Continuation is power. (This is a Japanese saying.)
We cannot get benefit without continuation when it comes to physical practice especially.
This is because human body is a matter that has homeostasis.
Once we get into habit, the body will try to sustain it as homeostasis.
If so, how do we firmly establish as a habit?
Let me think of “running”, one of the most common habits for example.
When I was a high school student, I ran playground every morning to improve myself as a football (soccer) player.
Sometimes I didn’t feel like running when I was tired off.
I could continue this habit, though. This is because of something moved me such us goals, teammates, etc.
Sometimes I was encouraged by words of successful athletes,and at other times I was stimulated by keen teammates…
These were, so to speak, magic to make me continue thinking “I will be able to get something great if I continue running!” I can run as long as the magic works.
When the magic was about to disappear, I desperately searched for materials of magic and cast a spell on myself again.
When the magic disappears
However, the moment we lost the last game of the football team, the habit suddenly came to an end.
Generally speaking, it is common for Japanese high school students to stop everything on sports after the last game and to start preparing for entrance exam of universities.
However, now I wonder, how come I could suddenly stop what I was able to continue such a long time? Wasn't it unnatural?
In conclusion, running was not so important for me that I could continue without the “magic”.
Running wasn't so natural for me that I could continue without something stimulated me.
Desire for “purity” and internal conflict
How do I, a very fickle person, continue this habit?
I don’t cast a spell on myself consciously.
I don’t search for benefits by yoga practice.
That’s why I can continue uneventfully like brushing my teeth.
I feel like saying above…
My yoga practice is not so pure.
Am I doing “unselfish” practice without seeking benefits?
No, I cast a spell on myself unconsciously after all. I rely on magic.
I am stimulated by some great yogis, I read articles about benefits of yoga practice, and I sometimes try to remember some eccentric experiences in India.
This is how I am intoxicated by “myself” practicing yoga.
If you can practice without any magic or intoxicants, that’s beautiful.
But, is it possible?
Is it possible for human beings to have such purity?
For me, not a sacred man but a normal guy, there is no use to assume the state of a saint.
It may be ideal to be able to practice without magic, but I have no choice but relying on magic.
Haruki Murakami, a Japanese famous novelist who continues running as a habit for many years, says,
There are few reasons to continue running, but there are a tons of reasons to stop running. (・・)
Only we can do is to brush and sustain “few reasons” carefully.
Unfortunately, yoga practice hasn’t become natural for me to do without any reasons. That’s why I need to be intoxicated by some reasons or magic.
I sometimes think “I want be such a nice person” when I meet wonderful yoga teachers, I am intoxicated by spiritual atmosphere in yoga room, and I seek stylishness in yoga asanas…
Some reasons I rely on can be impure.
However, I may not be able to continue without these factors.
I am doing something strange, to continue using magic to become independent of magic.