Many of us make time to do things that we really don’t enjoy, such as chores and work, just because we have to or are expected to! If only we could set aside time in such a focused way for the things we’d really love to do, such a daily yoga routine, wouldn’t that day-to-day grind feel just that bit better? It seems so easy to integrate yoga into our day when we’re at a yoga retreat or on a yoga vacation, yet we have real trouble maintaining this routine once we’re back home … but like all things, it’s a matter of taking time to make time, so let’s see if we can’t take the time together to build up a daily yoga routine which works for us …
Take Time To:
- Sign up to a regular yoga class, particularly if you are new to yoga. Attend a class as many times per week as you can afford (time and cash-wise).
- Identify your yoga slot in your schedule: add a time into your daily schedule and try to stick to it. Even if you’re still new to yoga and don’t get to complete the whole routine, getting in the habit of completing a few stretches at a certain time of day will help to consolidate the schedule (as well as the routine of stretches) into your way of life.
- Allow yourself a little flexibility: yes, flexibility is the essence of successful yoga practice, in more ways than one! Although the time that you choose might be the same across each day, this may not suit everyone, so don’t be a slave to the idea that it must take place at a set time each and every day. The main thing is to make sure that it’s part of a daily routine and occurs at a time when you can avoid distractions and interruptions: even in the most organized of households, this is bound to vary from day to day!
- Think little and often, rather than prolonged and periodic, as this helps you to sustain a proper routine and gradually build up your core strength, capability and flexibility you go.
- Set a time limit and work through what you can successfully achieve in that time. 15 minutes a day is a good period to start with.
- Take time to prepare properly: don’t just fling yourself into your session because it’s time to do it. The watch words are calm, warm and comfortable: both your clothing and your practice space need to offer all of these qualities before you’re ready to begin.
- Even once you’re ready, take time to choose the right starting position, to set you up for the postures you are going to include in your routine. If in doubt, ask your yoga instructor to show you some possible poses to choose from: as part of their yoga instructor training, they will understand how important it is to get off to the right start and be more than willing to help you.
- Even if your time for yoga is quite short, take time to rest between poses as this is a restorative part of the routine: for both body and mind!
But don’t overdo it to start with:
Most of us are the same, we start these things with such enthusiasm that we end up overdoing it, which puts us off or prevents us from continuing with the routine, until the next time that wave of enthusiasm overtakes us…! The trick is to take it slowly and gently at first and this is why going to a yoga class to start with can help.
As part of their yoga teacher training, instructors are taught how to ease new people into the practice of yoga and they are more than happy to offer advice. So if you are new to yoga, ask your instructor’s advice on building up a daily yoga routine and on which postures to include. Finally, ensure you ask your yoga instructor to check your position in postures to ensure that you can achieve the right posture when you try it alone at home in your new daily routine.