Do you find it difficult to fit Yoga into a busy schedule? At times, an inexhaustible number of excuses seem to pop up in our minds: “I haven’t got the time “, “I’m too tired”, “I don’t want to go out”, “I don’t like my Yoga teacher”… we all know what they are!
Rather than feeling guilty or bad about our excuses not to do Yoga, another approach is to make a small but essential part of our brain work hard for us. Check out the following tips to get to the bottom of this secret!
Enter The Amygdala – A Small But Significant Part Of Our Brain
Have you heard of the Amygdala? The Amygdala is the medical term for two small and almond-shaped bodies deep within the limbic part of the brain – another word for what is one of the oldest parts of the brain in evolutionary terms.
The Amygdala plays a central role in the processing of memory, sensory perceptions, decision-making and emotional reaction. It is closely involved with building emotional experiences and memories. Thus, the Amygdala has a very significant effect on our day-to-day lives.
How Does This Work In Reality?
Imagine a really negative event in your life and how that has led to a fear-led or defensive response to any similar future events. The stronger the emotion involved the memory, the stronger the emotional learning response will be. In this way, any experiences in the current time will be influenced by these early emotional responses.
Have you had a really bad relationship breakup? Likely you will be twice as careful before you get involved again. And that’s a good thing.
However, historical emotional learning can also hold us back from trying again – the negative association is too strong.
How To Make Your Amygdala Work For You
If the Amygdala is responsible for negative memories and learning responses, then the opposite must be possible as well.
Consequently, if we find a way to associate Yoga practice with a positive learning experience, then we automatically will want to repeat it.
We can translate this directly to the different Yoga excuses and resistance we described above. Therefore, if we find a way to associate Yoga with really positive emotional experiences, the hurdles to Yoga practice will be significantly lowered.
You will suddenly find that your busy schedule will not stand in the way of Yoga any more. Rather, you will find ways to build in into your day one way or the other.
So then: What do you love to do already? Are you a social maven who loves to be among people? Or is your Mojo peace and quiet, or perhaps the outdoors? Think about what your personality is and what you tend to gravitate to on a natural basis.
Then build Yoga into that.
The ideas below are just few examples to get your thinking juices flowing.
Are You A Social Butterfly?
If you are the social maven, then Yoga classes would be the ticket. You decide to make new friends in your Yoga class. Join or ask them for coffee after and enjoy the banter and smell of coffee. Or join a Yoga event somewhere close and totally immerse in the social connection of Yoga.
Are You An Introvert?
Do you love peace and quiet? In this case, you might prefer Yoga practice at home or perhaps just with your partner or a friend.
Create a Zen space that will be conducive to Yoga. Play your favourite calming music and light a couple of candles.
Are You Into Essential Oils?
Are you into essential oils and beautiful scents? Even better: the Amygdala is located next to, and closely connected with, the centre of the brain which are responsible for smells.
Further, science has found that memories are strongly enhanced if they are associated with a certain sound, smell or sensation.
Therefore, reach for your essential oils and do some Yoga: The joy of it will help start positive associations for the future.
Are You an Outdoor Fan?
Are you the outdoorsy type? Take your mat into the garden or the park, or the peak of a mountain. The sights, fresh air and scents of nature will help to reinforce the positive experience.
Next time the sun shines or some flowers are in blossom you will feel compelled to take your Yoga practice into that space.
In Summary: Make Yoga Part of What you Love Already
It’s quite simple really but it requires one to know oneself.
Then, do you what you know you love and bring Yoga into this space.
Next time your schedule feels too busy to for Yoga, bring up the positive emotions you have built and let those excuses evaporate into thin air.