The effort in your practice


Everyone knows if you want to achieve something you must put in the effort to do so. Nothing in life comes easy and many things, like your goals, take time to accomplish but there is one way we can all better our practice. By focusing on the amount of personal effort we are applying to what we are doing we can see better results and gain a healthier sense of accomplishment.

All yoga practices are built on a sense of discipline that includes the element of effort. The practice should not be easy because it should challenge you not only physically but also mentally. Your yoga journey leads you to a place of inner peace and creates that balance we are all searching for but you can only achieve that peace if you put in the energy to do so. I know it can be tough when we don’t want to get on our mats but those are the best days to just take the time to move through your practice and sweat out your stress. Much like going to the gym to sweat out your frustrations or going for a run because your workday was overwhelming. Taking a moment to pause and confront your stressors and work through your problems is the best way to put fourth your effort for making a positive change.

Yes, we can find it tempting to just say “screw it” when we don’t want to do something but there is no amount of fitness catch phrases that will outweigh our physical efforts. Look at what happens to some of us when we say, “I’ll start on Monday.” Monday turns into Friday, which turns into next week and then becomes next month. It puts us into a fake mindset of “If I rest now I can still do it later,” which in turn brings some of us to the path of laziness. You can’t outthink effort. No amount of thought or meditation will bring you to your goals only practice will. Making excuses for yourself will not bring you to a better path. It’s time to put in the work, sweat, and tears and make the time for you. Put in the effort and see how much better you perform.

Your yoga practice doesn’t stop on your mat. Your efforts can apply to all things not just the practice of yoga. Making the effort to get an “A” in class instead of just a passing grade. Making the effort to go above and beyond at work to get that promotion. Making the effort to take the time to see your loved ones and friends. Taking the time to make one positive change each day, week, and or month to better improve your life. Your hard work in whatever you’re doing can be the difference in obtaining or not obtaining your goals.  The effort you put in plays a major role in creating that balance in your life. When life gets tough you need to put in the effort to work your way out of whatever slump you’re in. Whatever imbalance you find yourself in you can’t work your way out of it unless you put in the effort to overcome your obstacles.

Practice with your heart, lead by example, and put your effort into a more calm and clear mind. When we focus our energy into positive changes we can live a stress-free life. Remember your practice takes effort, time, and energy. One small change a day can help you lead a happier and healthier life.

Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach. She works at LA Fitness.

Cassie McIntyre takes a yoga pose.