How to Start a Yoga Practice
Introducing any new habit into our lives is a difficult process, especially if it’s one we have little knowledge about. Our own motivation often acts as our greatest barrier. How many times have you tried to adopt a healthy new habit but failed in its application? Sometimes we give up entirely. We have all bought new workout clothes with every intention of working out, only to let them gather dust in the back of our wardrobes.
Humans are creatures of habit. The best way to introduce a new practice into your lifeis make it part of your daily routine, little by little. The following steps can help you turn the practice of yoga into a habit:
Know the Benefits
The benefits of yoga are bombarding us from all directions and the constant influx of information can make it difficult to process. You can make yoga personable to you by picking one or two benefits to use as your focus. This will give your practice meaning and you will be more likely to stick to it.
Benefits of yoga include:
Improves the circulation and respiration systems
Calms the nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety
Connection to the body
Deeper sense of body awareness
Improves athletic performance
Focus on breath brings you into the present moment, relieving stresses of daily life.
Whether it is to calm your mind or find a greater range of movement in your body, yoga is there to help. All you need is your body, a mat and a pair of good leggings to move in.
Do it with a Friend
One of the best ways to start a new habit is by having someone to hold you accountable. Finding a friend who also wants to introduce yoga into their lives is a sure-fire way to succeed.
With committed yoga partner by your side, you can attend your first class together, practice together and you can even wear matching yoga pants! Check in with each other about how often you are practicing. Sharing your experiences will not only help you to progress, but it will also be a great bonding experience for you both.
Be Kind to Yourself
Introducing a new habit is hard. Give yourself credit where you can and forgive yourself if you slip up along the way. No one is going to love you less if you miss a practice - or even a few practices. One of the best things about yoga is you can always start again, you are not in competition with anyone, the practice is only about you.
The practice of yoga is the practice of non-judgement, and that includes not judging yourself. We can be our own worst critics at times, but the difference between those who can and those who can’t is how they interact with their internal critics. Encourage yourself as you would encourage others, after all, how we treat ourselves sets the standard of how we treat others and how we allow others to treat us.