It’s the nub of the whole project. We love yoga, love it, love it, love it. And yet we can’t get a practice going.
A friend of mine works at a trauma center where (among other things) they are doing research on yoga and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The value of yoga to people with PTSD is clear. Now the difficulty is getting people to do it. Somehow the home practice wasn’t being established in most of the students. The people running the study tried upping the number of classes per week (each class is called a dose), but that had minimal impact on whether students practiced at home.
Going to class once or twice a week is a very good thing, but it’s not an internal practice. And a serious practice is internal, or at least it is for me.
I’ve been taking classes almost without a break for 11 years, and for perhaps 8 or 9 of those years I’ve had some sort of home practice. Yet it still feels precarious. One little break in the routine—out of town company, or the flu, or an early morning doctor’s appointment—and I can slide right off the mat for a weeks.
I think I need to do some research on habitual behavior. I brush and floss my teeth without fail, cook and keep my kitchen clean daily, do the sudoku puzzle in the paper every morning. How can I make my yoga practice as solid?