more.
SUCCESS: THE FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
This cycle teaches you how to plan, process and achieve your goals right there on the mat. Learning to accept each pose as it is (without judgement) and knowing you did your best is a very powerful emotion. It’s one that keeps you coming back for more. This teaches you how much control of your world starts internally and suddenly you are able to try it in your everyday life.
One of the books we’ve read in this course is called “The Practicing Mind” by Thomas Sterner. In it, he discusses the importance of developing and using focus and self-discipline to learn and accomplish anything in life. It’s a book worth reading and has changed my perspective about reaching goals, no matter how big or small.
You can see how learning to use self-discipline as a tool to get you through a hot exercise regimen can help you tap into it in other areas in your life as well. It can be used for everyday tasks such as getting to work on time, keeping commitments, running errands, you fill in the blank. By doing this, we are setting an example for those around us. Everyone benefits. Isn’t what we all hope for? For all of the external things that we can’t control in this world, it’s exciting to be able to utilize what we can.
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