How do I stay motivated to practice yoga?
Staying motivated to get on yoga mat in the winter months
In the hustle-bustle of our everyday lives, when days go past and we find ourselves busy and surrounded by work deadlines, responsibilities, family or kids. It can get pretty hard to find the motivation to practice self-care and wellness, even when we know that yoga can help you feel better, but that’s precisely why it’s so important to care for our own mind and bodies all the more. Maybe you’ve always had a regular yoga practice but lately things have been busier than usual and you’ve fallen out of your daily yoga routine. Having a daily self-care routine can help bring balance into our lives with some simple lifestyle changes.
Now we’re into deep winter it can be even harder to get onto our mats. The dark cold mornings can dampen our motivation to get moving and the darker the evenings get the more we’d rather be under a blanket on the sofa than exercising at all.
It’s important to remember that a daily yoga practice can help keep you in a positive headspace, as well as helping you stay healthy and fit. Here are some ways you can make some active changes to your life by taking your attention inward. These tips can help you keep focused on maintaining these lifestyle changes by keeping yourself motivated.
It's important to remember that a daily yoga practice can help keep you in a positive headspace, as well as helping you stay healthy and fit
Here are 12 easy steps to help you stay motivated to practice yoga this winter
1. What's holding you back?
Bring your attention to what is holding you back from your yoga practice. Journaling can be particularly helpful here. For example, If you have unstable work hours and that’s keeping you from having a set time for your yoga routine, it may be helpful to do your yoga practice before a particular meal like breakfast or lunch. Bringing awareness to the obstacles keeping you from your routine can make it easier to find solutions.
2. Make getting started quick and easy
Try to make the process of getting started with your practice as quick and efficient as possible. If your home environment allows, keeping your yoga mat handy and in your sight can help you keep motivated. Try and keep your practice space clear so there’s no distractions deterring you from getting started.
3. Have your mat rolled out
If you like to practice yoga early in the morning when you wake up or before bedtime, lay your mat down in the night before you go to bed so that you’re ready to hop on it whenever you wake up. Having your mat rolled out and ready to go can also act as a visual reminder
4. Start a spiritual diary
Start a spiritual diary where you can write about your health and well being, things that may be clogging your mind, your sleep routine, emotions, etc. If you don’t enjoy writing long entries, you can even start a small bullet journal highlighting the things you wish to achieve daily or the asana’s that you want to try, or anything that inspires you to want to practice yoga. Writing is a great way to bring your thoughts out into the world so that you can act on them. You can have your journal by your bed so that you can write before you go to sleep, or in the morning when you wake up.
5. Decide on your practice days
Decide on the days you would like to practice yoga. Start with 3 to 4 days a week and you can progress to more in your own time depending on your work-life schedule and your personal health goals.
5. Set a Sankalpa or use affirmations
Sankalpa or affirmations are positive statements and intentions that can help you overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them either in your mind or out loud, they can help change and rewire your thoughts to help you channel your energy in a particular direction. Set an affirmation to help make your yoga practice a natural part of your lifestyle. You can even sit and meditate on it for a few minutes daily as part of your yoga practice.
If you want to know more about how to set a Sankalpa read exactly how to do get started with our Kundalini Yoga Teacher Viriam
7. Start a challenge
Give yourself a yoga challenge to get you started! It can be anything from doing a 20 minute practice every day, to maybe being able to do an asana that you struggle with and want to work towards. Challenges like these are an awesome tool to keep you motivated to reach small goals.
8. Reward yourself more
Give yourself a reward for achieving your goals, or completing a challenge you’ve set for yourself. Even if it’s something as small as doing a yoga practice today, rewarding yourself can help you want to do more of it in order to achieve it.
9. Treat yourself to some new yoga goodies
Speaking of rewards, why not give yourself a new yoga mat, or some yoga blocks, or some new clothes for your practice? Maybe signing up to a new yoga class online can help inspire you to get on your mat again.
10. Try a completely new style of yoga
If the reason you’re practicing less and less everyday is the fact that your practice is getting boring for you, or maybe it’s getting too easy from doing the same asana’s or meditations repeatedly, try something new. Maybe you can try new breathwork exercises, yin yoga or try some restorative yoga. Move your practice around to help you find that excitement in your practice again
11. Short yoga practices still count
If you can’t manage a full 90-minute practice, that’s okay, keep your practice short! Even a short 15-30 minute practice can help you get the benefits of a full yoga session. Try to focus on a particular muscle group that may need a good stretch. Bringing your attention to your breath even for short bursts of time can help you feel more balanced throughout the day.
Over on the Ālaya Yoga platform we’ve got loads of great express classes on our live schedule as well as in our video back so you can practice anytime.
12. Use social media as inspiration
If you find yourself scrolling through instagram or twitter on the daily, why not use that to your advantage and follow some of your favourite yoga practitioners to help you gain inspiration. You can even join one of the many yoga challenges available online. You can post about your yoga journey every once in a while to help keep you motivated. Try following some of our favourite social media yogis like Mark Robberds or Deepkia Mehta for some great yoga inspiration and the occasional challenge.
Let Alaya Yoga help you stay motivated
We’ve got loads of yoga motivation for you over on the Alaya Yoga app, including loads of express classes and challenges. If you’re not already a member you can try 10 days completely free.