“Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sa Tu Dirgha Kala Nairantarya Satkarasevito Drdhabhmih

Sah (sa): this | Tu: and | Dirgha: long | Kala: time | Nairantarya: without break | Satkara: earnestness | Asevito: well attended to | Drdha: firm | Bhumih: ground

“[L]et us not be like little children who sow a seed today and dig it up tomorrow to see how much the root went down. We need all these three qualities: patience, devotion and faith [to be successful in our goal of embodying our highest expression in our lifetime].”

-Sri Swami Satchidananda

Habits, routines, and muscle memory all take effort and time to develop (even the undesirable ones).

Some routines and practices are easier than others to internalize, and it may take very little time to build up the necessary habits that are required in order to successfully integrate these routines into your life, or into your being. This usually occurs when a new routine or practice is naturally supported, or strengthened, by something else that you already effortlessly or regularly do. For example, you may find that it is easy to integrate regular Asanas (bodywork) into your day as you focus on your already developed Pranayamas (breath work). This practice is complementary since effective breathing is useful for deepening muscle flexibility, strength, and functioning, and will also support you with becoming more present for that activity and, therefore, better equipped to use those same Asanas to further develop your Pratyaharas (control of the senses), Dharanas (concentration/focus), and Dhyanas (meditations) as well.

Regardless of how easy it is to integrate any new habit, skill, routine, or practice into your life, however, it will take time for it to be mastered. Developing ease with a new habit, routine, lifestyle, practice, and so forth will require serious dedication and continuous effort over time in order to make that thing second nature.

Yoga is no exception to this requirement. Yoga (all Eight, or other, steps of your path) requires practicing each day and for a long period of time (more than just for a day or periodically), to develop you both physically and mentally.

Both your body and your mind require training and practice in order to integrate knowledge and experience, and only time will provide you with the necessary “training space” for this experience/mastery to be attained.

It is therefore essential that you practice your Yoga every day diligently and earnestly. Remain a neutral, unattached, observer and simply show up to be your best, do your best, to breathe, to stretch, to purify your mind, to train your mind to be single-focused, and to empty yourself from chitta vrittis/mental distortions. This alone will get you closer to reaching Samadhi with every bit of energy that you devote to your practice each day.

And the best way to ensure that you are practicing at all times, continuously, without pause, and in all earnestness, is to integrate your Yoga into your life and work, as it already exists, while also simultaneously developing a suitable lifestyle around your practice. Practice all aspects of your path while interacting with others and while simply living your life; integrate work on your Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayamas, Pratyaharas, Dharanas, and even your Dhyanas by being mindful and acting in accordance with this mindfulness at all times.

Your life is already the perfect training ground for your Yogic path; it is the perfect field of experience for practicing being the best that you can be in this lifetime.

So, this week, look for opportunities in your life/regular day that allow you to practice the Eight (or others depending on the type of Yoga that you participate in) Limbs of Yoga .

How can you integrate your Yoga practice into everything that you do, from working, to cleaning, to eating, to walking, to speaking, and everything in between?

Remember that:

"If you are...patient [in your practice], your mind is more settled, and what you do will be more perfect. If you are unsettled and anxious to get results, you are already disturbed; nothing done with that disturbed mind will have quality."

Sri Swami Satchidananda

So simply, do your practice at all times, and for as long as it takes to achieve your goal of ultimate enlightenment or the expression of your highest self. And be sure to do this without attachment to obtaining results at all, or within a given timeframe, since both a clear mind and your earnest devotion are required in order to reach Samadhi.

One moment of practice at a time is how you obtain results. Practice continuously at all times by integrating your efforts into even the most mundane parts of your everyday lived experience and results will come to/for you in time.

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