Research reveals a curved relationship between practice and automaticity.
Say you want to create a new habit, whether it's taking more exercise, eating more healthily or writing a blog post every day, how often does it need to be performed before it no longer requires Herculean self-control?
Clearly it's going to depend on the type of habit you're trying to form and how single-minded you are in pursuing your goal. But are there any general guidelines for how long it takes before behaviours become automatic?
Ask Google and you'll get a figure of somewhere between 21 and 28 days. In fact there's no solid evidence for this number at all. The 21 day myth may well come from a book published in 1960 by a plastic surgeon. Dr Maxwell Maltz noticed that amputees took, on average, 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb and he argued that people take 21 days to adjust to any major life changes.
Unless you're in the habit of sawing off your own arm, this is not particularly relevant.
Doing without thinking Now, however, there is some psychological research on this question in a paper recently published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. Phillippa Lally and colleagues from University College London recruited 96 people who were interested in forming a new habit such as eating a piece of fruit with lunch or doing a 15 minute run each day Lally et al. (2009). Participants were then asked daily how automatic their chosen behaviours felt. These questions included things like whether the behaviour was 'hard not to do' and could be done 'without thinking'.
When the researchers examined the different habits, many of the participants showed a curved relationship between practice and automaticity of the form depicted below (solid line). On average a plateau in automaticity was reached after 66 days. In other words it had become as much of a habit as it was ever going to become.
This graph shows that early practice was rewarded with greater increases in automaticity and gains tailed off as participants reached their maximum automaticity for that behavior.
Although the average was 66 days, there was marked variation in how long habits took to form, anywhere from 18 days up to 254 days in the habits examined in this study. As you'd imagine, drinking a daily glass of water became automatic very quickly but doing 50 sit-ups before breakfast required more dedication (above, dotted lines). The researchers also noted that:
Unfortunately it seems there's no such thing as small change: the much-repeated 21 days to form a habit is a considerable underestimation unless your only goal in life is drinking glasses of water.
HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Welcome to Mai Town Yoga's January 2013 newsletter.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & New Year Holiday Season!
As we start 2013 it's been wonderful to meet so many new students so dedicated to themselves & their yoga practice. I know personally what a struggle the holiday months can be. Often with me a new year means a new start. I catch strong feelings of renewed energy & excitement towards many "things" in my life I may have been looking at pessimistically.
For myself personally what this often means more than anything is I have not kept up with one or some of my practices I have developed to keep myself from pessimism. Such as my yoga or meditation practice for instance. This is one of many reasons I'm so proud we are offering our first workshop February 9th on "Introduction to Meditation".
I'm very excited we have added two new instructors to our awesome teaching staff. We are so grateful & proud to have the amazing Chris Engebretsen & Jessica Morgan joining the Mai Town Yoga team. The talent of the teachers we have assembled at Mai Town is really fantastic. I love what a student told me the other day; "I've not had a bad class here". All of us on the Mai Town Team; Tida, Mary, Catalina, Chris, Jessica & myself are completely dedicated to ensuring you have the best yoga experience possible.
As I mentioned above we are very happy to present our first workshop February 9th at 1:30pm on "Introduction to Meditation" taught by Tida Chambers. Below is the write-up for this special workshop we are proud to offer.
"Meditation is considered an essential practice for those who seek self-knowledge and self-mastery. Why? Basically, meditation brings awareness of how our minds work. Over time, we become watchers, able to detach from the thoughts and emotions that play out in our minds.
With this detachment, we gain the freedom to choose whether or not to act on our thoughts and emotions. We learn to distinguish between objective reality and our mental and emotional dramas.
This workshop will introduce those interested in learning how to meditate to basic meditation techniques. In this workshop, you will learn about sitting and walking meditation. You will learn the proper alignment for sitting on a cushion/blanket and for sitting in a chair. Once your body is comfortable, then it no longer will distract the mind. You will get to experience different techniques such as focusing on the breath, counting and using visualization . We will discuss what to do about the mind wandering around, hopping from one thing to the next. Then, we will practice it. We will sit and also walk in short intervals.
By the time you leave, you will have a basic meditation practice you can use at home...and you will feel more calm and relaxed.
Let your meditation practice influence and transform the quality of your experiences and your relationship to others and the world. Find more calm in your life by developing a consistent meditation practice.
Please wear comfortable, loose clothing or work-out clothes. You may wear socks and bring a light jacket. If you are a note taker, feel free to bring a notepad and pen. If you happen to have meditation cushions, please bring them."
I want to also be sure & mention the "Holiday Challenge". Things really got exciting at the end with 2 students tying for 1st place with 29 classes from November 15th to January 31st. Don't forget... over 15 of you signed up for the holiday challenge! Way to go everyone! The "Spring Challenge" is right around the corner!
"It is only when the practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed." Patanjali, Yoga-Sutras
Dan Cicconi RYT 500Studio Manager
One of the easiest ways to get your computer to run just a little bit smoother is to clear it's cache. The cache is like the computer's short term memory, inventory of web browsing, photos and other random, mostly useless items. These tidbits of information can become a burden on the computer system and occupy too much hard drive space. That information is not necessary for optimal running of our computer system so we clear the cache and let it go. But that is just our computers.
We are all inundated with the responsibilities of life. Family, work and social responsibilities all pulling at us in different directions simultaneously- and we struggle to maintain a balance. We are also in the information age, tied to our computers, our smart phones, ipads, and fax machines and to escape from the daily stresses of this technology, we turn to our televisions. If we are running a little rough, slower perhaps and feel the need to run a little bit smoother- do we have a personal cache we can clear and if so how do we do it?
Meditation can help us clear our personal caches reboot and restart regularly.
Meditation, simply stated, is a mind body practice. A bit of a mental exercise.
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit your overall well being. While meditating you can clear away the informational overload that has built up in your personal cache- freeing up some of your personal hard drive space, allowing you to run at a more optimal level- You 2.0. The emotional benefits of meditation may help you manage your stress, increase your awareness of self, focus on the here and now, and reduce negative emotions. The practice of meditation may also help you alleviate some medical conditions, specifically those made worse by stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation may help some conditions such as anxiety, allergies, asthma, cancer, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, sleep disorders and substance abuse.
How does it work?
It works differently for everyone. Meditation works as an internal practice for relaxing the body and the mind. We can think of meditation as giving our mind and body a break. Sleeping can induce respite but often our minds and bodies are so agitated we cannot get adequate rest.
Meditation can go right into the unpleasant areas of the mind and body and change our mental attitude towards them. Many who practice meditation experience a fall in metabolic rate and decreased blood pressure as the act of meditation decrease nervous system activity.
An article from U.S. News reported, "A mindfulness meditation program can trigger measurable changes in brain areas associated with awareness, empathy and sense of self within eight weeks" (2011, HealthDay News). Other studies have shown that a regular practice of meditation increased gray matter density in the learning and memory centers of the brain. Different types of 'mental exercises' create different changes in the brain, but all have similar effects. Neuroplasticity is a term that is used to describe the brain changes that occur in response to experience. There are many different mechanisms of neuroplasticity ranging from the growth of new connections to the creation of new neurons. Research suggests that meditation can harness the brain's ability to change through relaxation and attention training. When the framework of neuroplasticity is applied to meditation, it is suggested that the mental exercise of the practice of meditation is no different from any other form of skill acquisition that can bring about changes in the brain.
Meditation is an excellent antidote to help us regain the balance against the constant push pull of our lives. Meditation can offer us a way to create new neurons, inducing relaxation; alleviate stressors and complications due to illnesses, and a multitude of other benefits and on top of that, there is no special equipment to use and you can meditate in the sanctuary of your own home.
Want to learn more?
Be sure to sign up at the counter for the meditation workshop conducted by Tida Chambers happening next month where Tida will explain in detail specific techniques you can incorporate meditation into your yoga practice and to daily life.
HOUSEKEEPING, New Class Offering & Schedule Changes
Schedule changes effective March 1st will be as follows. Starting Wednesday March 6th Mai Town is proud to introduce our new "Warrior Basics" class. Warrior Basics will be an alignment, modification based class that will be awesome for beginners & individuals with serious injuries. This will also will be a donation based class with the proceeds going to a local Red Oak charity. This class will take place at 6:30pm Wednesday evenings moving "Warrior Core" to 5pm.
Don't forget about Fit For Life. Fit For Life is Mai Town Yoga's wellness partner. Anything concerning your overall health, nutrition & weight loss including 1 on 1 personal training sessions in our downstairs gym. Become an auto debit member with Mai Town Yoga & receive discounted services from Fit For Life. Fit For Life brochures are at our front counter.
Remember to get the most out of your practice here are a few tips we ask you to consider.
For your convenience class descriptions, tuition rates and our schedule can always be found at maitownyoga.com
Please arrive 5-10 minutes before the class starts to give yourself time to get into the room, lay your mat down and prepare yourself for class.
Please be mindful of other students who might be meditating, in savassana (laying down) or child's pose and keep talking & noise to a minimum. One reason many come to practice yoga is to stop the everyday stories & dramas in their minds for at least the one hour they are here.
Please leave all CELL PHONES, shoes & personal items in cubby's set up in lobby.
Hot Yoga is a work out. We want to remind you to make sure and drink plenty of water before, during and after your classes. Hydration is important and we have vending machines filled with water, coconut water, and Gatorade for your convenience.
Mat and towel rentals are $1 each. Forget to bring your own? No worries, we have them here to rent. At this time Mai Town Yoga is not offering free mat and towel service with any of it's memberships- however if you check in at Mai Town on Facebook, we will waive the mat or towel rental for that class.
Towel Monogramming is available for those who wish to personalize their Hot Yoga towels. We have partnered with a local embroiderer to personalize these for us and we will offer free laundry service for monogrammed towels. Leave your monogrammed towel with us and it will be clean and ready for your next class.
2013 is going to be an amazing year. We have many wonderful things planned for the year! Stay tuned. & remember all of us here on the Mai Town are here for you. Come & see us.
(469) 218 0691
MAI TOWN YOGA IS STRONG MEDICINE
Mai Town Yoga | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.maitownyoga.com
303 E. Ovilla Road
Red Oak, TX 75154