How often should we practice?

A key to become successful with a set intention to practice regularly, whether it’s dancing, yoga, going for a run, qigong, meditation or working out at a gym, is by seeing it as a need. You want to feel it become a need, and thus it will become much more easy to perform, instead of just deciding to, and perhaps failing, with your practice. You can also look at it as eating – something we need every day, and like to vary.

When I started lifting weights at a gym, together with starting to do yoga, in 2000, I learned from the fitness trainers and gym director, that the optimum physical training, is to do the same thing, every third day. This is to allow your muscles to “break” a little, then recover and rebuild with proper rest.

A good way, I have found, is to set an hour every day that is “me-time”, but let it become what is most needed, or desired, that specific day. It can be to read an interesting book, it can be to practice dance, yoga or qigong, or to journal. All depending on my shape of the day. This way, it becomes both scheduled and performed, as well as not mundane.

For it to work with a pre-set day and time, it’s crucial that the outcome matches, or supersedes, your desired outcome. You need to feel it. What kind of feeling is it that you long for and actually experience by your practice? Peace and relaxation? Becoming energized and clear minded? I, for example, become a happier person, when I dance, so naturally it’s easy for me to schedule, as well as actually do, in comparison to tasks I dread.

Find what gives you joy!

Photo of my planner from Paperblanks.

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