The idea that creating and maintaining a regular yoga practice can reduce stress and overall anxiety sounds great but how? Just how? We’re all busy and get distracted with the thousand other things we need to do… And if you’re not a super chill, green tea drinking yogi, can you still benefit from that commitment to practice? I’m here to tell you that even the busiest people who hate green tea and are naturally prone to anxiety can begin and maintain a regular yoga practice and reap all the benefits with a minimal investment in time. Here are some tips I’ve used in creating and maintaining my own practice at home!
First, figure out how much time you want to spend doing yoga per week, and be realistic. If you’re starting from zero, probably don’t expect to suddenly start logging 20 hours a week! Whatever you’re doing now, try adding one more hour to each week. So if you’re not doing any yoga now, shoot for an hour, whether that’s split up into three 20-minute sessions throughout the week or one 1-hour session. If you’re doing 2 hours and want to boost it up, shoot for 3! A research study from 2014 showed that women suffering from treatment-resistant PTSD saw significant improvement in their symptoms doing just one hour of yoga per week for 10 weeks! So it really doesn’t take a lot, the key is consistency.
Once you know how much time you want to devote to the mat, figure out if you’re going to be logging that time in a studio, with a private class, or at home. If you’re going the studio route, sign yourself up NOW! Get it on your calendar and schedule your sessions out as far as you can. Same with private sessions. Find out from your teacher how many sessions out you can schedule and get it on the books. If you’re doing a home practice it’s a little trickier to be accountable and this is where you’ll have to get creative. Figure out when is the best time for yoga. It might not be the time you WANT to practice. I’d love to be a morning yogi, rolling out my mat as the sun comes up with my steaming mug of coffee close by, but that’s never what’s going to work out. My morning schedule for some reason cannot stay consistent for more than a couple days at a time, so I practice when I get home from work around 4 pm. It’s the only time I can almost guarantee I’ll be able to have some calm time to myself. So find a time of day you know you’ll most likely be able to sneak it in and then don’t even consider that there’s an option of not doing it. Don’t think, just yoga.
Third tip: make this YOUR comfy time. If you’re going to a studio, make sure you keep that time clear, spend time finding a studio you feel at home at, and wear whatever you’re most comfortable doing yoga in. For your home practice, get whatever you need for creating a comfy/cozy space for yourself. I have a salt lamp, little elephant statue, and a pair of super squishy, puffy socks right by my mat for after practice. I don’t know why but it makes me so freakin’ happy to put those socks on after doing yoga. Also, find some music that you really enjoy doing yoga to— good music is so helpful. If you have a certain scent like essential oils or a candle that you absolutely love, bring that guy in too for a fully immersive sensory chill-time. Some days I want to hit on all my senses while I’m practicing, other days I just want my music and socks. Make it yours.
Finally, be easy with yourself. If you have to miss a practice, everything is not lost. Creating new habits takes time. Get up the next day and do your best. As long as you’re continuing to pursue your goals you’re going to reach them. Yoga is a very therapeutic exercise and as such, consistency is more important than quantity. The more consistent you are with your practice the better.
Get in touch with me at Lindsey@gro-yoga.com for a fully personalized yoga session or just a practice to get you going!
Namasté Yoga People💛