Habits are difficult to form. You will need to keep it in your awareness constantly and put it into practice. Intellectually we understand that habits have corresponding neural pathways and positive habits bring about positive changes to our behavior, regular practice becomes a difficult thing. In many of our programs, people are curious to know about keeping up their yogic practices and exercise routine. They attribute to the lack of continuity to lack of time, motivation or support from the environment.
We have seen in our previous post on how the tapatreya (three obstacles) : Adi Deivika, Adi Bhautika and Adhyatimika have to taken care of for success in anything we take up including our daily routine.
We also saw how taking up a practice for atleast a mandala (48 days) can help us to integrate it within our daily lives. Sometimes it also helps to keep the practice active in our thought process so that we can catch up from where we left instead of totally getting disconnected from the practice. Adi ji beautifully explains this in this video.
Hata Yoga Pradipika
The Hata Yoga Pradipika, which is a manual of yoga written by Svāmi Svātmārāma who belonged to the Natha sampradaya, has some excellent insights on factors that facilitate yogic practices and those that can be obstacles.
Six factors support yogic practices:
Sahas: Openness to experiment and adventures that one may encounter
Tattvagyana: Knowledge of the truth
Janasanga Parityaga: Avoiding company and being in isolation (atleast for some time)
Factors that act as obstacles include:
Atiahara: Over eating
Prayasa: Over exertion
Niyamagraha: Over adherence to rules and regulations
janasangha: over indulgence in company of people
Laulyam: Instability of wavering attitude
The problems we face now are not new and have been recognized by the yogic community long back. We just need a rediscovery of these principles in contemporary times.