“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” —Mark Twain
There are some truths we immediately recognize in our brains, that we need to be reminded of. One of those essential truths is this: at no point is a task more daunting than before you’ve begun. In other words, the starting is the hardest part.
This applies to everything from professional projects to creative endeavours to making dinner. It can also apply to yoga. No matter how advanced your practice becomes, your very first yoga class is always the toughest. Coming back to your practice after a lengthy break can have its challenges, too—you can feel like you’re starting from the beginning even if that isn’t exactly true. And hey, even when you practice regularly, the moment just before you decide to begin is likely the hardest every time, no matter how intense or powerful the class. Even though we love our practice, from time to time we are all susceptible sometimes to the voices in our head telling us we’re tired, we have too much else to do, and won’t it be easier just to not?
Often the best way to deal with this is to see it not as a challenge but as encouragement: if you just step on that mat, put words on that blank page, or pick up that silent instrument, then the hardest part is over. And maybe it won’t necessarily be easy-street from there on in, but you’ve passed the first, biggest hurdle. You’ve said yes. You’ve been brave enough to begin. You’re already ahead of the game.