In Praise of Discipline 2

Like many musicians, I practice yoga. I realize that I'll never be like those people in the glossy magazines and websites, all sleek and twisted like pretzels. But that's not the point for me. I do yoga for me. Besides the obvious physical effects, I find it's great for my focus and concentration. But most of all, it's time for me, time well spent to be me and take care of me.

Very pretty, but this is not Yoga to me…

As a percussionist, it's important to me to be both strong and flexible. I'm really not a runner, or a weight lifter, so yoga fits the bill. As a percussionist, I'm much like a dancer: I'm on the floor, I'm on my knees, I'm standing, I'm moving between my instruments. I spend a lot of time holding my hands and arms up in the air, often over my head. So I need to be in good shape.

practice |ˈpraktəs|
verb [ with obj. ] (Brit. practise)perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency: I need to practice my French | [ no obj. ] :  they were practicing for the Olympics.carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly: we still practice some of these rituals today.
I try to practice yoga at least three times a week or more. Most times it's really good, and I'm focused and into it. Other times, like today, monkey mind is there and it's a struggle. Today the sun is out, it's warm, and I'd rather be anywhere else doing something. But I did yoga anyway, and monkey mind was on my shoulder, a constant companion. As I went through the various poses, my mind wandered. Monkey mind kept talking to me and distracting me. But I kept going. I kept doing. I kept at it. It wasn't perfect, but I showed up and did it. And when I was done with my practice, I said out loud, "that felt good." And I meant it. 

This is more realistic Yoga.

So even as much as I didn't want to practice yoga, I did, and in the end I enjoyed it. This is a big part of what discipline is all about, doing things anyway when you don't want to, because you know they are beneficial to you. The same thing can be said for practicing your instrument. We don't always want to sit there and do it, but we need to, if we want to improve. This is discipline in action. It's not an evil thing, but a way along the path.

Momentum is a big part of this. As you make your practice a regular event, you build up momentum. You also start looking forward to it, so much so the idea of discipline disappears. Your practice becomes something you just do. Your practice becomes a part of you. 

Carry on with your practice.

~ MB

Deconstruct Yourself™


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