I must admit that, as much as I like doing yoga, I’m pretty bad at practising on my own every day. This leads to an irregular practise unless I can attend a studio class every day, which (being realistic) it is not gonna happen, so I asked myself… How could I practise a bit of yoga each day?
One simple action
The other day I listened to Yoga Girl’s podcast titled Yoga Every Damn Day and she talked precisely about this issue – how to keep up with a daily yoga practise. I was relieved to know it is a common problem for other people too! She actually is the yogi who started the popular tag #yogaeverydamnday (which I actually try not to use if I don’t deserve to!)
Her first and most important tip was to put our mat down every day. Such an easy action (and difficult at the same time) can make all the difference. And I get it. As many other things in life, the hardest step is the first one, and by putting our mats down we already got things started. That means that we already made some space for our yoga time (mental and physical). Setting our intentions right is such a big achievement already.
Another good tip she gave was to avoid over-pressuring ourselves and just do what we feel on the day, for as long (or short) as we want to.
That really resonated with me because, when I think of yoga, I relate it to the +hour long and sweaty practise I do at the studio and, therefore, things start to go downhill. I struggle to find the focus and the flow for such a big effort, and I end up not even trying.
Therefore, taking it easy is key. In fact, maybe we must aim to do very little to start with: a couple of sun salutations, a couple of warrior series, and our favourite seated asanas. Or just sitting and focusing on our breathing, if that is what we need. Aiming low and avoiding feeling under pressure is probably the best way to fight laziness. At least for me!
Know yourself and make it easy
Morning or evening yoga? Music or no music? Yoga clothes, comfy PJs, or naked in the shower? Ask yourself what is easier for you and just follow your preferences. In my case, I’m more of an evening than person in terms of energy. However, sliding out of bed and doing yoga in PJs is actually easier than I expected, precisely because I don’t have to do the whole “changing to yoga clothes” things. Find your favourite time in the day and stick to it until it becomes a routine.
Do not disturb
If you actually got on the mat – well done!! The hardest part is over. Now try to stay focused and away from interruptions. That could be the TV, your partner, your mobile phone, your kids, or even your own head! This means telling your loved ones you are going to be unavailable for a little bit, and ask not to be disturbed. This also means not wasting your concentration by playing with the phone to take yoga videos 😉
I plead myself guilty here! If I see that I’ve done a cool flow or hold an inversion for a bit, I have this impulse to stop and film it just to see how it looks like. However, this is very distracting and distances you from the true objective of yoga, which is mediating and spending some quality time with yourself. I’m not saying that seeing your progress in video is not good, actually it really helps, but do it at the right time – maybe at the end of the session- and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
And you? Can you honor the tag #yogaeverydamnday? Which are your tips to stick to a daily practise?