Yoga and Enthusiasm
It is said that enthusiasm is the most important aspect of the yoga practice and I can’t agree more. It is the key that allows us to practice for a long time and without break.
When we are enthusiastic about our yoga practice (or any other subject or cause in our lives); when we take a lively interest in it, we are paying attention, and yoga is about moving mindfully, focusing, as well as connecting with things as they are in the present moment.
Enthusiasm means to have faith and love for the practices and what they will bring. In the beginning, enthusiasm is inspired by the promise of benefits to come; and as we progress in our practice, the sensations of peace and joy of the Self becomes our great motivator.
Without enthusiasm our practice goes nowhere. It takes enthusiasm to commit, and to be disciplined. It takes enthusiasm to inspire others. It takes enthusiasm to continue moving forward. That doesn’t mean it comes easy: It takes real effort. But don’t you know we should never let a day go by without putting effort toward what we want to create?
Enthusiasm gives us the chance to go beyond our happiness set point. According to geneticists we have an “inborn” happiness set point of about 50% that we return to whether good things or bad things happen. We have 10% influence based on environmental factors and up to 40% that is affected by “intentional activity.” Practicing the language and behavior of enthusiasm is making the choice to be happy.
Ultimately, enthusiasm gives us the chance to change our happiness set point. And happiness helps us harness the power of our minds and hearts to work together. When what we think, feel and do are in alignment, we naturally live in a state of easeful joy. And true yoga teaches us that joy is our birthright!
Pantajali’s 1.14 Yoga Sutra recites:
“It is only when the correct yoga practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions, and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed”
I believe he was spot-on. So if you want to benefit from all that yoga has to offer you, bring as much enthusiasm as you can into your practice.
This is our life; we need to do better than simply living through the motions. Please live everyday full of enthusiasm!
See you on the mat!
With Respect and Love,