I compare yoga to flossing one’s teeth.

Let me explain.

We have a problem in this industry where yoga has become an exercise that takes discipline to do. It’s used in gyms, it’s marketed as stretching and then peddled with underlying guilt if you don’t practice.

I’ve fallen victim to this logic at times myself. More often early in my practice, but over time, I have taken to approaching my practice like flossing my teeth.

If a person doesn’t floss, they often don’t feel any different. They can still eat, move around and live their life. But under the gum line, there is something very different happening that will eventually cause the person pain and bouts of discomfort. These bouts are often for a short time until they get into their dentist and ‘fix’ the issue. But the dentist always reminds the client about the value of flossing every single visit.

Yoga is very similar to this idea. I may not feel any different if I skip my practice once, twice, I may not think I’m missing anything, but slowly build-up occurs. This build up can manifest itself in a few different ways-I might be more distracted, irritable or disconnected than usual. I might have a panic attack as the stress of whatever I’m working through becomes overwhelming. I might even start to get triggered and not know why.

Grappling with an irregular practice led to the peaks and valleys that come with stress and a cluttered mind. By treating my practice less like an option or something I should do and more like an everyday activity helps make it less daunting. It also removes the pressure of disappointing myself.

I basically changed the location of this responsibility in my brain. No longer do I categorize yoga as exercise. It doesn’t live there anymore. It now lives on the shelf in my mind next to flossing.

I offer this idea to you-maybe it helps you to change any struggle you have incorporating yoga into your day.

Keep flossing,