Building a daily yoga practice can be intimidating. Where do you start? How long do you practice? Why should you practice yoga daily? These questions and many more may plague your mind as you contemplate starting a daily yoga practice. I will try to answer a few of these questions as I share my 5 tips for building a successful yoga practice below.
- The best time to practice is when you have time. People often ask me when is the best time to practice yoga. It morning better than evening? What about lunch time is that ok? There’s no simple answer. While some lineages tout the benefit of practicing at auspicious times the best time to practice is an individual preference. Only you can determine the answer based on your schedule and what feels best. Some people like to practice at the same time everyday but it’s ok if you practice at a different time each day based on your schedule. Some people have trouble practicing in the morning because they are stiff or feel rushed. Do what feels best for you. Choose a time that you can commit to because it feels good and you won’t feel rushed.
- Sometimes 5 minutes is all you need. It’s easy to think that you need to dedicate an hour each day to your yoga practice. However it’s not always easy to find an hour in your schedule that you can dedicate to yoga and meditation. On days when you feel too busy to step on your mat you should try to spend at least 5 minutes quietly breathing, moving or meditating. You will be surprised how relaxed and refreshed you will feel after a 5 minute practice.
- Create a sacred space. Where you practice yoga can be an important motivator for building a daily practice. If you have a dedicated space in your home for yoga it will call to you. It doesn’t have to be an entire room. It can be a small corner where you keep your mat. Brighten it up and make it inviting by adding cushions, candles or yoga themed art. Creating a sacred space where you feel safe and relaxed can inspire you to build a sustainable daily yoga practice by inspiring you to return to your mat every single day.
- Listen to your body. Every time you step on your mat is a new experience. Resist the urge to compare your practice to fancy images from social media or what you did the day before. Your body knows what it needs. Listen to it. You don’t want to over do it an be unable to practice because you are too wore or worse injured. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
- Be creative. I get bored easily and like to keep things fresh. If it feels like your practice is in a rut try new things. Change the music, go outside or add essential oils or crystals to your practice. Try online videos, new books or a different types of yoga. The most important part to building a successful daily yoga practice is that it meets your needs and helps you live your best life and become your best self.
As we continue to pursue our best life I would like to focus on self love and acceptance. Yoga can help us accept and love ourselves through self reflection and meditation. Our physical yoga practice can help build self confidence. As you move and spend time in your body your learn more about yourself and expand your limitations. Often what you once thought was impossible (eg touching your toes) becomes possible and even easy. As you spend time with yourself on an off your mat practice positive self talk and gratitude.
Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all that you have been, all you are right now and all that you are becoming.
To help you inspire your daily practice I have written a new book of yoga routines – 5 Minutes of Peace: Yoga for Today’s Woman. Each routine in this book is made up of only 5 poses and takes only 5 minutes. They range from energizing morning routines to relaxing evening routines. Put them all together and you have a one hour routine. The book is in production currently and will be released in the coming month. To get a sneak peak you can go to mogabooks.wordpress.com. You will need to create an account and obtain a password. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any problems. And let me know what you think of the routines.
I hope you find these tips helpful in building a daily yoga practice that works for you. I would love to hear your thoughts. Don’t forget to share your progress as part of the mindfulness party.
Do you have any tips for staying committed to your practice?