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When I ask people what their number one struggle is with regards to their yoga practice, the most common response I hear has to do with creating a yoga habit. Most people struggle with maintaining a consistent practice.

You might be nodding your head in agreement, in which case you’re going to love the series of blog posts that I’ll be sharing with you over the next month. The Consistency Series is all about creating a yoga habit that you can stick with.

In today’s piece, we’re getting into why consistency matters. People seem to know that it’s important, because everyone is trying to achieve it, but perhaps we’re not clued into exactly why it’s so crucial.

Hopefully, getting into the nitty gritty of what makes a yoga habit so powerful will help to shift the mindset so that getting on the mat every day becomes easier. Let’s dive in!

Free Consistency worksheets!

Download the free yoga practice calendar + sequence builder to help you maintain a consistent practice!

Why Does Consistency Matter?

Each person’s practice is different. Some people enjoy practicing at their local studio, while others prefer the comfort of home. Perhaps you enjoy a morning practice, or maybe you prefer to practice in the evening. Maybe you love props; maybe not. It may be that you love all of the above!

What remains the same for every yoga practitioner, is the benefits gained from practicing.

The benefits of yoga and meditation for the body, mind, and spirit are numerous. Let’s name just a few: improved strength, flexibility, and balance; increased lung capacity; heightened mental clarity and focus; reduced stress.

These are amazing, life-improving benefits, but they cannot manifest if our practice is sporadic. Yoga is not intended to be used like band-aid, applied only in times of greatest need – it’s a practice, not a patch.

A successful yoga and meditation practice is one that becomes a habit (like brushing your teeth). We create habits by rewiring the circuits in the brain through repetition.

Each time you practice yoga or meditation, that particular circuit becomes a bit stronger, and it’ll fire that much quicker the next time. Meaning that the yoga habit is building and it’s requiring less effort and willpower on your part.

A consistent practice on a regular schedule is key to seeing the maximum results. Here’s why…

 

Related: 6 Tips for a Consistent Yoga Practice

Text over image: The Consistency Series: Why a Consistent Practice Matters

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PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS

Progress in anything is made up of a series of steps, not a one-off attempt. By definition, progress is movement or development; it doesn’t happen one, or even two times.

A single yoga class or meditation session will create a new level of development in your body and mind. Each following session builds on the previous one to continue your forward progress.

If too much time passes in between practices, your body and mind will likely settle back into their original states. When you get on the mat again again, you’re right back where you started. You’re treading water rather than moving forward.

 

THE MOTIVATION FACTOR

Motivation also suffers from lack of consistent practice.

When you experience a particularly energizing yoga class or a deeply satisfying mediation, those feelings stay with you. Those feelings then make it easier to get back on the mat the next day.

When you begin to skip practices, or let too much time pass, those feelings start to fade. This is where it starts to get easier to make excuses for staying off the mat. Before you know it, weeks have gone by and your yoga mat is collecting dust.

You want to seize those post-practice feel-good vibes, allowing them to carry you to your next practice. Scheduling your next practice while you’re still feeling that “yoga high” is a great way to do this!

 

STAYING SAFE

Inconsistent practice can also lead to injury. The more you practice, the more you build strength, flexibility, and balance. Too much time off can cause your tendons and ligaments to begin tightening up again.

When you return to your mat, you might think that your body is capable of what you were able to do during your last practice, and you could push yourself too far.

 

LIVING YOUR YOGA

Perhaps the most important reason to create a consistent yoga habit is because doing so allows the practice to seep off the mat.

When we come to the yoga mat, we are reminded to practice all of the qualities that we want to embody in life. We connect to our breath, to a calm state of mind. We practice compassion, gratitude, and patience. The truth is that we should be practicing these things all the time, but it’s easy to forget when life gets in the way.

Reconnecting to our true Self on the mat reminds us to stay connected to our true Self off the mat. It is through consistent practice that we start to see our edges soften. We catch ourselves in moments of judgement or anger, and we are able to breathe through those moments so that they don’t get the best of us.

I know first-hand that the practice of yoga has the power to make us calmer, kinder, and more present. Consistent practice and the cultivation of a yoga habit is how that transformation happens.

Free Consistency worksheets!

Download the free yoga practice calendar + sequence builder to help you maintain a consistent practice!

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