Easy Tips for Beginners to Build a Consistent Yoga Practice
As with so many things in life, when it comes to yoga, consistency is key.
Sure, taking a class every now and then will still benefit you.
But to really reap the benefits of a personal yoga practice, it’s essential to keep showing up consistently — In other words: to build a new habit or routine.
These three tried and true tips are gold for creating lasting change:
#1: Adopt the “a little goes a long way “— mindset
In a perfect world, we would probably all be able to spend at least two hours every day, practicing yoga postures, meditation, and breathwork exercises.
We don’t live in a perfect world. And for the vast majority of us, this isn’t a reasonable goal. Which is okay.
Maybe you simply don’t have the time, or maybe, you simply don’t want to dedicate this much of your free time to your yoga practice. And that is fine. Because the good news is, that you don’t need to spend hours practicing yoga for it to have an effect. Even just as little as 15 minutes of yoga every day can change your life dramatically. You can even split up these 15 minutes into smaller chunks.
A five-minute guided meditation after work, three extra deep breaths before you go pick up your child from daycare, seven minutes of stretching before bed… you get the point.
#2: Stack those habits
In James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” the author teaches a simple, yet effective, way to build new habits, called “habit stacking”.
When you look at one typical day in your life, you’ll likely realize that you already have a lot of different habits, aka. things you do consistently. Examples are: Brushing your teeth in the morning, making your bed, going to workout classes in your gym every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 pm… things like that.
The trick of habit stacking is to simply take advantage of one already established habit and practice the new, desired habit right before or after the established habit.
You already got some ideas from the last paragraph, but here are some more that many people swear by:
- Instead of immediately rushing out of bed in the morning, take a moment to sit up and do a five-minute guided meditation on YouTube
- Before each meal, practice deep belly breathing for two minutes
- Take some time to do a couple of yoga stretches after your workouts
#3: Sign up for in-person classes
This last one is a no-brainer.
We are social creatures after all and many of us don’t feel like trying out new things all on our own. And we don’t have to!
At a time, when yoga in the States has gotten more popular than ever, it’s never been easier to find good yoga classes near you. Do some research, find a class you might enjoy, and then sign up. There's always yoga classes for beginners at just about every yoga studio.
Of course, you can team up with friends too. And even if you go by yourself, chances are, you’ll meet amazing new people anyway.
That’s it! Three simple, yet effective tips to build a consistent yoga practice. Once established, the practice in itself will likely be so rewarding that you won’t even have to rely on discipline to do your yoga every day.