Tuesday, February 17, 2015

3 Ways to Stay Motivated to Meditate

By Kyla Rose Maher
In the Kundalini Yoga world, it’s all about sadhana, or daily spiritual practice.  When I first started practicing, the routine of waking up at 3AM, jumping in the cold shower, and doing 2 hours of yoga and meditation really was exciting for the first few months. I’m not kidding, it really was exciting.  That pink cloud didn’t last too long before the sleepy voice in my head that says “just 5 more minutes” began to get louder and louder.  Before I knew it the ambrosial hours turned into ambrosial-ish hours, and then ambrosial-ish turned into ambrosial-…later.  And then, 2 hours of meditation somehow transformed into 5 minutes of chanting Waheguru in my head - yes, while still cuddled up under the covers in bed.  
What I’ve discovered over time, is that all of that is OK.  My meditation practice goes through an ebb and flow, just like life does.  I know I feel my best when I’m waking up before the sunrise to connect with my higher self, but sometimes it’s just so damn hard.  I need motivation, inspiration, and lots of guidance. Always.  Here are three ways I stay motivated to do what I know works.
1. Create a sacred space.  
I just moved into a new apartment and a priority of mine was to make my meditation space look and feel beautiful.  I created an alter with this cool antique table and filled it with sentimental objects and pictures.  In the morning before my practice, I put on relaxing meditation music and light candles and incense.  It’s so cozy even my friends who don’t meditate feel the urge to sit on my cushion when they come over to visit!
2. Seek out some inspiration.
When I fall out of my meditation practice, I know I need to be reminded of why I love to do it and why it’s so important in my life. I need inspiration!  I’ve found it very helpful to sign up for a workshop, a yoga series with a favorite teacher, or even just travel to take a class somewhere new.  Seek out a fresh perspective, a deeper understanding, or even just a simple reminder from someone, something, or somewhere!
 3. Keep it real.
I have learned over and over and over again that often times I need to reel in my expectations of myself.  I continue to work on this!  “I’m going to do 2 hours of Sat Kriya EVERYDAY” is something that I would actually say to myself.  Come on.  No I’m not. And by saying that to myself and then not being able to keep up with it is really discouraging.   Having reasonable expectations is so important!  It’s helpful to work with a teacher who can remind you of that.  I can commit to 11 minutes.  Yes, that I can do. And if I have more time, I’ll do more, and feel good about it.  Simple as that.  

About the author: Kyla Rose Maher, creator & owner of Long Time Sun Apparel  is a KRI Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® and is certified in SuperHealth, a yogic therapeutic technology for addictive behavior.  She has had the privilege of studying under many master teachers including Hari Kaur KhalsaMukta Kaur Khalsa, and Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa.  Aside from running Long Time Sun Apparel, Kyla has been a contributing writer for the Spirit Voyage Blog and the Kundalini Yoga Boston Blog. She spent the summers of 2012-2013 teaching at the Ponderosa Tazland Festival in Germany and is currently enjoying spreading the teachings of Yogi Bhajan throughout New England along with having a blast growing with Long Time Sun Apparel.