I heard everyone talk about how great Yoga was and what special benefits it all had, but I myself was missing all this, because I simply did not get on the mat often enough.
Do not get me wrong, because every time you step on the mat, you can give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of yourself. But it is no secret that when we practice a little more often and do more, that we become better at it and can also taste more of the benefits.
And it is no different with Yoga. You actually want to step on the mat as often as possible.
I did not succeed in the first months that started with Yoga. My own life was simply in my way.
- Sleeping too long.
- Bad habits .
- No routine.
- Not the right knowledge.
- Changing motivation.
- Little energy.
- No time.
And the list goes on like this. And to be honest, I became a bit tired of myself.
Sometimes I had a good period and I did it for a while. But then something went in and everything relaxed again and I fell back into my old habits.
So have messed around in a while. A bit similar to the ‘Jo-Jo effect’ when you are trying to lose weight.
You may recognize some of these points, or you yourself have a whole list of things why you are not able to make Yoga a habit.
And I understand that.
Like me, everyone has their own busy life. And there are things that bring you closer to your goals, and things that just take you further away.
It’s about balance.
In the period of a few years ago, where I did not manage to make a habit of Yoga, I was too busy with things that moved me further from my goal (doing Yoga daily).
At one point I was done with it. I then decided to focus on the things that brought me closer to my goal. Habits, tips and ideas that supported me in the daily practice of Yoga .
At that time I kept a diary (which is one of the tips) with all my experiments and simply wrote down what worked well for me.
When I applied something new and noticed that it helped to make Yoga a habit, I continued to apply, refine and maintain it.
After a few months, instead of having a whole laundry list of excuses not to step on the mat, I had a whole list of useful, practically applicable tips and techniques and techniques that helped me step on the mat every day.
And I still use these things now. I have had a lot to do here myself. And because one of my main goals is to get as many people as possible on the Yoga Mat as much as possible, I would also like to share this with you.
Below are therefore 13 tips that help you to make a habit of Yoga.
Making a habit of Yoga – 13 tips
# 1 – Do exercises that you like
We do not like doing things that we do not like. Stepping on the mat is much more difficult when you have to do exercises that you are very disappointed about.
Make sure that your practice consists for a large part of exercises that you enjoy.
Then complete your practice with exercises that you may find less fun, but in your opinion are necessary.
# 2 – Do it with friends
When you have a buddy with whom you practice together and share experiences, you keep each other sharp, focused and committed.
If you do not feel like it, there is your buddy who calls you to get on the mat and do some exercises. Or he / she will drag you to the lesson.
Moreover, you can give each other feedback, observe, assist, experiment with new challenging attitudes.
Mel and I do this constantly, so our learning curve is often much faster than when we would practice alone.
# 3 – Deepen your knowledge
The more you know about Yoga, the more you realize how much you do not really know. In the past I always wanted to know everything about a subject. But in Yoga I have to accept that I will never know everything.
On the one hand it is a shame, but on the other hand it is also nice that there is always something new to learn.
And I am convinced that we people will be able to hold things better when we continue to learn new things. It keeps our Yogapractive, fresh, challenging, experimental and fun.
So continue to deepen your knowledge. Research new attitudes and techniques through YouTube , or regularly go to a new workshop. In that period I went to a new workshop almost every month, and I still enjoy learning lessons and workshops from other teachers to learn new things.
Share your experiences with people who follow the same courses or workshops. This way you can inspire each other and become more and more infected with the ‘Yoga virus’.
“The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.” – Dan Buettner
# 4 – Make it a priority
If in your opinion you do not get on the mat often enough, your priority is to get on the mat not yet high enough. Other things are more important so you do not come to your practice.
Analyze the things you do on a daily basis and see which priorities you give to your habits. Do you watch the TV in the evening for two hours? Perhaps you can lower the priority of that activity and increase the priority of Yoga.
What contributes more to the quality of your life? That two hours of TV? Or a Yoga practice that contributes to a healthy body, and healthy mind, focus, balance in your life and all the other benefits that the practice of Yoga gives you?
The choice is yours. Set your priorities.
“Cultivate only the habits that you are willing to master.”
– Elbert Hubbard
# 5 – Do it all day long
Ok, I admit it. We all have a day when we really do not have time to step on the mat.
But that does not mean that you can not be engaged in Yoga. The most important thing in making a Yoga habit is that you think about it and that you are working on it, so that it becomes part of the neural pathways in your brain.
If you are unable to step on the mat, you can still train your various things.
- You can try to check in occasionally with the breath to bring your attention back to the here and now .
- You can practice Yoga breathing when you are waiting in line.
- You can, for example, do the 3-minute breathing space meditation .
- You can improve your posture by focusing on the position of your spine.
And so there are plenty of things that you can practice throughout the day so that you are still engaged in Yoga.
# 6 – Do it when you are actually too tired
The period in which I did not manage to often step on the mat and make a habit of Yoga was often accompanied by fatigue.
If I was too tired, I often did not step on the mat. It simply cost me too much power.
But when I started to do more research into creating healthy habits, I realized that fatigue and actually no use, was a very great opportunity to train my habits.
When you actually do not feel like it, but still manage to step on the mat, we can take a huge step towards integrating the habit.
Think of it as the extra last kilometer you have to walk after running around. Or the weight you take on that one extra time. It is precisely those last steps that are the most difficult, but our muscles and discipline train the most.
The best way to train your discipline and integrate habits is to do Yoga when you do not really feel like it.
When you succeed in this, stepping on the mat on ‘normal days’ becomes a breeze.
# 7 – Keep a diary
In the intro of this blog I already indicated that I kept a diary at that time. And I still do this.
You can spar with yourself in your diary. You can keep track of your progress. Writing down things that work well for you. Things that do not work. And try to explain why certain things work or not.
It is the reflection on the things you do and is in my eyes very important in a habit of making Yoga.
# 8 – Know why you are doing Yoga
In my view this is one of the most important points to take into account if you want to make a habit of Yoga.
I come to many people who do Yoga because they have heard that it is good for them. And that’s fine.
But if you are engaged in Yoga for a while, do you want to base your motivation on your own experiences?
I see no reason to practice Yoga if you hear from someone else that it is good for you, but you do not experience it yourself.
If you have been working on Yoga for a while, then know why you keep stepping on that mat over and over again. What does Yoga bring you? What is the underlying motivation? Why is it worth it to step on the mat instead of sinking on the couch in front of the TV?
Nice that someone else says that Yoga is good for you and that it has many advantages, but which of those benefits do you really experience yourself?
Try to feel during and after your practice. What does a Yoga session do with your body and mind? What does it give you? What does it bring you?
Be crystal clear here. When you have this well and clearly in mind, I can assure you that you hardly have any more trouble getting on the mat. You have an important motivation.
# 9 – Know what you are going to do
Ok, I understand that you do not have time, sense, money every day to go to a Yoga studio. and that is not necessary either. You can get started at home.
Roll out your mat in the living room and get started.
But then it is of course important that you know what to do. And this is a big obstacle for many people. They want to, but they do not know exactly what to do.
Fortunately, we live in the time of the internet and you can just follow online Yoga . Loose YouTube videos, or an online course if you really want to work on certain things seriously.
There are plenty of opportunities, so not knowing what to do is no longer an excuse.
You can of course also follow workshops that help you in the right direction.
# 10 – Do Yoga immediately in the morning
This tip is not possible for everyone, but if you have the opportunity, do your Yoga practice early in the morning.
In the morning your head is still empty and calm, there are fewer distractions that can disrupt practice and you also incorporate the effects of your practice.
And because you’ve already done your practice in the morning, nobody can take that away from you. If you receive a call from a friend or you have to work overtime or there are other things in between, this is not at the expense of your practice. Because you made it a priority by doing Yoga right away in the morning .
# 11 – Do not interrupt the habit
When you manage to step on the mat for a few days, try not to break this ‘streak’.
The longer the series becomes, the more you want to ensure that you do not interrupt this series. This is something that is ingrained in our brain. We do not want to break the series and therefore we always step easier on the mat every day.
Use this. Keep track of the sequence you’re working on, and do not try to interrupt it.
“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread every day, and we can not break it. “
– Horace Mann
# 12 – Come show up
We all have days when we do not feel like stepping on the mat. If you have a day like that, then show up is actually all you have to do.
Roll out your mat and stand on it. If you do that, you’ve already done 50 percent of the work. You will notice that when you stand on your mat, you almost automatically do some exercises.
So imagine yourself simply stepping on your mat without asking anything of yourself. Even if you do only one sun salutation , you have done a mini-practice and worked on your habit.
# 13 – Create a Yoga routine
A habit or routine often consists of several parts. You often do a number of actions before you step on the mat, and a number of actions when you step off the mat again.
All this together is actually your routine .
Imagine waking up, drinking a glass of water, rolling out your mat, doing your practice, eating your breakfast, getting under the shower and going to work. Then this is your whole routine.
And is useful to gain insight into your entire routine, so that you can use it and schedule time for it.
If you do not feel like doing Yoga, but are familiar with your routine, and just drink your glass of water and roll your mat off, then the chances are much better that you just finish the routine and still do your practice.
So write out your routine and keep following that routine. It is important that you do a number of ‘easy’ actions for your Yoga practice so that the routine is triggered.