You likely know that yoga offers a variety of benefits, from helping you improve your flexibility to reducing your levels of stress and anxiety. However, knowing the numerous benefits doesn’t mean showing up on your yoga mat is easy.
We all lead busy lives: Between going to work, taking care of your family, and maintaining a social life, cultivating your yoga practice can seem like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are five tips on how to finally make yoga a daily habit:
1. Temper Your Expectations
Before you dive into your yoga practice, remember to temper your expectations. While practicing yoga every day is a great long-term goal, it might not be attainable right away – especially if you’re not used to working out daily. Without realistic expectations, you can easily become disappointed and give up on yoga entirely.
If you’re new to yoga, try to commit to 3-4 days of yoga practice per week. Decide when and for how long you want to practice, always keeping your expectations realistic. That way, you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. Over time, you can confidently add more days to your routine.
Once you see that you’re actually able to stick to your goal, you’ll start to believe in yourself and your abilities. This self-trust is crucial in building habits. Why? Because “what you believe is what you achieve”. If you continuously doubt yourself, you’ll never get far. But once you build self-trust, achieving your goals becomes easier and easier.
2. Know Your Intention
The Sanskrit word sankalpa means “a resolve or intention formed in the heart”. This intention, such as peace or self-love, is what you connect to on the yoga mat. The stronger your intention, the better it will serve you: Knowing why you practice yoga will motivate you when you feel like giving up.
So, after committing to your yoga practice, take some time to find your sankalpa. Usually, it is a positive declaration or affirmation, such as “peace is my true nature”. Unlike a goal, which is a personal need to accomplish something, your sankalpa comes from deeper within and is an affirmation of what you already are. Remember, there is no wrong reason to practice yoga as long as it’s true to you!
You can even repeat your sankalpa at the beginning of every yoga practice to remind yourself of your “why-power”. This is especially helpful if you tend to judge yourself or your body on the yoga mat: Your sankalpa is your personal reminder that yoga is not about being flexible, strong, or skinny. Yoga is about so much more: Finding peace of mind, connecting to your higher Self, and attaining liberation. If you want to learn more about the true purpose of yoga, read our article “The Eight Limbs of Yoga“.
3. Track Your Progress
If you’re serious about making yoga a daily habit, you have to keep track of your progress. Not only will tracking your progress help you in holding yourself accountable, but it also positively influences your mindset: It can transform your outlook on achieving goals.
If you constantly look ahead, seeing how far you have left to go before achieving your goal, you might end up feeling defeated, frustrated, and powerless – and far more likely to give up. On the other hand, if you look back from time to time, you will see how much progress you have made since you started. With this mindset, you feel more accomplished, confident, and motivated to keep going.
The easiest way to track your progress is by using a calendar. Place it somewhere where you can see it every day, for example on your fridge, in order to be reminded of your commitment.
4. Embrace Imperfection
No matter how dedicated you are, the day will come where you feel too exhausted or unmotivated to do yoga. Even though it’s tempting to skip your practice in favor of a lazy evening on the couch, try to show up anyway.
You don’t have to practice a challenging sequence full of dynamic movement and balancing poses. Instead, choose a relaxing yin yoga class or a calming meditation. If you’re really tired, you could just spend a few minutes in savasana or child’s pose. Your practice doesn’t have to be “perfect” every single time – as long as you show up.
But what if you actually fail to do your yoga practice one day? After making a mistake, too many people get lost in a spiral of negativity and judgment that stops them from trying again. Don’t give in to your inner critic: Forgive yourself for slipping up and remind yourself that it is okay to lose track of your routine sometimes. By embracing your imperfections you can get back on track with ease.
5. Try Online Classes
As much as we love going to a yoga studio, most of us aren’t able to attend classes on a daily basis. Online classes are a convenient and affordable alternative that will help you cultivate the habit of daily yoga.
With online classes, you never have to worry about getting bored or having to come up with your own sequences. At the click of a button, you can find a variety of classes with inspiring themes, taught by experienced teachers.
Do you feel confused by the overwhelming amount of options and are unsure where to start? Our Online Studio is easy to navigate: You can filter by level, style, teacher, and duration to find the perfect class for you. You can also find guided meditations and lectures on yogic philosophy to take your practice to the next level.
We have more than 500 classes in total and recently released the Online Studio App, allowing you access to our entire library wherever you go. You can even download your favorite classes for convenient offline access. In short: our app is your pocket-sized yoga studio.
Now you have no excuses left. If you follow the tips in this article and join our Online Studio, your dream of making yoga a daily habit will soon come true!
Need more tips? Click here to read part two on how to make yoga a daily habit.