Building a consistent yoga routine takes dedication.
So, where do we start?
Today on Alive in the Fire, a helpful guest post features some ideas for how to get going.
Sticking With It
A guest post on building a solid yoga routine
Yoga is an incredibly rewarding form of physical activity. It benefits the body and the mind in so many ways. Of course, you’re not going to feel as if your life has immediately changed after trying out a few yoga poses that you learned from YouTube tutorials. It takes time and practice to establish a regular yoga routine that makes a lasting impact on your well-being. This is the case for all forms of exercise, but it’s particularly important to persevere with yoga. If you really want to get into this type of lifestyle and stick with it then here are some helpful pointers.
Master the basic poses.
Before you start attempting the extreme poses you might have seen some advanced yoga gurus showcasing in lessons or educational videos, you should start off by taking baby steps. First of all, you need to master the basic poses. Become familiar with both the Hindi and English titles for the poses because the names might differ from class to class and video to video. The child’s pose (balasana) and downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) are two of the most common, so those are good starting positions to try out.
Being able to master the basic poses will give you the confidence necessary to try harder positions. Starting with the most difficult poses, however, is just going to frustrate you and make you feel as if you can’t do it. You have to gradually build your yoga skills and, as a result, build your confidence too. That’s how you’ll get into yoga and stick with it. You need to believe in yourself. You can’t just force yourself to enjoy it. It has to become a rewarding part of your lifestyle that you want to maintain.
Go easy on yourself.
Continuing from the previous point, make sure you go easy on yourself. Yoga isn’t always as easy as it looks in pictures and videos. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ve just had a good yoga practice; focus on showing up to classes (or to the yoga mat in your living room) and giving it a go. That’s the important thing. You don’t have to complete a hard pose in order for your yoga session to be worthwhile. Focus on the whole reason for doing yoga in the first place. It’s about keeping your body active to improve your physical health, and it’s also about releasing stress and anxiety to improve your mental health. It’s a spiritual activity, so you’re not going to enjoy the benefits of a yoga workout if you berate yourself for not succeeding at the harder poses.
Do your research.
Make sure you do your research if you want to get into yoga and stick with it. Reading this article is a good start, of course. It shows that you want to learn more and really dedicate yourself to this worthwhile activity. But you shouldn’t stop here. Watch as many YouTube tutorials as possible. Read about the benefits of different poses and the best ways to approach yoga practice as a beginner. Make sure you also do some research with regards to the gear you’ll need. Most studios will suggest that you get your own yoga mat; it’ll encourage you to work out at home too. You’ll also want to look into getting a yoga strap and a yoga block too.
You should also research the yoga-related events in your local area. Obviously, finding a class is a good place to start, and that could lead to you attending other social events with fellow yoga enthusiasts. This might encourage you to stick with yoga because you’ll be surrounded by people who are really passionate about it. You might make some friends too. You might also want to check out some of the 2019 fitness expos in your area. Most of those fitness conventions have yoga shows, and this might prove useful in your research as to the type of equipment you need. It might even give you some help with regards to how you should approach yoga as a beginner.
Become a teacher.
You could even consider training to become a yoga teacher. This would certainly encourage you to stick with yoga because you’d be dedicating yourself to teaching others. Obviously, it takes time and patience to become a teacher in any subject (and this is certainly the case when it comes to yoga), but that might be exactly what you need if you’re looking for some form of motivation to stick with this new lifestyle.
Photos by Jessica Bartlett.