One of the yoga and meditation struggles I hear about the most, and that I’ve struggled with myself, is creating a consistent yoga practice. Getting on the mat or meditation cushion every day (or most days) is one of the healthy habits most of us want to nurture, but it’s harder than it sounds.
Life is busy, things come up, we get tired. Shit happens. If you’re like me, you’re then hard on yourself for not practicing, which creates this vicious cycle of no practice + beating myself up. It’s ugly and it sucks, and I’d like to help you avoid it.
If you’ve been struggling to get consistent with yoga and/or meditation, and if you’ve been beating yourself up about it, I want you to take a deep breath right now, and on your exhale, let that shit go.
Yes, consistency makes a difference and is hugely beneficial, but being kind to yourself is far more beneficial, so send yourself some love.
How to develop a consistent yoga practice?
A wonderful strategy for building consistency and maintaining motivation is to practice in a group setting. The social aspect of meeting people and making new friends can be a powerful reason to continue, and you’re less likely to miss a class if you know that others will expect you to be there.
Plus, there’s really nothing like sharing the breath and the collective consciousness with a group of like-minded yogis!
However, I know that a regular studio practice is not feasible for everyone. If you’re looking to develop a consistent yoga practice in your home, here are 6 tips!
1. Find an online tribe
If practicing in a group setting is not feasible for you, but you’d still like to experience the community aspect, find yourself an online tribe. With the power of the internet, we can connect with like-minded yogis all around the globe from the comfort of our homes! How awesome is that?!
Not only can you gain inspiration from the journeys of like-minded people, but you also help to encourage each others’ healthy habits – like practicing regularly.
There are many yoga communities on Facebook, including our very own Roaming Yogi Kula! If you’d like to join us, you can do so here!
2. Start Small
Set yourself up for success by starting small. If you’re just starting out, it’s likely unrealistic that you’ll get on your mat every single day for 60-90 minutes.
To start, commit to practicing just three times per week, or maybe for just 15 minutes. If you practice for longer or get in an extra day, that’s a bonus! Over time you can add days, or extend the length of your practices, but start with an attainable goal.
Healthy habits take time to cultivate – this is one of the few times where quantity will matter over quality. There are no rules about how long your yoga or meditation practice should be. The only thing that matters is that you show up on the reg and do the damn thing. Frequency of practice over length of practice 😉
Related: Why You DO Have Time for Daily Yoga
Get out your calendar and schedule in your practice time. Literally, write it down just like you would any other important appointment. Because it is an important appointment. Arguably the most important! What’s more important than an appointment with yourself?!
The tendency is to prioritize our outward responsibilities (family/friends/work), but in order to show up for those responsibilities as your best self, you have to take the time for you first.
We all know that you’re the best version of yourself when you take time for yourself, so make it a priority. Your family/friends/coworkers will thank you 🙂
4. Make Space
Decide on a practice space. One that is inviting; where you want to spend some time. If you can, decorate it with some calming colors and accents that make you happy. If you have the room, leave your mat out so it’s ready and waiting for you anytime.
Please know that you don’t need a separate dedicated space in order to practice. In reality, all you need is enough room for your body to move and/or sit in. If the only space you have is your kitchen floor, then that works just fine. Your yoga space can be dual purpose.
The important thing is having a space where you go to practice so that when you pass it, it calls you to get on your mat.
5. Morning Magic
One of the best times to practice yoga is first thing in the morning, as the sun rises. The distractions of the day haven’t had time to grab you yet (don’t open your phone first!), and although the body might be a bit stiff, the mind is usually crystal clear.
This is a really great way to make sure you actually get on your mat. Get it done before you can talk yourself out of it, or the trajectory of your day convinces you that you’re too tired, or have too much to do.
Now if you’re rolling your eyes, thinking, I am just NOT a morning person, hear me out.
Starting the day with yoga increases mental clarity and mindfulness, and it kickstarts the physical body, setting you up for a successful day. It also sets the tone for your whole day – a positive, accomplished tone. When you start the day this way, you’re more likely to cultivate other healthy habits throughout it.
For most of us, the only way to fit yoga into the morning is to get up earlier, so why not give it a try? If you hate it, you never have to do it again.
Getting on the mat with consistency is important because it is through consistency that we reap the benefits of yoga and meditation. But you’re going to miss days. You’re going to get sick. You’re going to get busy. Shit’s going to happen.
And that’s ok. You’re awesome even when you miss a day.
Be kind with yourself. Especially on days when you don’t make it onto the mat, because those are the days you need it most.
Free Consistency worksheets!
Download the free yoga practice calendar + sequence builder to help you maintain a consistent practice!
Commit to Your Practice
If you’d like some guidance in implementing these six tips, join me in Commit to Your Practice: A 5-day Yoga + Meditation Challenge!
This challenge is perfect for anyone wanting to start or refresh their yoga practice. The aim is to give you the tools to develop a consistent yoga practice.
Do you have any other tips for developing a consistent yoga practice? Please share them in the comments, or come on into our online tribe, The Roaming Yogi Kula, and share them there!