It’s not about Yoga, Training your flexibility is key.
A writer needs to write.
A musician needs to practice.
An actor needs to study the script by heart.
A Yogi needs to go to the mat and exercise.
A professional athlete has to do the training.
An entrepreneur has to show up, provide ideas and motivate others.
What every it is you are dreaming off, nothing goes without exercise. In order to become better, you have to actually do it. One day and the other day, and every single day in row.
I lately read and interesting quote about Stephen King. One of the most known contemporary writers, his countless books translated into more than 50 languages, he was questioned about his dedication to writing. He said, that during a new project he is writing every single day, making exemptions only at Christmas and his birthday. In a second interview, he admitted, that this was a lie: he would write every single day including Christmas AND his birthday. He just doesn´t wanted to be seen as bragger.
This is dedication!
But how can we set the time aside to perform our craft? How can we combine home office, home schooling and household with writing, exercising and being creative?
A lot of books about “how to write” advise the reader to write every single day, even if it´s only 10 minutes. I knew about it, but still find it hard to maintain it. We have a job, a family, whatever it is – we have a life which grabs our attention. And now, we have Corona and the whole world needs to adjust to the circumstances and find new routines. We have to beat resistance, while also fighting our fears.
More than anything else, we have to be flexible right now.
I had this AHA-moment, while I was doing my daily Yoga routine and had selected a session, to enhance flexibility. In Yoga the understanding is, that “flexibility is an attitude that invests and transforms the mind as well as the body” (Yogajournal.com). The Asanas are designed to stretch the muscles and with it comes flexibility in your whole self, as nothing can be seen isolated. This was my most chosen practice, when I had started with Yoga two years ago. The Yoga teacher had promised, that you have to stick to it for a couple of weeks and you will see progress. A couple of weeks later, I indeed saw improvement. My hamstrings were more flexible and situations, which previously brought my moods up, didn´t bother me anymore.
Every once in a while, I´m doing this practice. Every once in a while, I realize it´s not enough doing it “once in a while”. My tricky part is the hip opener, when I have to put my foot on the other side knee, so that the shins are parallel to the body. Instead of folding my knee neatly on the foot, it dangles somewhere in the air. Even though, I have a regular Yoga practice, this position is hardly possible for me.
In this moment it “clicked”. I immediately understood why experts tell you to exercise daily in order to master your craft. It is not a well-meant hint to walk the extra mile. Rather it´s the minimum effort you HAVE TO DO. It´s the act of DOING IT. Not reading about it, talking about it or dreaming about it. In order to become better at YOUR THING, you actually have to work at it. Paint a hundred canvas to sell one, write a thousand stories before you publish a book, note down a million songs, before you record an album.
Whatever it is, you want to be or become, you have to do it.
Coming back to my story; this moment on the mat told me, that I am the only one, who can change my routines in order to have space for both: doing Yoga and writing. Especially when life gets busy, it´s important to calm the waves and stay centered within myself. I don´t necessarily need a perfect hip flexibility, but having it, won´t do me no harm. In addition, dreaming of writing, won´t bring me closer to publishing a book, if I won´t set aside time to write. Daily.
Knowing this, I restructured my routines to ensure time for myself. During this time of quarantine, I have to accept, that my routines won´t be perfect. I won´t have as much time, as I wish to, but I can still try to get as much out of the situation as possible.
The worst thing we can do right now is giving up in despair of the circumstances.
We don´t know for how long Corona will restrict our lives. But what we CAN DO is modify our reaction to it. We have to adjust our routines (or install new ones), we have to train our flexibility to beat fear and worries. The moment we give up our own responsibility, fear will take over. But we are not helpless. We can stay centered and spread love and kindness to the world in order to motivate ourselves and others.
"Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach."