Change. Shift. Pivot. These are all words that describe our new normal since COVID-19. Most of us have been in quarantine for a month or more, and life just looks different. New schedules, learning online platforms, learning how to homeschool, and learning new words such as social distancing, self-quarantining, etc. This is where yoga is a great opportunity to reconnect, balance and find calm.
Did you know it takes 21 days to create a new habit? Researchers have found that over time we develop a psychological pattern called a “habit loop.” This loop is a process developed over time and when our brain receives those certain cues we go into ‘autopilot.’ Out of this we develop routines, and we create landmarks in our brain that helps us repeat the “habit loop” in the future.
Interestingly enough, when we get out of our normal routine – say, going on a trip – our routine will alter as our cues aren’t consistent or even exist in the new place. So if you developed a yoga routine prior to COVID-19 and this new schedule has thrown you a new schedule, it may be difficult or easy for you to adapt to these new changes, depending on what “habit loop” you may have created beforehand.
Understanding how habits are created, will help us as we’ve shifted into this new space, to create new habits. First, everyone’s priorities have shifted, making otherwise ordinary tasks an exceptional priority as it may take up more mental space. And new priorities have come into vision as well. As we settle in discovering what these priorities are, we adapt to a new schedule and create new habit loops.
Take a moment to asses your current day. Note the biggest changes. Now ask, are you happy with those changes?
This shift happened so incredibly fast that many people’s schedules are still as busy but more chaotic. While others have found to have so much time they weren’t sure what to do and found comfort in reading, movies, and other relaxing activities. And of course, there’s everyone in between.
With this new shift, are you still practicing yoga? Are you practicing more now? Are you inconsistent? Are you able to do a full practice?
Wherever you are with your practice, know that yoga is always with you. Everyday when we breathe, we can simply focus on the breath. Everyday when we get out of bed we can focus on our posture as we go throughout our day. Everyday we can see things more calm as we’ve already practiced in our previous classes. Yoga before COVID-19 was training FOR life events just like this!
However, just like anything we work hard for, the mind and body become unconditioned when we don’t practice – seeing things calmly becomes more murky, breathing becomes shallow and it’s easier to become more stressed. Now is a great time as we settle in this space, especially before life shifts again and goes full throttle – how important is your yoga practice to you?
CREATING NEW HABITS
One of the most beautiful things about human beings is that we are resilient – including when it comes to creating new habits! Creating cues in your new daily routine will help you design new habit loops.
CREATE YOUR SPACE
Create a space in your home, garage, attic or a quiet place you can feel yourself as you move. You don’t need a large space, just enough you can fit a yoga mat, and have a little space around to spread your arms in all directions. Adding special touches like a plant, candle, props, a photo or your favorite yoga books help create the space so you can feel connected, focused and grounded. Have fun with creating this space!
INFORM YOUR PEOPLE
Discussing the importance with your partner, friends, or family the importance your yoga practice is will help them respect your time and help keep you accountable to your practice.
SET ASIDE THE TIME
Dedicate a set day and time to your practice. For example: Mon/Wed/Fri at 8:30a, and write it down in your calendar to keep yourself accountable.
PLAN YOUR PRACTICE
There are A LOT of online resources for yoga! And some are all across the board. You may choose from the Yoga House library on MINDBODY from your favorite instructor or you may have to preview other classes to see if it fits what you are looking for. Choose a few that fit in your time allotment for the coming week so you can plug and play when it comes to your practice.
We are with you, and so are other yogis, and relate to the difficulties of creating these new habits. Reach out to share your goals, share when you’ve completed classes, or reach out for inspiration to the Yoga House Facebook Community for support and encouragement!
Yoga House is now offering online classes through MINDBODY for free for a limited time and access the library at any time, any day! You may learn more via the link below!