Has the thought of a daily yoga practice ever crossed your mind?
Do you already get a lot of benefits from your current practice, but have an inkling that practicing every day will bring even more positive change to your life?
Maybe you’ve tried to practice every day, but haven’t managed to make it stick.
Or maybe you are just feeling a little nervous about taking on the challenge to start a daily yoga practice alone.
Well for whatever reason you still don’t have a daily yoga practice, I’m here to show you how you can successfully start in 5 simple steps.
It doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective, and I can show you how to implement some self-accountability tools so that you can start practicing every day!
If you’ve never done it before then the idea of a daily yoga practice might seem a little daunting, but with a little guidance and a few guidelines to follow, bringing a daily yoga practice into your life can be very simple, effective, and quite enjoyable!
In this blog, I have detailed my top 5 tips for starting a successful daily yoga practice.
…but before we get into the tips, let’s talk about why a daily yoga practice is a good idea?
If you are already practicing yoga, then you already know how yoga benefits your life.
While each person will be drawn to yoga for different reasons and find slightly different benefits from their practice, we all keep coming back for the same reason.
Because it helps us live better lives.
If you attend class once or twice a week and are already getting a lot out of your practice, can you imagine the effect it would have on your life if you practiced daily?
Yoga has so many benefits. It helps keep the body strong, stable, and open. The mind stays focused, alert, and easier to manage. It allows our nervous system to relax and become more adaptable. And it allows us to connect to our inner world and spirituality, which deepens our relationship with ourselves, others, and the universe.
All of these benefits produce wonderful effects and positive consequences to the body and mind during our practice itself, but so wonderfully do the benefits also carry themselves off the mat and into the rest of our lives.
Why wouldn’t we want to enhance our lives further with consistent daily practice?
Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that has evolved over time. While the essence of the content, teachings, and philosophies that we know today are mostly unchanged from thousands of years ago, modern living often means we have to practice in a different way.
A modern-day yoga practice might consist of attending a few classes per week at the local gym or online with your favorite teacher, using On-Demand classes, and perhaps attending some workshops or retreats when time, responsibilities and money allows.
But thousands of years ago and in some parts of India today, spiritual seekers renounce their entire life in order to stay on the path of liberation.
Yogis leave their families, and friends, and give up their worldly possession’s to live in an Ashram, so they can fully embrace a spiritual life, living in line with the teachings of Yoga.
In order to reach self-realisation or enlightenment one needed to dedicate one’s whole life solely to this purpose. Embodying the practice in its entirety.
Hence Yoga is a way of life, not just a set of exercises.
Understandably, in modern life, having children, relationships, jobs, and responsibilities will prevent us from executing the same enthusiasm. But that doesn’t mean we can’t embody the practice as much as we can.
Of course, practicing a few times a week is better than no practice at all.
But if we want to be as true as we can be to the Yogic way of life, then a daily Sadhana (practice) will help anchor us into the teachings of yoga. Thus producing more potency with our practice.
Detailed in The Yoga Sutras, Patanjali speaks of the importance of self-discipline in the role of a Yogi when explaining the 8 Limbs Of Yoga.
The 8 Limbs Of Yoga can be described as a set of moral codes that can aid the seeker on their path to liberation. Following the codes promote positive behaviour, transformation, and self-realisation.
Known as Tapas in Sanskrit, Self Discipline is the Third Niyama, which is a positive duty one must incorporate into one’s life is he or she wishes to obtain self-realisation.
Self Discipline (Tapas) can be practiced in many ways, like monitoring our feelings and emotions and how we respond to them. How we choose to behave towards others and restrict substances and activities that do not assist us in our spiritual path.
But perhaps the easiest way to practice self-discipline is with a daily yoga practice.
Due to the nature of simply being human and how the body and mind change day to day, it is unlikely that we will be super enthusiastic to practice every day. We may be tired, have low motivation, the body may be feeling pain, etc.
But from dedicating time every day to practice, we begin to build self-discipline. Showing up every day maintains the passion and courage we have for our practice, so even on the days we don’t feel like practicing, we are always reminded why we do; because of how it makes us feel and how it helps us live better lives.
If you’re getting nervous thinking that you have to practice 1.5 hours of Ashtanga every day, then you can relax… I detail in Tips 2 & 4 the types of practices you can do to make practicing yoga every day manageable.
Ok… so now you have even more reason to get your daily yoga practice started… let’s dive into my 5 tips for starting a successful daily yoga practice!
Here are my 5 Tips For Starting A Successful Daily Yoga Practice…
1. Find The Right Time
Find a time when you can practice at the same time each day. Ideally in the morning before breakfast and coffee.
A morning sadhana is best for setting the tone for the day and is easiest to stay consistent with.
If you can, also practice in the same place. This will be good for forming the habit, and the spiritual energy will also be greater in that area if you continue to practice in the same space.
2. Start Small
Start small on the duration of your practice. Sometimes even 5 or 10 minutes is enough.
Committing to a shorter length of time also makes the behavior seem more manageable. Over time you can increase the duration if you wish or it can vary from day to day.
Set a minimum and build from there.
3. Set A Timeframe And Stick To It
Commit to a length of time that you will practice every day. Research suggests that 40 days in a row is a good length of time to establish a new behavior pattern.
Use your calendar and mark the days off as you go along. If you skip a day, start again at number 1 until you have completed 40 days in a row.
Once completed give yourself a little pat on the back. 🙂
4. It Doesn’t Need To Be Fancy To Be Effective
Consistency is more important here than anything else here. Your practice can differ from day to day and that’s okay.
All is good, just keep showing up!
Important to note here about injury or illness. We can’t expect ourselves to practice if we are unwell. Especially anything physical. But we can adapt, and do something. Maybe just sitting on the mat for a minute to watch the breath.
It’s all about intention and showing up in any way we can.
5. Minimise Decision Making
If you are not used to practicing alone without your teacher and fellow students around you in class, then use online classes like the ones in my On-Demand Library so that you are not stuck wondering what to practice when you get to the mat.
This way the only decision you have to make in the moment is to get your mat and start your practice.
You could also choose your class the night before, making it even easier to commit as you have fewer decisions to make!
Ok, well there you have it! My 5 tips for starting a successful daily yoga practice. I hope you have found these useful, and they enable you to incorporate a daily yoga practice into your life.
Remember, start small, go easy with yourself, and be adaptable!
You can get started right away using my growing On-Demand Libray.
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