Regular practice is an indicator of success in yoga. But practicing yoga everyday can be difficult. At the beginning the practitioner enthusiastically practices yoga in a group or alone at home. After a few months most practitioners stop practicing regularly. Changing your lifestyle is rather difficult. The new lifestyle seems unusual and uncomfortable. You can use the following tips to maintain your desire to practice yoga and keep your practice regular.
1. Set goals
Any goal we set in yoga is worthy of respect. In the first instance we must understand how yoga can help in our particular case. You should answer these questions: “Why do I need yoga? What do I want to get as a result?” After that you should write down everything that you came up with. You define a specific intermediate goal. For example, you want to get rid of back pain, become slim or lose weight, recover from pregnancy and childbirth, strengthen the core, improve joint mobility, flexibility and the ability to stretching. Or you want to be energetic and full of strength using no alcohol and learn to feel your body and relax.
People strive for happiness. Everyone understands the concept of happiness in their own way. Yoga is one of these ways to achieve happiness. It is a tool that removes obstacles and brings us closer to our happiness.
2. Remove obstacles
The mind accepts something new with difficulty. Our task is not to succumb to the tricks of the mind. You should think in advance what excuses can interfere and how you can come to terms with your mind.
Here are the most common “excuses-obstacles” and methods to deal with them:
“I have no free time!”
Solution: You should practice 10-minute version of simple yoga or practice 3 poses of 5 minutes each.
“I’m too tired after a working day!”
Solution: Perform simple poses using the method of energy (gently and in relaxed manner), simple breathing exercises (breath observing, alternate nostril breathing, abdominal breathing). Perform yoga-Nidra or Shavasana meditation.
“There is no room for classes. I don’t have a mat.”
Solution: Perform standing asanas (Tree pose, Triangle pose, Flight pose, etc.). You can use an ordinary blanket for some poses on the floor (for example, in “Camel” pose we can put a blanket under the knees, in “Half-wheel” pose we can use it instead of the mat, etc.) Exclude some poses (“Downward facing dog” pose, etc.) to keep our hands and legs from slipping.
“I don’t know anything about yoga. I don’t know how to start practicing.”
Solution: Register for a group lessons or individual classes. Now there is the opportunity to take classes even on-line. Alternatively, you can start an independent practice using video in the Internet. You can choose what you like and start practicing. If possible, by all means you should attend group classes in person.
3. Find like-minded people
You can go to yoga-classes with a loved one, friend or relative. The like-minded person is a powerful support in any undertaking. You are not afraid of new places and new people, when you have support. You can also find like-minded people in group classes, various yoga meetings, festivals and even on-line marathons. Yoga sessions in the suburbs, yoga weekends, and yoga tours also become popular. Use any available method of communication with like-minded people.
4. Remember about joy
You can create a pleasant atmosphere at the beginning of your practice. For example, you could turn on your favorite music and light candles or aroma lamps. Or you could put on a new yoga clothing and practice on a new beautiful mat. Over time when you succeed in your yoga practice your mat and the clothes you wear will not matter anymore. The main thing is a feeling of joy from the process itself. When we begin to immerse ourselves in our sensations, external things do not affect the quality of our practice. The only thing that affects our practice is our intention to practice and the desire to immerse ourselves in practice.
You should have joy always no matter what method you practice. If we use the method of consciousness — we exert our body, increase the time spent in a pose, perform power asanas. This is the joy from overcoming ourselves. If we use the method of energy, when we relax in every pose, we look for the most comfortable position, savor every pose and take our time. This is the joy of allowing ourselves. There is the third component. It is the joy of relaxation: whether it is a relaxation in Shavasana or incentives and bonuses on the way to mastering yoga.
If we learn to enjoy every movement we will again spread out our mat to plunge into the wonderful state of inner harmony and silence.
If yoga classes bring joy, they become truly effective. For the first time you will have achieved a positive result, you won’t want to return to your previous lifestyle.
5. Reinforce the habit
As there are two methods in yoga: the method of energy and the method of consciousness, in the development of a habit we can distinguish two similar approaches.
The first option is to use the “21-day rule”. It is believed that in order for something to become a habit, it must be done 21 days in a row. If we endure this period and continue practicing, then yoga will become an integral part of our life. The method of consciousness is the ability to force oneself, to overcome, but without hurting oneself. The skill of self-discipline is very important. You need to accustom yourself to performing the necessary actions until they become a habit, to achieve the goal! But on the other hand, it is important to be able to encourage oneself. This is the principle of Harmony in action. Where it is necessary to force oneself, and where it is necessary to allow oneself. If, nevertheless, we miss practice for various reasons, we do not reproach ourselves, but calmly continue to move towards the goal.
The second option is the method of energy. If you cannot do daily practice, practice a certain number of lessons per month. Gradually add 1-2 classes every month. The mind is very worried about sudden changes, but a gradual increase in practice will reassure it. The habit of regular exercise will be affirmed 100%.
Regular practice is the result of everyday work. Sometimes it isn’t simple, but it is bearing positive fruits. If we really need something, we should move step by step towards our goal, using everything that can help keep our direction. As regards the formation of yoga practice, the awareness of our own goals, the elimination of all kinds of obstacles, support of like-minded people, as well as a reference to the background state of joy during practice can help. As a result, we develop a good habit of doing yoga every day.
Let your yoga practice be inspiringly regular!
Author: Ariana Shanti
Editors: Maria Gayatri, Alla Ravi, Olga Belous, Eva May, Evgenia Agni
Chief editor: Mirra
Project curator: Kerigona
Translators: Ekaterina Spiridonova, Alex Vijaya, Tatiana Sugrue