Somewhere around the age of 40 my body started to creak and stiffen from all my years of jogging. I joined a weekly yoga class to learn some stretches I could do at home on my own. That was 12 years ago. What I realized after some fits and starts at home is that I need the structure of the weekly class to keep me committed and enthusiastic. Last year was a busy business travel year for me so I stopped attending class. While I kept up with my yoga practice at home, I found it became regimented and stale, with my mind constantly wandering as I waited for the time to pass.
So last week I went back to my class. I had to live through the teasing about where I’d been. During that class my long time teacher did not teach me any new poses. Most of the students were the same as when I left. But, oddly enough, I walked out energized and relaxed, and the next morning my old enthusiasm had returned for my “home practice.” Clearly, yet ironically, I need the support of the weekly structure to stay true to my inner self!
I think several of our Wellspring participants are having a similar experience now that two months has passed since our program ended. While most of us have busy lives and many were somewhat relieved to reclaim that one evening every two weeks, there is a caution. How do you keep up your practice?
I believe most of us need structure to continue doing things that are good for us. I think this is one area where the more fundamentalist Christians have a leg up on us Unitarians. Congregants in their churches often attend weekly Bible Study groups for years. They recognize that we stay more committed when we are in community.
What are you doing to help you stay committed, energized, and on your path? What is your equivalent of the weekly yoga class? We would like to know. Help us think about what we might do next to help our Wellspring graduates maintain a fresh and committed spiritual life.
Some tips and resources.
Every Day Spiritual Practice