In everyday life, it is common for a person to continuously make many different kinds of decisions. Most of the questions that we have to answer are reduced to the general formulation of “What to do?”. However, there are also questions, formulated “Why should I do this?”. In our conversation, we will consider the question of motivation (namely, this class of problems includes all those tasks that require an answer to the question “why?”) In the context of practicing yoga of a Western-type person in our time, and also discuss some trends observed by the author in this direction . So, we’ll open the topic in chronological order. A person decided to come to yoga classes (or began to develop it independently).
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Let us first turn to the reasons that lead people to yoga classes.
The most common are the following:
to get rid of stress, to learn to cope with nerves, to become calmer;
to correct the undermined physical health;
master some of the previously unimportant properties of the body or soul (flexibility, spiritual growth, etc.).
Reason and motivation.
Note that the reason why a person decides to engage in yoga does not necessarily serve as a motivation for pursuing classes. It is very difficult to establish the exact hierarchy of the above four reasons. However, the fact that yoga has become a “victim of fashion” can not help but make you think. Alas, but the influence of fashion is a very significant percentage of people.
Most of them fall into the age category up to 30 years. This, of course, does not mean that all those who are less than 30 start classes as a result of the fashion that has developed on it recently. In fact, a person who came to yoga because of the fashion trend, simply does not have any motivation, since he does not answer for himself the question “Why do I need this?”. He just gives in to the herd feeling and the desire to “be in the stream of time”. In this case, the subject of yoga for him is impersonal and not important, and is simply one of the attractors of fashion. A man who succumbed to the fashion trend, makes the mistake, as he begins to waste time and money, he does not understand what and why …
People, the cause of yoga for which is not fashion, somehow lack either inner balance or health, or they expect to find in yoga something that they, they think, lack. In any case, each of them has a well-defined answer to the motivation question: “Why did you decide to practice yoga?”.
Sufficiency of motivation.
After the person took the first step in the direction of yoga and begins to practice, the question of motivation gets even sharper. Unfortunately, without spending time on yoga, the result itself will not come. For some reason, most people take the natural fact that to achieve material well-being a person needs to work hard, build a career, make compromises, etc. But when it comes to health (both psychological and physical) or the acquisition of absolutely unacceptable properties, a person expects the result in an extremely short time. Moreover, the situation of continuous expectation of the result is aggravated by the problem of embedding yoga in life. To achieve prosperity, a person works for 8 hours a day (this is a minimum), not to mention the amount of effort and health spent on it.
It would seem a paradox: in yoga there is nothing that could strain a person, or from which he could get tired physically or psychologically (the classical approach is considered, and not the endless author’s styles of modernity) -what prevents a person from regularly studying? And here we just rest on the question of motivation. Does it suffice for a person to be ready to reorganize and add regular yoga classes to his life? Or has it dried up already at the formulation of the desire to change something? ..
Boundaries of motivation.
For a man who came to yoga as a result of fashion-motivation, as we have already established, there is no principle at all, therefore, it is not necessary to engage in it at home. To join the fashion trend, he will quite miss the classes in groups 1-2 times a week. As for people who came with specific intentions, here the question is more delicate and delicate …
Of course, it is always difficult to build something new in life, and do it regularly, that is, every day. This is not necessarily yoga. Reading foreign literature, drawing, running in the morning, anything else – all this requires some effort and will for regular playback. Yoga, however, being an activity of a very specific and distinct from others, undoubtedly has some characteristics peculiar only to it, the consequences of which are additional difficulties in the process of its integration into life. And these difficulties will surely be a counterbalance to the motivation that a person has come to yoga.
Features of yoga as a kind of activity.
One of the features is the “zero start feature” : unlike other activities, a person starts here from scratch . If about running, reading (albeit in a foreign language), drawing each of us from the very beginning as a result of life experience has, at least, basic ideas, then in yoga a person starts from scratch, since this kind of activity is not inherent in a person in his ordinary states of consciousness. The second feature of yoga is “a feature of the continuous nature of the changes” : all the changes, transformations that occur with a person in the practice of the process,, and attempts to force this speed lead either to an even slower or to negative consequences, often serious. Finally, the third is the “singularity of the alien approach” : the approach in yoga is contrary to the usual behavior for Westerners regarding the principle of “non-violence” (ahimsa). We are well-known proverb “Without effort you will not pull out and fish from the pond.” We are all used to the fact that in order to get the result you must first invest, as it should. And if we are tired, or hurt after a load of muscle – then this is a clear sign that “they have worked well, and the reward will not keep you waiting.” Since we do not know the other approach, by default, every newbie safely copies this template to the practice of yoga. Thus, he admits one of the most common mistakes, since all diligence and zeal in yoga is not in exhausting trainings (and if so, then think about whether you are doing it), but in the regularity of practice . Although, of course, suffer, sweat, force yourself1-2 times a week to engage in “yoga”, then with a sense of accomplishment to rest before the next workout – much easier and more familiar . It is much more difficult to learn to deal with yourself every day, while not forcing yourself, without feeling either in the process, or the next day, either physical discomfort or psychological from training.
Crisis points of motivation.
Crisis points of the beginning.
So, under the resistance of the above three features of yoga, human motivation plays a major role in the matter of continuing practice. Why is it so difficult for most people to practice regularly? Why is the motivation that led them to the classes not enough for the regularity of these classes, which, as we found out, is the basis of success in yoga?
The answer, probably, will be the following: a person either lacks the will to deal with regularly, or he does not feel well enough that an improvement in the state requires immediate action.
In the first case, options are possible. First: lack of will is a trait of character – it is difficult to do anything about it, and even the understanding of the person, even the extreme need to practice, can not be saved.
Option two: doing yoga, the student makes a certain regular effort over himself, each time stepping over himself, which eventually either ends (and the person stops doing yoga), or it causes growing internal tension, discomfort, and as a result – the deterioration of the general state. If the first option is more or less clear, then the second one involves questions. What is this effort that can erase the meaning of the whole practice? Sometimes, starting to practice yoga, people fall into the trap of “peculiarities of an alien approach.” You trydo everything as best as possible (especially in the practice of asanas), endure discomfort (psychological or physical) from unaccustomed loads and actions, believing that now for sure “work will be rewarded.” However, as a result, neither health, nor inner peace is added, and working out the muscles that can regularly get sick from overloads is a small compensation to all this. You start to try more and more, believing that you do not invest enough in practice. The tension and discomfort are increasing, but in sum with the lack of results (which can not be the case with this approach) and the reluctance to start the occupation each time (and if you start – the constant expectation that it will soon end) do not reach a certain critical level. After her, one thought about practicing yoga causes rejection of the whole body, the practice ends here.
Finally, option three: initially a serious condition. Sometimes, starting to practice yoga, a person soon realizes that this process is much more complicated than it seemed. A constant cycle of thoughts in the head, which does not let go for a second for everyone who masters yoga, is one of the main obstacles. Realizing that one must leave one’s thoughts while practicing yoga, a beginner can not do it at the same time. Thus, an inner contradiction arises, a doubt, “will it ever come to me at all?”. If a person is emotionally enough, psychologically heavily overloaded, inclined to instant actions in a fit of momentary frustration, then he has despair ready instantly to destroy almost any motivation. This problem arises, obviously, as a result of the features of the “zero start” and “long-term nature of the changes.” In this case, the student must understand that at first such a kind of “powerlessness” with regard to controlling the activity of thoughts is natural, and that one should start small. It does not happen that everything at once began to turn out in an instant, especially if you’ve never done this before in your life. In addition, we are all unique, and the degree of complexity of mastering mental silence for all is not the same: one can manage it in a few months, and others may need years.
Crisis points in practice.
In the case when the general state of a person is not so critical, the student is engaged, but not regularly. That is, as a result of correctly constructed practice, a person observes a positive trend of changes in relation to his general state, and this is enough for him. He understands that with regular classes, the process of recovery would go faster and more efficiently, but when choosing between the difficulties of allocating additional time to work with oneself and satisfaction with the available improvement, a person chooses the latter. It is worth emphasizing that the problem almost always lies not in the virtual absolute lack of time and opportunities to deal with, but in insufficient motivation for this.
A different situation is when a person engages regularly and for a very long period of time. Positive transformations take place in terms of health of the physical and psychological, and when the main layer of the negative that influenced the general state of a person goes away, changes occur, if not more slowly, then at least less noticeable for a person. It begins to seem that nothing is happening, although in reality it is not so: the process simply left the perception of consciousness, and the result suddenly manifests itself in some absolutely unexpected moment. In the case when the main reasons that led man into yoga have exhausted themselves, the former motivation naturally disappears (and this is the logical result). Then, as a rule, the motivation simply changes. A person is engaged either in order to maintain the received state and quality of life, or out of interest. Certainly,
Importance of correct motivation.
It is interesting to note the importance of correct motivation in yoga, and the consequence of a mistake in choosing it. Let’s take one of the most vivid and revealing examples. A person decides to practice yoga in order to maximize flexibility. What usually happens next? The student begins to strive for the goal, the means for this is the regular practice of asanas. With this motivation, the instructor’s words about the importance of relaxation and the fact that you can not “put pressure on the form” and bring the body to the limit is usually ignored, or simply not taken seriously. The person begins to exhaust himself literally with the practice of asanas, but in reality it is simply the gymnastics of the body in non-standard positions.
To his disappointment, expectations are not justified – flexibility is not added, or grows insignificantly. Gymnastics in the same positions of the body against the backdrop of a lack of visible result starts a person to tire, he asks the instructor to show him “something else”. But this will not give him anything. As a result, he is disappointed and finally gives up his studies. The man needed a quick result, which he was trying to get habitual methods. Alas, yoga is not a habitual, but absolutely non-standard kind of activity, and the result in it is not instantaneous. Thus, often erroneous initial motivation and expectation of a quick result simply overshadow those necessary conditions in which a person does not exercise, but yoga. The result is one: the lack of a positive result and the disappointment in yoga (although before it a person, in fact, did not even reach).
It turns out an interesting thing: if a person comes to yoga with an erroneous motivation ( that is, one for which realization yoga is not intended), or without it at all, then either the desired result simply does not come, or the general state, worsening, begins to suggest an error. In the latter case, the question is only how much the “beginning yogi” attentively treats his organism and hears his signals. If he ignores them for a long time, then the negative accumulates, and then sooner or later a breakdown occurs. And in one and the other case, if a person has a sufficient amount of common sense , he will always stop his wrong movement. How: with disappointment and rejection of yoga, or with a rethinking of your approach – depends on many factors. The key role here is played by the teacher, whose task is to do everything to ensure that the person goes in the right direction.
Paradox of motivation.
Above, emphasis has been placed on the fact that some of the people who have motivation are not regularly engaged. And the reason for this in most cases is not lack of time, but unwillingness or lack of will to build something new (yoga practice) into the familiar and settled rhythm of life. So, in conclusion, it should be emphasized that of course there is also that category of people who want, but in view of objective reasons can not allocate enough time for yoga. Paradoxically, it often happens that the greater the external resistance of life (or the more severe state of a person), the more successful he is able to find, scrape out of the mess of life time and opportunity to practice yoga. A person is engaged in at least the time, which suddenly drops out to him. Thus, he does his best for his own good. Simultaneously, a person who is in more comfortable conditions in relation to free time and other opportunities, will always find an excuse to push yoga further and further. Actually here we again rest on the question of motivation …
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