It’s all well and good to start practicing yoga, but how do you turn this into a habit? Some days it feels like you don’t have time for anything extra, so trying to fit anything new into your life can be a struggle and they tend to fall to the wayside. Creating a habit involves setting intentions and repeating activities to automate them.
Here are a few tips for making your yoga practice a consistent habit so that it becomes as routine as brushing your teeth!
Try to keep your intention in track with your reality. It’s a great goal to want to commit to yoga 7 days a week, but if you’re like us, you have kids, and schedules, and work, and partners and life and all that may take some time to schedule in yoga daily. Try starting with 1-2 a week. Once you nail this, and can fit more in, then definitely go for it. Don’t aim to look exactly like the teacher either. When your starting, your tree poses are going to wobble and you probably won’t be able to invert…yet. Yoga is a journey.
Set yourself reminders
Time to add this to the diary, and while you’re at it, write it on your calendar, put it in your phone, set an alarm for times of the day that are good to practice. Make a date with yourself, for yourself. Your health is just as important as your families, so schedule it. This is a great opportunity to bring a friend or partner into the mix. Make yourself accountable by including others. If friends and family know of your goals, they are more likely to encourage your resolutions and make space for your yoga time. Turning your power flow into family fitness time, is a great way to fit yoga into a busy family life.
Vision boards are great for this. Grab a minute and write down everything you want; not just physically, but mentally and spiritually too. Create this visually using words or pictures and display your vision board where you will see if every day. Don’t forget to include positive images and phrases, to encourage yourself. No negativity here! Go to a vision board class if you can find one, they are great sources of inspiration. Or keep it simple at home, grab the glue and magazines, even the kids and have good old fashioned craft session.
Keep to a routine
We are all basically children, we thrive on routine. Spontaneity is the spice of life, but when trying to form a habit, you need routine. Try to be consistent. Nap times (if you have kids) are great for yoga practice. Think of 1-2 times a week where you could fit in some ‘you’ time and put that in your calendar on repeat. We are what we do.
Sticking to your habit and feeling better is going to be an awesome reward all by itself, but if you need a bit more incentive, break your yoga goals into smaller ones and celebrate when you reach those little wins. Grab a coffee after class. Buy those new yoga pants. Try to choose a reward that is encouraging and healthy. If the reward experience is positive, it is more likely to remind yourself to stick to your routine. Remember to focus on how you feel and how far you have come, rather than how you look and what you can do.
Be gentle on yourself
One of the most important things to remember is to be forgiving of yourself. Humans are not perfect. We make mistakes. Yoga is not perfect. It’s a feeling more than anything else. Know that there will be weeks that you break your routine, but that doesn’t mean you have broken your habit. It only takes one session back at yoga to be back on track. There will be days where the work piles up, or the kids are all home sick. There will be days when you need meditation, that you just don’t get meditation. Use these times to practice the non-physical sides of yoga. Forgive yourself, remind yourself of your progress and of the benefits thus far.
Keep the above points in mind when setting your routines, and your yoga habit will be formed before you know it. Remember, yoga is a practice, that takes patience, persistence and positivity.
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