The key to successful yoga practice is discipline. Starting with a decision to incorporate yoga practice in your daily routine isn’t always easy but it’s helpful to remember that even 10 minutes of yoga a day can have positive benefits on your physical and mental health. With the time you can prolong your practice to 15, 30, 45 minutes and soon you will notice the difference. Once you build a habit, your body and mind will naturally crave for your yoga mat. Here’s how you can build this good habit:
Decide on routine
Start by choosing the time for your yoga routine. Consider what works best for you – are you a morning person or an evening person? If you are a beginner, here are some options: look for a yoga studio and commit attending beginners class twice a week. If you are more comfortable in your private space search for professional videos on Youtube, that should boost your motivation. You can also download some applications on your mobile phone and choose the style and routine that best suits your needs.
Embrace gradual improvement
Benefits of practicing yoga will be noticeable very soon but it won’t happen immediately. Sometimes you might feel as you’re not progressing at all, or that you have to make an extra effort to step on your mat. Give it time, don’t make a fuss out of missing a day here and there. Just pick up from where you left off. Body memory is powerful, so let your body ease back into the flow.
Be kind to your body
Come onto the mat with a feeling of gratitude and acceptance! Allow yourself to be exactly where you are and as you are. The way we treat our bodies while practicing is a manifestation of how we feel about ourselves in general. Don’t be unkind to your muscles because they are not as flexible or strong as you’d like. Instead, give them your compassion and breath, and I promise they will cooperate.
Make it fun
It happens sometimes, when our practice gets a little stagnant, that we get a little bit bored of it. Fast progress expectations, lack of motivation and excitement, or simply connecting any negative feelings with the practice all together can keep us away from consistent practice. To avoid that try introducing novelty into your practice. Try out different yoga styles, change the setting of your practice ( different studio, class or room in your house ), incorporate yoga props like blocks, straps and bolsters or simply experiment with different music.
If you are already practicing for a while, try out challenging postures.
To warm and energize your body start with asanas that make you feel comfortable and confident. Then add one or two postures that bring you close to your “edge”, the point where you feel a deep stretch or intensive engagement of muscles. But never go beyond that line. Pushing yourself to the extent of feeling pain and severe discomfort means you are letting your mind bully your body. Get to know your edges wisely. Ease into the posture tenderly, feel it, explore it and make friends with it.
Stick with it
Showing up and sticking with it is the hardest part! Turn on autopilot, get yourself on the mat, trust the process and let the rest come. Keep in mind that the biggest lessons are always gained from doing what you find challenging – be this physically or mentally.