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Stacey Astley-Clark explores why wanting to quit usually means you’re about to start flowing….

It takes 21 days to form habit. That’s what we’ve always being told anyway.

So why does Week 3 seem like the point when most of us feel like quitting?   Are we really that self-sabotaging that we’d walk away just as we’re about to get good?

Yes and no.

The 21-day rule is a myth. Studies actually suggest that we need 66 days of repetition to embed new habits into our life. 

However, 21 days is still a crucial plot-point on the journey to our best selves.

It’s often the time when our Yoga Honeymoon ends.  When the initial buzz of ‘becoming a yogi’ starts to fade, our 5.30am alarm starts to grate, and we start to realise that even just pronouncing Pincha Mayurasana might take us a few months.

Reality has finally kicked in.

The 3 warning signs that are threatening your new habits: 

  • Self-doubt:  “the poses hurt, everyone else is better than me and I still can’t touch your toes.   I’m not cut out for Yoga”

  • Boredom:I’m getting sick of saluting the sun. I wonder what Pilates would be like?”

  • Busyness: “I don’t have time this.  I can’t afford to take 90 minutes out of my schedule to practice”

 

What’s interesting is that although they seem valid at the time, these states aren’t the final destination.

Like most things in life, the 21 day ‘hump’ is a fleeting phase.  It arises and then (if we don’t react) it passes and gives way to something new.

This means, if we’re able to keep on going when during that heavy, foggy ‘why am I doing this?’ phase we’d soon push right through our barriers and enter a state of flow.

Entering the State of Flow

Now ‘flow’ is somewhere we all want to be.

Whether we’re at on the yoga mat, powering through our to-do list or fully immersed in play.  Flow makes it all effortless, easy and at times, even euphoric.

When we’re in a state of flow, we feel like we could do anything….& we probably could. 

Flow is sometimes referred to as ‘getting in the zone’. When time falls away, our self-consciousness disappears, we and we become totally immersed in whatever it is we’re doing.

It’s what gives elite athletes their greatest performance and what makes entrepreneurs like The Body Shop’s Anita Roddick, credit for their success.

And when you’ve reached the state of flow through yoga, there’s no going back.  Getting on your mat will no longer be an effort, it will be a necessity.  The only way to access your optimum state of being.

The feel-good factor will become part of your cellular memory, your self-belief will be strengthened and the next time you reach a dip, it will be easier to keep on going.

So, whether you realise it or not, the moment when you’re about to quit is exactly when your capacity for transformation is at its strongest.    

And that’s how true habits are formed.

To learn more about the state of flow, check out Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s fascinating TED Talk on why Flow is the Secret to Happiness 

 

Remember…

“The moment you quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens”

Don’t. Give. Up

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Stacey Astley-Clark Stacey has been practising yoga for over 15 years but found her true calling in 2013, following the birth of her little boy - an experience which she describes as profound, empowering and… VIEW PROFILE

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