How To Build Your Yoga Rocket
The key to unlocking the ancient powers of yoga is through regularity. To some, regularity means hitting 2-3 yoga classes a week without fail. To others, regularity may be limited to once a week, or less. The benefits of practicing once a week still outnumber the benefits of not practicing at all. However, when I say regularity, I really mean daily.
The driving force behind regularity is momentum. Momentum will turn your yoga practice into a lifestyle. We have all witnessed the power of momentum whenever we see footage of the space shuttle lift off. Momentum begins with a thrust. The rockets rumble, they ignite, and thrust several thousand tons of metal slowly into the air. The speed builds and the rocket gets faster and faster until it reaches what rocket scientists call, “momentum conservation.” I’ll spare you any further scientific rhetoric, but while I have momentum, imagine that your body is the rocket. The thrust happens when you practice. As a rocket needs to burn fuel to maintain acceleration, the body needs to practice daily to burn negative energy (stress, anxiety, depression) to maintain its expansion.
Understand that rockets are simply vessels for a payload. Be it a satellite, space station stuff, or explosives, the payload’s value comes into play only after the initial thrust and obtaining momentum. In this analogy, your body is the rocket and the payload is your expandable mind. How tragic would it be, if your most valuable asset, your mind, is strapped to a rocket that is still waiting to launch, has lost guidance or run out of power?
How do I build my yoga rocket?
Start with a habit. Our days typically consist of a series of habits developed to make things easier. Some have a habit of drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, while others enjoy an organic superfood green smoothie. Regardless, habits are born from repetition. So, developing a yoga habit that is easy, fun, and yields an instant return. Just before I climb into bed for the evening, I’ll stand on my head in Salamba Sirsasana for three minutes. It doesn’t take long, I enjoy visualizing the day’s stress exiting my crown chakra, and I love falling asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. The nights were I skip this step, I’ll find myself lying awake with thoughts of a mind still saturated with stress. This of course will affect my sleep, which will effect my morning and so on.
How do I obtain thrust?
Thrust is the easy part. If you have a home practice, build yourself a challenging sequence and put it to use. If not, hit up your local yoga studio, or stream an online class. This is your thrust. The next day, practice again! You don’t have to do the most advanced class. Your body will tell you what level it wants to practice. On the day’s when my body feels beat up, restorative yoga is the only relief. This is your rocket slowly building speed. As you build speed, keep your guidance system working through your yoga habits. Here are a few that, with modification, will keep your focus sharp:
- 3 minute standing meditation in mountain pose. Try this in the shower, while waiting for your coffee to percolate, or as soon as your feet hit the floor!
- 3 sun salutations with ujjayi breathing. This is a nice one while waiting for water to boil, while deciding what pair of shoes to wear, or when you find yourself by yourself!
- One nice long forward fold. Exhaling to fold, inhaling to rise and holding the pose for 5 breaths. This is my favorite when in an elevator, standing in line, or anytime I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.
The next day, practice. Take note of the difference in speed that your body is experiencing. You might be sore and a bit little out of breath. Fear not, your body is designed to catch up with your mind. The next day, practice. The initial thrust is gone, what you are doing now is building momentum! Your yoga habits begin to feel like they could be part of your every day experience and something is happening to your mind! Could it be benefiting from the extra oxygen, the reduction of stress, and the induction of a calm state? I’m sure you can guess what the next day will bring… Practice! As your mind expands, revealing latent talents and abilities, you’ll discover how valuable your mental payload is in our expanding world.
How do I keep my rocket fueled for flight?
Once you’ve developed regularity in your practice, your mind and body will exist at a heightened level. Then, if you are like most of us, as your rocket is radiating through the universe, you stop. For whatever reason, you skipped a day or more. Your yoga habits are lost amongst a sky of excuses. Depending on your altitude, you’ll either fall, or you’ll drift without guidance. Rockets need momentum as much as your body and mind do. Without momentum, rockets fail to keep its trajectory just as your mind fails to maintain it’s heighted consciousness.
To thrive, we must eat well, sleep well, and love as well as we can. With that said, it’s clear to see that we practice thriving every day. Oh the possibilities we would discover if we practiced expanding every day. Build your yoga rocket. Ignite your day with creativity, harmony, and happiness and expand your mind out into the infinite universe! Namaste.
Photo captured by Zurael of Mike on the beach in Ventura at Sunset.