Maybe you’re coming to the end of the holidays and are looking to restart your practice. Or maybe you’ve just started a new term of classes and you want to work out how to fit your practice into your new schedule. What can you do to make getting a yoga practice routine easier and sustainable?
Here’s a few tips to help you on your way.
First, take a look at your motivation to get a regular yoga practice routine. We tend to fill our lives with thoughts like: “I should…”, “I ought to…”, “I’m not a good… if I don’t do…”, “they’ll think I’m … if I don’t ….”
Look out for these thoughts, practice because you want to and because it makes you feel good, not because of pressure, whether that’s from yourself or anyone else.
Next look at your beliefs about what counts as a “practice”. There’s no doubt about it, you can’t beat the feeling after a long yoga class – and you should try to fit them into your week when you can. However, finding 60 – 90 minutes every day isn’t that easy for most of us and can be frankly overwhelming.
So don’t turn it into a reason not to practise at all – just get on the mat anyway. If you only have ten minutes do some Sun Salutations or a mini-vinyasa krama to a pose. Fit some pranayama into your day, even 5 mins of Nadi Shodhana, it’s all worth it!
Research shows that we’re more likely to stick to goals when we make them specific – so plan dates and specific times for your practice. If you can, stick to the same time each day to help you build your habit.
If you practise first thing in the morning lay out your mat and your clothes the night before. If you know you normally get hungry, or low in energy, plan in some light snacks so you can last until after practice
You know you feel better after practising but getting down to it is where the obstacles come in. So to stay motivated review your progress by keeping a practice journal. Write down how you feel after different kinds of classes and remind yourself of this whenever you feel like you might be drifting off course.
“Rest deeply in Savasana every day. Always enter that pratyahara (withdrawn state) every day. And just enjoy yourself. For many years I mistook discipline as ambition. Now I believe it to be more about consistency. Do get on the mat. Practice and life are not that different.” — Judith Hanson Lasater