How to get back on your yoga mat
There are many reasons why we resist our yoga practice and that resistance can be very strong. After fighting my own excuses and listening to others, I’ve come to realise that it all boils down to fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of what will happen if we go to yoga class instead of staying back at work or racing home to put dinner on, fear of what others will think, fear of doing something new, fear of feeling guilty for having ‘me’ time, fear of having to face ourselves and our limitations.
Nothing good comes from running away from our fears or by not making ourselves a priority. We are told in the airplane safety brief prior to take off, to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we help anyone else. Prioritising our own health is exactly that. Looking after ourself so we can be our best to help the people who are important to us. When we look after ourselves (which is what a yoga practice is all about) we have more energy to do the stuff in life we love. So here are a few of my top tips to help you commit to a regular yoga practice so that you can feel really really REALLY good.
1. Make it fit your life
Find a class that fits into your life and your schedule. If you have to move mountains to get to that super fun class on Monday morning then it’s not likely you will stick at it. Go to the beginner class on Tuesday evening when you know it’s a lot less hassle to get there.
2. Know yourself
Are you better off with an early start and getting it out of the way before the day starts or do you prefer to move in the afternoon? Is it better to go straight to the studio from work if you know as soon as you go home the couch beckons and there’s very little chance of you heading out again? Are weekends your only chance at getting some time for yourself?
3. Look at the past
Think about a time when have you committed to something and why it worked. Use your experience of when something worked and just do that again! If we can figure out how we made changes for the better in the past then we can repeat it for other things.
4. Plan and get organised
Pack your yoga mat and yoga gear and have it near the door so it’s easy to take with you when you leave for work. Have your clothes ready in the bathroom so it’s one less thing to think about before that early morning session. Plan your dinner for the night you will be home late after class.
5. Make it a habit
Once something is a habit you no longer need self-control and you no longer waste energy making decisions about it. This is from Gretchin Rubin’s book ‘Better than Before’, which examines everything there is to know about habits and how to form them. Just like brushing our teeth, once it becomes habit we no longer have to even think about it.
6. Schedule it
Pay for a block of classes and book in advance. Then schedule it into your own diary so nothing else gets booked at the same time. We have an app that makes it super easy to book and pay for your classes at the studio. Get it here 😉
7. Get accountable
Tell the person you sit next to at work that you are going to yoga every Wednesday afternoon. Tell you bestie and take them along. Why not declare it on facebook or instagram that you are committing to yoga every week. For me, accountability works every time.
8. Pay full price
I’ve seen it time and time again. I give away a lot of free yoga classes and I would say 1 in 20 people actually claim them. It shows that most of us only value stuff we pay good, hard-earned money for. Don’t go for the cheap option, just like that top you bought from Supre, it won’t last.
9. Ask for help
Find a teacher who you respect and tell them you want to commit but need their help. Having a teacher to learn from directly is so important. I often think of my teacher, Sharath, when I am needing guidance in my own practice. I don’t get to see him very often but even just thinking about him spurs me on to do my best.
What does it looks like to have regular yoga practice and how does it feel? Find a picture of someone blissed out in meditation or laying in relaxation and stick it on your fridge or on your bathroom mirror as a reminder of how you want to feel.
11. Book a workshop/retreat
Find something fun and/or challenging coming up in the future as something to work towards. I know when a visiting teacher is coming to town, I get a new level of discipline so I can get the most out of their time here.
12. Stay inspired
Watch a youtube clip or read a yoga book or even start a yoga blog. Meet up with a fellow yoga pal after class and geek out on all things yoga over a green juice.
From my experience, just by practising yoga, I start to eat better, sleep better, and feel better. I’m a lot nicer to everyone and to myself too! I’m more motivated and inspired in my work and more content with how my life is going. I make better decisions and am less judgmental. Everyone wins!
How do you stay motivated to practise? Let me know! Or, what small change are you going to make today to make it easier to get on your mat tomorrow? I hope to see you there!