As each new year begins, we make resolutions to develop healthy habits and create positive change in our lives. As yogis we aspire to establish a consistent yoga practice and spend more time on our mats. Committing to practicing yoga has numerous benefits for our physical and mental health but developing a regular yoga practice takes time and it can be a challenge to make it to our mats consistently.
Here are 5 practical tips for committing to your yoga practice in 2020.
1. Set a measurable goal
When setting goals, think SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. For example, rather than a general statement such as “My goal is to practice more yoga in 2020” Add parameters and be as specific as possible, for example, “My goal is to go to yoga twice a week January-March.” Spend some time considering what it is exactly that you want to accomplish.
2. Create a calendar appointment
Spend some time studying your calendar and choose classes that work best for your schedule. Add recurring weekly appointments to your calendar for the classes you plan to attend so you receive reminders and avoid overbooking. Prioritize your practice by putting it on your calendar and committing to show up. I love what Robin Arzon says about training, “YOU are the CEO of your body and the CEO doesn’t cancel.”
3. Plan ahead
Think about what needs to happen to make it to your mat in advance. For example, going to Elie’s 5:45a.m. Vinyasa on Friday morning, starts by practicing sleep hygiene and going to bed early Thursday night. Or, prioritizing a class in the middle of your work day, like Melissa’s Lunch Flow, means anticipating a quick change of clothes and stashing your mat in the car. Small preparations lead to follow through.
4. Share your resolve with others
Telling friends, family and teachers about your aspirations helps keep you accountable to your practice and allows loved ones to know how they can encourage you on your journey. Be transparent about why it’s important to you and invite a friend to meet you at the studio. Seek out others who have similar goals and who share your passion for yoga.
5. Celebrate small victories
Find balance between determination and self-compassion. Instead of feeling guilty for missing a practice, celebrate small victories. Celebrating our achievements, no matter how small they may seem, is motivating! We are more likely to show up when we are operating from a place of self-acceptance and gratitude for our efforts. Be proud of spending 10 minutes on your mat at home or making it to 1 yoga practice this week. Remember, lasting change isn’t about big resolutions but small improvements that have big effects over time.
We would love to support you on this journey in any way we can and hear about the victories and challenges of committing to your yoga practice in 2020. Check out the Yoga House Community Facebook group to get plugged in with our community of yogis and stop by the studio to connect with an instructor.
See you on your mat!