YOGA IS ….. (DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE!)
I’d like to preface this by saying that your daily practice does not have to look like the yoga you see on Instagram. It doesn’t have to last an hour, it doesn’t have to involve a headstand, it doesn’t even have to involve doing anything physical – although personally I find value in moving my body in some way every day.
A daily yoga practice looks different for everyone. For some it involves meditation, for others its writing down thoughts in a journal, it can be breath work, sometimes it’s taking the time to sit down and just ‘be’. Of course, some people will practice hardcore vinyasa for hours each day and love it whilst others will prefer to meditate for 5 minutes each morning. That’s the beauty of yoga, it looks different for everyone and that’s OK!
‘Yoga’ is one of those tricky words that if you asked ten people what it meant, they’d all give you different answers. For me, it means finding balance both inside and outside my body. Balance within my body can physical, mental or spiritual and it changes from day to day. I try to be kind to myself and not be too prescriptive about how my practice looks as I know that each day is always different from the next.
I’d like this to help you find your OWN version of daily practice. That means it works for you and you alone. You can do whatever you want in terms of how you move, breathe, and meditate – just do it with kindness and without judgement.
My top four tips for creating your daily yoga practice:
START SMALL + WITH KINDNESS
Whoever first said `the time is now’ really knew what they were talking about. Procrastination can be your worst enemy when it comes to building a routine – I know from experience – but starting small and without delay can help get you on the right track. So carve out some time today, even if it’s just 5 minutes, and ‘get on your mat’ – either literally or metaphorically. Whether you sit and breathe mindfully for 5 minutes or find some movement that feels good, do it because you want to. It really doesn’t matter what you do, just that you’ve done it. If you don’t have a yoga mat, use a cushion or blanket if you can, or go outside – grass is nature’s cushion!
CREATE YOUR SACRED SPACE
Having a place that makes you feel calm, safe, and relaxed is really important in order for you to be able to properly switch off and delve into your practice. In an ideal world we’d all have a mini yoga studio in our homes but sometimes it’s hard to even find a piece of the floor that’s clean enough to lay on! So don’t give yourself a hard time if your ‘yoga space’ doesn’t look like its from Pinterest. I would however, try and encourage you to choose somewhere that won’t distract you too much so you can create a little sanctuary – even if it’s a tiny corner in a room with a plant and candle. By using this same spot regularly, your brain will begin to associate that space with yoga + relaxation, and then, you’ve guessed it, with consistency + showing up for yourself every day your practice will soon become a habit you crave.
FIND YOUR VERSION OF YOGA
What works for some of us won’t work for everyone. It’s really important that you focus on doing the things that work for you, your body + your mind. If you don’t fancy doing a full 60 minute power flow every day, don’t do it. Equally if sitting and meditating for half an hour doesn’t float your boat, that’s ok too. You might even choose to do something different every day, that’s fine too. Just be sure to do what feels good to you on any given day. We all have different abilities and access to space + equipment, so finding something that suits our individual needs is key to making your daily practice stick.
SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF EVERY DAY
Being consistent and showing up for ourselves every single day helps us stick to our goals and can help us find discipline in our practice. I’m all about balance though, and sometimes if my body or mind really really isn’t feeling it, I’ll give myself a day off and release any feelings of guilt that may creep in. Finding a time of day that works for you can help with consistency. For instance, if you know you have extra time before your day begins, start building a daily practice into your morning routine. If you’re more of a night owl, then use the evening time to find out if yoga before bed works for you. I prefer to do any high intensity movement in the morning when I feel full of energy, which helps me stay focused for work. Then I practice yoga in the daytime or evening when i’m a bit more warmed up and need more focus on relaxation.
If you feel like you need some support to delve deeper into your practice, I offer 1:1 personalised Skype classes. Whatever you wind up doing, I’d love to hear about how you’ve created your own daily practice! So feel free to comment or message me with your experience.