The journey begins on an inauspicious day in August when I found a link on Pinterest for an article by Living Beauty entitled How To Make Yoga a Habit. If you want to make yoga a habit or think you might want to I suggest you grab a journal and do this exercise!
Do you want a yoga practice? Your self-dialog begins with this one simple question!
Was a yoga practice really what I wanted? I knew the answer was yes, but I needed to ask myself.
Why did I want a yoga practice? The answers spilled out of me! I had a page full of reasons:
- strengthen my body
- regulate my moods: calmer, centered, clearer
- focus my mind for reading and study
- alleviate muscle pains through stretching
- awareness of my thoughts
- awareness of my breath
- setting a healthy example for my daughter
- prepare for teacher training in the Summer of 2017
- tighten loose skin
- radiate positive energy
After writing out my motivations for having a regular yoga practice I felt the third question, “What do I expect of the practice?” had already answered itself but I added this:
I expect that my practice will help me grow as a person in all of the ways I express my person-hood as mother, student, in body & mind, friend, daughter, sister and energetic being in the world.
For the next part, you are asked to be brutally honest with yourself and to identify what obstacles might inhibit you in keeping with the practice.
Starting with the 10 Best Excuses
- Not enough time alone
- Don’t have enough time to set-up/ get changed
- Have other work to do
- Being away from home
- Won’t “feel” like doing it
- Practiced enough this week
- Being sore
Once I got to the end of this exercise I was surprised by how difficult it was to come up with 10 excuses! The excuses proved extremely helpful through the first few days as I would find myself making them and sort of chuckle saying to myself, you knew you would say that!
You may find that the third part relates back to some of your excuses because you are asked to think about your practice as a Time Commitment;
How much time can I reasonably commit to the practice?
I am willing to commit half-an-hour a day OR on video per day from 15 minutes to an hour in length. I will treat my practice as my FIRST time commitment because it is a commitment to myself!
Finally, you write a Yoga Practice Contract that answers the following questions:
- How long will I practice?
- How many times per week?
- What time of day?
- Where? IE. at home, a studio, the gym…
In my contract, I included a timeline for my contract stipulating that I will commit to the contract for three months and at the end of that time I will review and revise. I built-in the extra timeline so that I could check in with myself and create a milestone.
Yoga is rewarding in itself, but I later added a rewards system for myself: at the end of each completed month I will buy myself something new and yoga related IE. new yoga clothes or equipment.
The next day I woke up and I made it to the mat and I am now 34 days into a daily Yoga habit and it has changed my life! Follow my Yoga Journal to see how my practice evolves into a commitment to myself!
I said that the journey begins here but really, once you start following an authentic path you are bound to realize that you have been preparing for it longer than you thought!