In my 16 years of teaching yoga and meditation, I’ve seen my students have amazing breakthroughs.
When we meditate, our lives are simply better, more organized, and happier.
What’s not to love about that?!
Yet, even my most committed students hit obstacles along the way. They will be carrying on with their joyful routine and then BOOM! Illness, career stress, or struggles with a child knock them off the wagon.
They are able to scrape together their meditation here and there, but deep down wonder why they can’t get their mojo back. Often, this leaves them feeling like a failure and practice goes downhill from there.
Then you’re in the right place.
Today I’m letting you in on the five REAL reasons you aren’t meditating consistently. Because what you think is the problem (not having time, being too busy) isn’t the issue.
Let’s dive in so we can get you on that meditation cushion ASAP.
- Your routine is MIA
You’re all over the place. You’re sitting to meditate at different times of the day, taking a different day off each week, without any rhyme or reason.
Whenever you can squeeze in your meditation, you throw it down and get on it. While I absolutely applaud your efforts, this provokes a huge range of issues in our life because our nervous system thrives on consistency.
This also makes meditation something else on our to-do list. As if we don’t have enough on there already! Enter the feelings of dread, anxiety, and even annoyance. It feels like trying to squeeze one more outfit into an already stuffed suitcase.
No wonder you’ve been avoiding it.
- You’re Not Setting the Mood for Your Meditation
There is nothing like sitting quietly at home amidst a pile of dust bunnies to kill the ambiance of a nice practice. Better yet, set up next to your desk which is overflowing with work to remind you of all the other things you should be doing instead of sitting still. Your mind will be flooded with all these seemingly more important things while you should be focusing on your meditation.
Imagine you were invited over for a romantic dinner at your beloved’s, but when you showed up and the kitchen was a mess, the food was cold, and your honey was distracted doing work calls all night.
Would that feel romantic to you?
No, it wouldn’t.
It certainly wouldn’t for me.
The reason setting the mood is crucial is because our meditation practice is a spiritual practice. This implies we feel a certain level of devotion/sanctity every day as we get on our mat.
If we don’t treat our practice as an act of reverence, how can we expect our practice to then give us what we’re looking for and allow us to reap the benefits we’re really seeking?
What we put in is what we get back, right?
We have to put forth the effort in creating that sanctity, that sacred space, every day.
Bottom line: if we don’t put the energy in, we can’t expect that our practice will really feed our souls on a deeper level.
- Too many techniques spoil the meditation
This is a huge issue for most at-home practitioners, yet it starts with good intentions.
When you don’t have a daily teacher to anchor us in one method, it’s easy to feel un-tethered. So, you hop onto YouTube and binge-watch every video about random meditation techniques. Don’t get me wrong, the occasional YouTube tutorial can be really helpful. But if you make a habit of this, you’re flooding your mind with tons of conflicting information.
The same is true if we are jumping around from workshop to workshop with whatever spiritual teacher happens to be in town. We are so desperate for inspiration that we end up overdosing on stimuli. The result? Confusion, even judgment!
Why? Because each teacher can only teach from his or her own personal experience. Each of us sees the practice through our own lens. Everybody will have a different take on how to approach the practice. We become overwhelmed, which is what we were trying to fix by taking up yoga in the first place.
These are small nuances that don’t seem like a big deal, but it turns our practice into an act of analysis and sometimes even judgment. What began as a desire to learn more has actually brought more questions into our mind than we previously had. As our mind becomes more and more confused, we get more attached to and trying to do it right, wondering…
Am I progressing or not? Is that way the right way or the wrong way
All these questions take us further and further away from the true goal of yoga, which is complete clarity.
These small steps are crucial for your mindset as well. EVERYTHING feels more intense when we don’t know what to do next. If you’ve been off the wagon for a while, you might not know where to begin.
- You Lack Boundaries
You promise not to look at your phone, so you leave it in the same room we’re practicing in.This seems innocent enough until you hear your phone ring and wonder if it’s your kid’s school nurse telling you they have some terrible malady and need to be taken to the emergency room.
While you’re checking your phone to make sure your kid is fine, you decide to look at the 100 work emails you’ve gotten in the last hour. When you return to sitting you’re more distracted and certainly have less excitement about your practice because, instead of thinking about what you’re doing right now, your mind is thinking about what’s awaiting you after you finish.
You feel rushed. Practice has become an item on your to-do list.
If you have a family, you have to take extra care to draw a line in the sand.
I know how hard this is. It might mean locking the door to your practice room; I’ve certainly done that. It might mean waking up while everyone else is still asleep to have some peace and quiet. It might mean asking your partner to take over parenting duties. If you don’t do this, things start to spiral out of control. Once others in your life know you are willing to budge on your boundaries, they will test you. You can bet on it. Boundaries are tough. You have to learn to develop them if you want to sustain your meditation practice.
- Your mindset
Let’s just say it. You haven’t REALLY committed.
If you had given your word to show up for a work meeting, you’d be there. Right?
But when you swear you’re going to wake 10 minutes early to meditate and then end up hitting snooze 5x, you haven’t really kept your word, have you?
Why is your mental clean up less important to you than the commitments you make to others?
When there is no teacher around to keep you in check, you’re far more likely to lose your focused, positive mind. Feelings of “I can’t do it,” or “Why am I not progressing faster here?” or “I’ll never be able to do this anyway, so why should I bother?” can take over.
They can leave us feeling frustrated and victimized. I can promise you will never move forward in any pursuit when you’re playing the victim.
The good news is I can help you through all these meditation struggles. Make no mistake, there will be effort involved on your part. There always is, but if you have awareness and you’re willing to put in the work, I can guarantee a smoother self-practice experience.
Have a beautiful day…Namaste.