Making Yoga Part of Your Daily Life
Beginning and sticking to a daily home yoga practice is one of the most empowering acts of self-care. Our practice asks us to take personal responsibility for our own physical, mental, and spiritual health. So how do you actually motivate yourself to practice? Where will you find the time? As one of my teachers used to say, “Magic is in the repetition.”
Masters suggest that we start with a little every day or regularly, rather than for a long time once a week. Be sure to pick a practice you enjoy so you’ll keep returning to it day after day. The most important thing is to adapt the practice to your life instead of adapting your life to your practice.
CARVE OUT A TIME
Figure out how much time you have and the best time to practice, and schedule that into your calendar. A few tips for success:
Find a time of day that works best for you and try to stick to it without getting too attached.
If you miss a day, just start again the next day or carve out 15 minutes later on. It’s important to be flexible. Life is full of unpredictable twists and turns. Learning to adapt is one of yoga’s highest teachings.
You may choose to practice at a different time every day. The whole idea is to create your schedul and honor your life.
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Your dosha (see here ) can also help guide the best time of day to practice. Each dosha cycles twice in a day. You can align yourself with your dosha by practicing yoga during these times.
CHOOSE YOUR PRACTICE
I’ve created three morning, three afternoon, and three evening balanced yogic routines of varying lengths. Each includes meditation and contemplation for the mind, movement for the body, and breathing for the spirit. This allows for an integrated, well-rounded practice.
In general, morning practices are more energizing, midday practices more balancing, and evening practices more calming. I’ve labeled each routine as calming, balancing , or energizing , and each one has unique healing qualities. Think of these routines as preparing healthy recipes: You put some effort into preparing a meal and then enjoy the delicious and wholesome result. In the same way, you’ll need to dedicate time for your practice, and then you get to enjoy the blissful outcome throughout your day.
Before you choose your practice, check in with yourself about what you need. If you need a more calming practice in the morning because you have a stressful day ahead, feel free to choose a calming evening practice instead to start your day. After a week or so, you’ll be able to choose poses you love and incorporate them into one of these practices, or even design your own practice.