Making Time for Practice


Just when I had thought I’d heard all the reasons not to practice, A regular and committed student told me: "My Dog ate my mala."  Didn’t we all try that in grade school with our homework?

For those new to Yoga, a Mala is a string of beads we use to keep track in our mantra, or Japa Mala practice.  The beads help focus our mind, and keep our commitment to the practice.

There are countless distractions to our regular practice, and without a firm commitment, our practice can become peripheral, or slip away completely. 

 There’s a great story from my teacher’s teacher Sri Brahmananda Saraswati.  A student asked how to make time for his meditation practice, and he replied, "No problem, 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the evening."  The student replied, "But I don’t have 10 minutes."  "Oh, Then you need an hour" was the teachers response.  

With regular practice, lasting benefits come, 10 minutes a day in between the days you take a class really help your practice to stay fresh, your mind, and body to stay supple. Where can we slow down, and make space for stillness, and a concentrated practice?  

What works best for me is getting some early morning practice in, then finding opportunities throughout the day to practice Asana and Mantra;  I plant and tend a garden at a friends house, and the walk there is a beautiful opportunity for spontaneous meditation practice.  

Sometimes it’s Japa Mala, a song, or silent appreciation is what’s needed.  What serves me best is getting out of my own way, and letting my practice out.   Slow down. Breathe. A glass of iced tea can be a meditation.  Weave practice into your day and your day will become practice.  

As the ‘nice’ weather rewards us for the Tapas of New England Winter, it’s been traditional over the years for the studios to empty out.  Not so these last few years, especially at Yoga and Nia For Life.  (Sometimes we take refuge in turning on the air conditioning)  

A bunch of us are meeting up for the special 108 minute Summer Solstice class on Sunday June 21, 12:30.   Hope you can join us!

For the record, L. and M’s dog really did eat their Mala.  I made sure to get them another, and they are practicing regularly.  If you’d like to learn Japa meditation, (it’s great beach-walking practice) let me know, we often practice this in our workshops and focus classes.  

Please share where you fit in practice, click on the ‘add your comment’ link in the upper left hand corner.  We can all learn from each other.

Om Shanti, I’ll see you in class.


P.S.  Our Fall retreat is fully booked up, I’m forming a short wait-list, and if there’s enough people interested in coming we can explore adding a second weekend.  There’s also been many requests for a Spring retreat.  Let me know if that interests you, and I’ll see if we can set something up.  


2 thoughts on “Making Time for Practice”

  1. I LOVE the story from Sri Brahmananda Saraswati about needing an hour if you don’t have 10 minutes!!!! Couldn’t be more true, not to mention humbling. Great post, John.

    1. Namaste Deborah,

      Thanks for your note, I’m still working my way through your book, savoring an entry every few days as a nightcap.

      I’ll be sure to review it for our online Sangha very soon.


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