So I see this question around the internet a lot – ‘how do I get started with a daily yoga practice’ and often what follows it is ‘I have no time’! The thing about Yoga is that it is probably one of the easiest forms of exercise to add into your routine. You can easily do it in your home – so it is not weather dependant which makes for great exercise in Winter! You also don’t need any special equipment other than your yoga mat and you don’t usually need to shower afterward so it takes up much less time in your day.
Here are my tips to get started with a daily practice:
Do it everyday: It is much easier to keep something going that you do everyday and that becomes part of your usual everyday routine. I think weekends are often tricky as your routine is often thrown out the window. If you keep up a regular yoga routine during the week it is much easier to carry it on the next week as it is part of your week day.
Start small: 10-15 minutes is better than no minutes – even with 10-15 minutes everyday you should notice a substantial difference which should encourage you to try and do it for longer.
Be flexible: If I know we are out for dinner or we have something on and I won’t get my usual evening yoga in I will grab any other window of opportunity during the day. Grab any 10-15 window to get some quick yoga in.
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect: Life is messy and there is no perfect time to do yoga! I have started doing my evening practice while the dinner is cooking, quite often the kids are running around and my husband is in and out the door. Don’t wait for a silent house before you begin – just start wherever and however.
Pick a regular time in your usual routine each day: When I first started yoga I would do it every evening after I had finished dinner and cleaned up my house for the day. If you are wanting to add a new habit into your day it is much easier to do it after a habit that is already ingrained into your day. This was not time dependant but routine dependant.
Start in the evening: In my experience it was much easier for me to start yoga in the evenings than the mornings because if you are starting your Yoga practice in the morning you quite often have to get up earlier to fit it in. That means you are not just adding one new habit into your day but two which is tricky and it means that whether or not you practice yoga for the day is completely dependant on whether you can get up early.
Get your family or housemates on board: My family all know that in the evenings I practice Yoga so they try not to bother me (too much!) If my husband is home he will often play with our preschool aged son so that he interrupts my practice less.
Find a regular spot (or two!) to practice: I usually do yoga in the lounge or kids playroom – depending on where the kids are playing. You have to keep it flexible and find a few different potential spots. If I need to practice away from the t.v. I usually use the family ipad or my phone.
Find a teacher that resonates: I currently use the yoga flows from ‘Yoga by Candace’ and Erin Motz on You Tube. I recommend you try out a few different yoga practitioners until you find one that you really like. There are a lot on You Tube to choose from also there are a lot of Websites where you can sign up for regular yoga videos. The main thing is to find someone you like and that the yoga offered is at your level or pushing you to go further in your practice.
Happy yoga practice!
(Photo: Dino Reichmuth)