Getting into a yoga routine can be hard, especially if you’re not 100% sure it’s right for you.
Perhaps you’re finding yourself feeling a little stiff, or you’ve read up on the benefits of yoga, and want to experience them for yourself, but you’re finding it hard to get on the yoga mat. Putting yoga into practice and starting a new activity can be hard, especially if you need a little extra motivation to get you there. Before you say it’s not for you, and give up the idea, here’s some tricks to get started in yoga, even if you think it’s not your vibe, and make a routine stick.
Some of the benefits you can gain from a regular yoga practice include less anxiety, improved concentration, relief from pain and aches, and will also release endorphins, putting you in a better mood for the day. So if you’re umming and ahhing about starting yoga, those are some pretty great reasons to get started.
If you’re new to yoga - and especially if you have to drag yourself onto your mat, make your yoga practice short and sweet. This is a good idea if you want to make it a part of your day to day routine. The key to building a new routine, especially with yoga practice, is consistency. If you start with a long practice, it’s going to be hard to commit to this everyday. Try 5-10 minutes at the start to ease yourself in, and practice the same time everyday to build the habit.
Balance your practice in with the rest of your daily routines. It can be tempting - especially if you fall in love with yoga practice after your first few times on a yoga mat - to go all in and focus solely on your new hobby. However, in the interest of longevity, try to pace yourself to a practice that works in line with the rest of your lifestyle and other goals, and start in a way which will allow you to grow slowly over time - instead of burning out quickly.
Try Different Styles
There are an array of different yoga practices and styles out there, so if you try one and it’s not for you, try another! It’s totally fine to switch things up until you find a yoga style that suits you. Try different classes, types of yoga, different instructors until you find something that resonates with you.
Treat Yourself to Props
If you’re able to, treat yourself and invest in some nice yoga equipment. This could be a fancy new yoga mat - non-slip is the best, or a new outfit to get you excited to start your practice. Even some nice essential oils to set your mood can be a great way to get into a new yoga routine. You may also consider buying props such as yoga blocks and straps to help you out as you get started.
Schedule it in
If you’re busy schedule is the block that’s putting you off starting a yoga practice, try to set aside a little time each day for you to get into the zone and establish a routine. Pick a time of day where you’ll have minimal distractions, and set up a timer so you can dedicate the full time to your practice - turning off all external distractions to help you concentrate.
Try a practice or a class that’s aimed at beginners to start, rather than jumping in feet first to more advanced practices, like power yoga or bikram. Yin Yoga or Yoga Nidra is good to dip your toes into yoga, and it will also teach you some mindful techniques. Vinyasa flow is also good to learn basic poses and postures to start out.
Don't Try to be Perfect
Many people get demotivated when they don’t excel straight away at a new hobby - but don’t let it get to you! Everyone started out as a beginner, and it can take years to gain skills and achieve advanced poses and asanas. Recognise that it takes time, and be mindful in your practice. Focus instead on feeling present, connecting your body and breath, and you’ll see great improvements over time.
Don't’ Get Down on Yourself
Being critical of yourself can also be the biggest deterrent to your yoga practice. Remember not to beat yourself up if you miss a practice, or you’re not able to get into certain poses. Be kind to yourself when setting a new routine, and you’ll find it easier to turn it into an everyday habit.
If you take on board these tips, you’ll find it much easier to get motivated to start yoga, and you’ll find yourself with a new habit in no time! Remember, it’s important to get moving no matter what your age, and yoga is a great way to do this. Stillness and stagnation, wear on the body, while regular movement and movement practices keep things. The benefits of moving benefit to your mental health as well. This week's classes, will have you moving your entire body and keeping your mind, body, and being, happy and sharp.
By Amy Cavill
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