Let's admit it, sometimes it can be hard to step on the mat. But we have yet to meet anyone who do not feel amazing after a yoga session. So how can we get over the initial hump and find a way to kick-start our practice? Here we gather 11 top tips from the yoga teacher community.
1. Go to a class
We love this top tip from Christine Suzuki, founder of Core Focus: Make it fun again by connecting with the energies from your fellow classmates and perhaps gain a little inspiration.
2. Play your favourite songs
Why didn't we think of this? Great tip from yoga teacher Sheena Shah. We're so excited, we have to share our favourite yoga playlist here:
3. Just roll out your mat and stand on it
Some of you may know that the Lots of Yoga team regularly practise with Scott Johnson from Still Point Yoga at London Bridge (his adjustments are amazing, btw). We loved that he answered our question in such simple elegance:
Just roll out your mat,
Step on it
And the rest will follow
Magic! We tried this and it worked. Turned out the hardest part is just rolling out the mat and stepping on it. The rest does follow.
4. Be realistic
How can you break down the practice and make it really simple for your day-to-day?
Aim to do a short sequence with some relaxation; 10-15 minutes is fine. Better a short practice every day than an occasional 'blitz'! Once you have set the habit of doing some yoga each day then it becomes easier. You don't even need a mat if you are away - try standing postures, for example, or use a folded blanket on the floor.
Lovely advice from Sarah Collins, Dru yoga teacher based in Surrey, UK.
5. Set short goals
Sometimes, our heads take over and visualise too much on what yoga is supposed to be. Try not to. Set little goals.
I just give myself a tiny goal: 5 minutes on the mat every day. I usually do it right after I get up or just before bed. 5 minutes often turns into 10 or more but just getting on my mat once every day is half the battle.
Wise words from Eleanor Hayes from BirthZang
6. Embrace Distractions
Involve your kids or pets in your yoga instead of getting frustrated. And....DO IT! I have a tendency to say, oh I'll just empty the dishwasher, then I'll go on my mat. Put the mat down, and just do it.
See Claire Saunders from Yoga Bright beautifully demonstrating that with her lovely mini yogi.
7. Vary your routine
What about taking up something else before coming back to the mat?
I'd lost my mojo with home practice until I took up running - I needed more yang in my life and now I'm loving yoga again!!!!
Top tip from Kate Williams, Sunflowerboom counselling.
8. Lay out your mat the night before you go to bed
Great tip! We actually tried it and realised that when it was more work to put the mat away than to practise on it, you default to the lazier option:
Roll out your mat and make your space before you go to bed, then when you get up you can just light your candle and sit on your mat. The hardest Asana is get your Arse-ana on the mat.
Hear, hear! Thanks, Rosemary Paradi.
9. Keep learning
Yoga teacher Sam Gent points out that one can see regular classes as an opportunity to learn and engage. You can use the time to listen to alignment cues and ask questions, and perhaps also start a yoga notebook/journal. Not to mention that there are lots of great yoga books and articles out there both published and online!
10. Set up a motivational slogan on your smart phone alarm!
We spotted this top tip from Monica at Yogi movement, it made us laugh out loud. Surely it must work?
11. Finally, yoga isn't just for the mat
For those who are interested in the spiritual aspects of practising yoga:
I always try to explain in my classes that yoga is a way of life, you can use your travel on bus, train etc. by practicing for example Ujayi* or you can practise mindfulness while doing your housework like the dishes. Also you can practice Karma Yoga**.
Thank you for all the great tips!
Got more top tips to share? Feel free to comment below so we can all be better yogis.
Curated with love from the Lots of Yoga team.