How to start and maintain a regular yoga practice.
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
One of my goals as a yoga teacher is to take my students beyond the weekly class, and help them to establish a sacred practice of their own; known as sadhana ~ spiritual practice. The great teachers and yogis of the past stressed that a regular practice is critical to sustaining the benefits of the practice.
I've compiled a list of the ways that help us to cultivate and then maintain regularity in our sadhana.
SAME TIME - not the same exact time of day but the same point in your *routine*. For example, wake up, freshen up and then practice. it won't be at the exact same time, but it will be the same point in your daily routine.
SAME PLACE - this creates a positive association with the habit you are creating. Your mind will settle once you get to your special spot. Choose a place that is soothing to you, and has positive associations of peace and calm, or whatever you are trying to bring forward in your life.
HABIT STACKING - Creating associations with existing habits is key. Your brain already has some strong habits, like drinking your daily coffee/tea, taking a shower, brushing your teeth... Combine or add your practice to a daily habit that you already have. ie. brush your teeth and then start your practice. Or, wash your face before bed and then sit for meditation.
ASK FOR SUPPORT! Sadhana often requires support of an established teacher. Ask for guidance and for support to keep you steady and doing the right practices.
KEEP IT SIMPLE AT FIRST - start with a 2 minute meditation! Or a couple rounds of sun salutation. Habit forming is more about consistency than about volume initially. Set a timer for set time. Then add over time. Do this under the guidance of a qualified teacher for the best results. A good teacher will share techniques and practices that will support your growth and development of sadhana.
BUDDY UP - whether virtually or IRL, get someone to keep you accountable. My hubs used to drag me out of bed at 5 am for our daily yoga practice together - so good! Even a weekly check in with a friend really helps. Accountability is key!
STAY CONSISTENT - The mind doesn’t always want to do it because sadhana can be hard. There's no quick fix here. Consistency takes resolve, commitment and determination. We can cultivate the will power to practice, so don't despair! Know that you aren't alone, and that sticking with sadhana is challenging for many practitioners. Swami Sivananda said “don’t miss even a SINGLE day of meditation”. Try your best to keep with your plan for this daily habit. Sadhana is life ❤
PREP BEFOREHAND - roll out your mat or set your meditation cushion down the night before to mentally prepare for your practice. Set your intentions for your sadhana. That way you are ready to go when it’s time!
Most this advice has been a sacred gift from my own gurus, elders, mentors and teachers over the years. I offer it to you with gratitude to them and love to you.
Share if this helps you ❤