STEP 1 – The 21 day practice of slowing time
One of the subtle yet powerful things in life is the art of repetition and knowing when the stream of repetition needs to be altered in direction and detail. Having the body mind placed into this equation is one of the most interesting explorations. Here are rules to abide to for your journey on the yoga mat. You will be devoting 21 days for this contract.
The contract you have made with yourself must remain secret. Only the closest person to you knows about your commitment. Other than that, it is not to be mentioned to anyone. It must not be something you brag about, complain about, rejoice about nor lecture about. It is an esoteric task. It is not meant to be exoteric.
Once the contract is made it is non-negotiable. You will get up and practice…NO MATTER WHAT. Thus, there is no point in fixing any ideals of what you are to accomplish and what is expected of you or what levels you are to achieve. The mission is to practice for a set amount of time (21 days) consistently and systematically. This means you are to practice whether you are exhausted, faint, suffering of an illness, suffering of a discomfort ( running nose, headache, diarrhea, constipation). You must still practice. Obviously the practice will feel different – but this is fine and something to learn from.
To make it more effortless to get up and practice will involve an exploration into the events prior to the practice i.e. was your sleep restful, did you eat a heavy meal late in the evening the night before, did you end the previous day with turmoil, anxiety, discontent in the mind, etc. Some alterations may have to be made to the nature of your evenings.
While you are practicing there will most likely be a dialogue taking place in your mind. Notice and acknowledge it but do not give it too much attention. The same will happen with thoughts. An idea may arise or a sudden memory. Make the effort to suspend it. Suspending it is different from shutting it out or attempting to erase it. Imagine taking it and placing it onto a cloud that will take care of it while you are busy with your practice. If you do this, what may arise along your journey through this practice is the quality of your thoughts and their ability to compartmentalize themselves without you getting too involved.
Each practice will feel different until all of your aspects, your modes of being present themselves to you. When angry, use the fuel that this emotion provides to move faster until that naturally balanced speed hits. When gloomy, use this state of mind to move delicately, slowly, paying more attention to detail. Different emotions and states of mind will appear. Use their intrinsic qualities to fill your practice. As a result, the practice will shift in its speed, duration and focus. This is fine.
The mornings must not be rushed. Rather crawl out of bed at least 20 minutes earlier to enjoy a cup of warm liquid, whether tea or coffee or warm water with lemon juice and honey.
Do not look at any electronic screens such as computer, laptop, ipad , phone. Keep the eyes quiet.
Find a time that you can stick to i.e. 07.00-07.30am.
Find a place in the house that you can establish as THE place for these morning rituals. Keep the area clean and tidy. Place the equipment you will need at a reachable distance such as a blanket, bolster, block, eye pillow and belt.
You may have a quiet backdrop of pertinent music playing in the background.