Wildore

Committing To The Mat

44 posts in this topic

I began my yoga journey when I was a freshman in high school and my local rec center offered a gentle yoga flow.  At the time, this was the only class in my small town so I've been supplementing my practice with videos online and lurking yoga communities a bit like this one.  Because of the lack of structure (I basically get on the mat whenever I have time) I've had a few commitment issues with my practice and sometimes I take up to week-long breaks.  <_< I'm at the weird beginner stage where I feel like I could progress to more advanced stages if I could keep up on my practice but I'm a full-time student with a stressful job in the healthcare field.

 

 

I think I could really benefit from some advice on how to progress on to the next stage!  Advice on everything from committing to a routine to how to loosen tight hips and get my arms and shoulders up to par to go from crow to crane.  I won't get anywhere without practice though, so, where do other newbies get their motivation to get on the mat?

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I began my yoga journey when I was a freshman in high school and my local rec center offered a gentle yoga flow.  At the time, this was the only class in my small town so I've been supplementing my practice with videos online and lurking yoga communities a bit like this one.  Because of the lack of structure (I basically get on the mat whenever I have time) I've had a few commitment issues with my practice and sometimes I take up to week-long breaks.  <_< I'm at the weird beginner stage where I feel like I could progress to more advanced stages if I could keep up on my practice but I'm a full-time student with a stressful job in the healthcare field.

 

 

I think I could really benefit from some advice on how to progress on to the next stage!  Advice on everything from committing to a routine to how to loosen tight hips and get my arms and shoulders up to par to go from crow to crane.  I won't get anywhere without practice though, so, where do other newbies get their motivation to get on the mat?

I don't really have any advice, but I feel the exact same way! I used to go to classes a few years ago and that helped with motivation because I would have them scheduled, but now I only practice at home and it can be hard to find motivation to practice regularly when life gets in the way.

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I'm in the same boat! I can't commit myself. Even though I can list a million reasons why I should commit, pain and stress relief being at the top of the list!

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Are there any groupon deals or amazon local deals for yoga studios closeby? Last year, I went to a place that offered unlimited yoga classes for a month for $30 (this year it's $40).  So then I went almost every single day to get my "money's worth".  A lot of studios usually have a newcomers deal so you can explore classes to find a teacher you like.  I think other offers were $25 for an unlimited week.  Just a warning that you'll probably be sore the first few days if doing it everyday.

 

I'm lucky that I found two yoga studios that are within walking distance of my place, so, that helps overcome some humps.  I found out after building a relationship with a certain teacher, I look forward to that class and make it a priority to attend and pause whatever else is going on.

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Establishing a consistent practice is the same as creating any other routine. You have to be mindful about doing it, until it becomes a habit.

Maybe schedule classes for yourself a few times per week?...a good way to start is with some of Candace's videos, so you don't have to worry about thinking of a routine for yourself.

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What about setting an alarm on your phone? You might be able to make a reoccurring alarm for, say, the same three days a week at a certain time. Maybe you just get up 15 mins earlier and do yoga for that 15 mins - it doesn't have to be a crazy long time in order to reap benefits. Think of it as a meeting with your boss and make a commitment not to cancel. If you do, here are some vids I'd recommend: 

 

5 min morning meditation to have a great day

15 min morning yoga

30 min restorative 

20 min beginner yoga flow

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What about setting an alarm on your phone? You might be able to make a reoccurring alarm for, say, the same three days a week at a certain time. Maybe you just get up 15 mins earlier and do yoga for that 15 mins - it doesn't have to be a crazy long time in order to reap benefits. Think of it as a meeting with your boss and make a commitment not to cancel. If you do, here are some vids I'd recommend: 

 

5 min morning meditation to have a great day

15 min morning yoga

30 min restorative 

20 min beginner yoga flow

This is probably where I go wrong, I need to lower my expectations and three days a week seems like a very easy goal!  I'll take a look through these links as well, thank you for your recommendation!

Are there any groupon deals or amazon local deals for yoga studios closeby? Last year, I went to a place that offered unlimited yoga classes for a month for $30 (this year it's $40).  So then I went almost every single day to get my "money's worth".  A lot of studios usually have a newcomers deal so you can explore classes to find a teacher you like.  I think other offers were $25 for an unlimited week.  Just a warning that you'll probably be sore the first few days if doing it everyday.

 

I'm lucky that I found two yoga studios that are within walking distance of my place, so, that helps overcome some humps.  I found out after building a relationship with a certain teacher, I look forward to that class and make it a priority to attend and pause whatever else is going on.

I never thought about this!  I moved to a densely populated area so I'm sure there's something like this I can take advantage of!  Thanks so much! 

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Having accountability always help me. Could you form or join an accountability group? Maybe we could start a thread here? I'd join in too, I'd love to start doing more than twice a week but those are the only classes I'm attending right now. Just a simple place to check in and say today I did xx minutes of xx. 

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What about setting an alarm on your phone? You might be able to make a reoccurring alarm for, say, the same three days a week at a certain time. Maybe you just get up 15 mins earlier and do yoga for that 15 mins - it doesn't have to be a crazy long time in order to reap benefits. Think of it as a meeting with your boss and make a commitment not to cancel. If you do, here are some vids I'd recommend: 

 

5 min morning meditation to have a great day

15 min morning yoga

30 min restorative 

20 min beginner yoga flow

This is a great idea. I'm going to do this!

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Hey, I totally uderstand what you are saying. I have a busy student schedule and work apart from that time. Yoga classes outside of school are expensive for me to go to and those in school are at times when i can't make it. When I first decided to do yoga as a routine it was hard. Seeing how I was not as good as I expected made it worse. But then I started looking at progress I was making ever day or every week and that encouraged me a lot! I kind of had a "yoga journal" which helped me see how I had been working on it. I would be at the mat just to see more results.

Or you can practice yoga with a friend. In that case you will push you forward to do it. Or if you prefer to practice by yourself you can have some one to account to or a friend that will help you by asking you and reminding you.

 

Hope this helps :)

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Just this week I decided to really commit to my practice by placing it first and foremost in my day.  Since I am great at procrastinating, this has been working out quite well.  Plus I start the day off nicely stretched and in a relaxed state of mind.

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Just this week I decided to really commit to my practice by placing it first and foremost in my day.  Since I am great at procrastinating, this has been working out quite well.  Plus I start the day off nicely stretched and in a relaxed state of mind.

I totally agree. I love getting excited the night before and planning my practice for first thing in the morning. I think it's also really important and helpful to remember how good you feel after practicing yoga. I read something that said, "You'll never regret practicing yoga; you'll regret it when you don't." Thinking about that quote and how good I feel after yoga keeps me committed to the mat. I hope it helps you too! =)

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This is such an important topic I think - and inspiring too to read your thoughts about it. 

I´ve been struggling with finding a time for myself to practice. Living in a house with more kids than rooms, it´s difficult to establish a regular practice. And I already get up at 5.30 every morning, if I have to get up any earlier my kids will have to tug themselves in at night, because I´ll already be in bed sleeping, when they go to bed!!  :3:

This week I changed some routines, so that I can do 15 minutes every morning just to stretch and wake up the body. 

But I still struggle with figuring out how to do more of the longer sessions, that are probably the ones that will allow me to se some improvement in my practice... 

YogaByCandace, Mana, laceyd and 1 other like this

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This is such an important topic I think - and inspiring too to read your thoughts about it. 

I´ve been struggling with finding a time for myself to practice. Living in a house with more kids than rooms, it´s difficult to establish a regular practice. And I already get up at 5.30 every morning, if I have to get up any earlier my kids will have to tug themselves in at night, because I´ll already be in bed sleeping, when they go to bed!!  :3:

This week I changed some routines, so that I can do 15 minutes every morning just to stretch and wake up the body. 

But I still struggle with figuring out how to do more of the longer sessions, that are probably the ones that will allow me to se some improvement in my practice... 

Good for you! 15 minutes is better than 0 minutes! Don't be too hard on yourself for longer sessions. In certain aspects of the practice like flexibility, I would say 15 mins  five times a week is better than one hour long session per week. 

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Putting it in your calendar is a great idea! You're more likely to work for and achieve your goals of they're written down. I'd recommend writing down your goal yoga schedule- 15 minutes three times per week, or whatever you decide- and putting it somewhere you see every day! I started a personal blog where I can post pictures and chart my progress (based off someone's suggestion in the YBC forum!). It's nothing formal, but I'm hopping that the idea that someone may see it and the "public" commitment will push me to be more consistent and stick to my own goals!

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I have practiced yoga for several years with varying levels of commitment. I have had months when I practiced daily, and months when I neglected my mat, and months where I practiced somewhere in between the two extremes. Between parenting, working, taking care of a household, and all of life's other busy-ness it is too easy to let go of the priority to take care of myself. About eight weeks ago, I vowed to commit to my practice once again, to explore why I so often break the commitment even though I reap amazing benefits, and to work toward a daily practice. I am currently practicing five days a week, both at home and at a local studio.

 

Good luck to you, Wildore! I think that 3x per week is a great goal, but I know for me, I have to get to my mat every day, even if it is for just a quick meditation, a ten-minute video, or a couple rounds of sun salutations. I think it helps me keep it a priority.

 

Here are some things I have found that help me get to my mat regularly:

  • I leave my mat out, unrolled, ready to welcome me at any moment. It is in a room that is also used for other purposes; it is not a perfect nor beautifully decorated yoga sanctuary (although I did create a little altar near the mat to make the space seem a bit more sacred and with purpose). The point is, it can be anywhere--the kitchen, the hallway, wherever. 
  • I set my alarm for the same time each weekday, 5:30am, and go immediately to my mat (I do this even if I plan on taking a studio class later in the day.). Some mornings I eagerly go, some mornings the thoughts in my head are like a small child, throwing a tantrum. I go anyway. This is how I discovered Candace. I was looking for gentle morning yoga videos, as short as 10 or 15 minutes. Just something to get me moving on my mat. Somedays 10 minutes only, and I am off to enjoy my favorite cup of coffee. Other mornings, I stay longer, a 30+ minute practice feels good. I think Sun Salutations are a great way to build strength needed for more advanced poses.  
  • I keep a yoga journal. I think this has been the number one tool to keep my motivation high. After each yoga practice, I take a few minutes to write the date, time, where I practiced (@home or @studio/teacher), and the duration. Then I jot down something about the practice: how did I feel, what pose did I enjoy the most, what pose did I resist the most, did I feel focused/distracted, did I have any proud moments in this practice? I don't want to have to skip a day, so it has been a good incentive for me. 
  • I try to keep yoga current in my mind: I read yoga-related or yoga-inspired writing (e.g. currently reading Pema Chodron), I seek out yoga online via video (Candace!), Pinterest, blogs, this forum, et cetera. I am also working my way through the e-book Forty Days of Yoga (http://www.amazon.com/Forty-Days-Yoga-Kara-Leah-Grant/dp/0473239582/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414467712&sr=1-1) which is good read as I work toward my goal of a home practice. 
  • I try to do yoga poses throughout the day: tree pose while washing the dishes; plank pose during TV commercial, downward dog while I am talking to the kids about their homework (they have gotten used to talking to me while I am upside down lol). No, it doesn't replace a full practice, but it helps build strength which I am eager to bring to the mat. 
  • I write it on my calendar, just like any other appointment or important event.

I am enjoying reading what inspires others to show up at the mat regularly!

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I started a personal blog where I can post pictures and chart my progress (based off someone's suggestion in the YBC forum!). It's nothing formal, but I'm hopping that the idea that someone may see it and the "public" commitment will push me to be more consistent and stick to my own goals!

So neat! If you don't mind me asking, where is your blog?

 

I noticed when I go to the profile page in the forum, there is a "blog" section. Maybe we could use the blog feature on this forum as a proxy for the accountability that andiphant (and some others, I think) suggested? If people can comment on each others' blogs, that would be a great way to show encouragement too.  I don't think this feature is activated though because I couldn't figure out how to create new entries.  I am going to reference this post in the "help" section of the forum since this is a more technical question.

 

Another option is what I saw on another forum (not yoga related). It had a separate section called "Journals" where people started their own thread as their journal, and visitors were welcome to respond and comment. It was a great way to reflect and also learn more about each other.  The funny thing is that I had journaled about some of my yoga classes there, but I was afraid I alienated some people there because they don't do yoga and may find it hard to relate to.

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I started practicing yoga to help relieve my back and neck pain and to regain my flexibility I'd lost somewhere between my 40th and 49th birthdays.   :43: I have now found that if I neglect my practice, even for a few days, I suffer the consequences. I am lucky enough to have a designated space to keep my mat out at all times so even if I have just 10 minutes to spare, I can hop right on. There are times I have to talk myself into my practice but I feel so much better after and usually only miss a day before my aches and pains tell me to get on my mat!  :27: I have new motivation now that I've begun my YTT and may closer attention to sequencing and cuing and that gives me a whole different perspective. I try to find a video the night before so I don't have to think much about it or if I haven't done that I just wing it with a few sun salutations and then work on some favorite sequences.  :24: 

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So neat! If you don't mind me asking, where is your blog?

 

I noticed when I go to the profile page in the forum, there is a "blog" section. Maybe we could use the blog feature on this forum as a proxy for the accountability that andiphant (and some others, I think) suggested? If people can comment on each others' blogs, that would be a great way to show encouragement too.  I don't think this feature is activated though because I couldn't figure out how to create new entries.  I am going to reference this post in the "help" section of the forum since this is a more technical question.

 

Another option is what I saw on another forum (not yoga related). It had a separate section called "Journals" where people started their own thread as their journal, and visitors were welcome to respond and comment. It was a great way to reflect and also learn more about each other.  The funny thing is that I had journaled about some of my yoga classes there, but I was afraid I alienated some people there because they don't do yoga and may find it hard to relate to.

Thanks! I just signed up in Wordpress- novicetonamaste.wordpress.com. I'm thinking i'll do the 39 day challenge on there too to track my progress. I'd definitely be open to the forum journal idea too!

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Having accountability always help me. Could you form or join an accountability group? Maybe we could start a thread here? I'd join in too, I'd love to start doing more than twice a week but those are the only classes I'm attending right now. Just a simple place to check in and say today I did xx minutes of xx. 

 

Starting a thread here is actually a great idea!  It's a great way to document the practice and get motivation from others.  I'd definitely like to be a part of that!

Just this week I decided to really commit to my practice by placing it first and foremost in my day.  Since I am great at procrastinating, this has been working out quite well.  Plus I start the day off nicely stretched and in a relaxed state of mind.

 

I like to start my day off with a quick run/jog/walk.  Usually just something to get me warmed up but I could try and balance my week with a few mornings of yoga in there.  Great tip, thanks!

Putting it in your calendar is a great idea! You're more likely to work for and achieve your goals of they're written down. I'd recommend writing down your goal yoga schedule- 15 minutes three times per week, or whatever you decide- and putting it somewhere you see every day! I started a personal blog where I can post pictures and chart my progress (based off someone's suggestion in the YBC forum!). It's nothing formal, but I'm hopping that the idea that someone may see it and the "public" commitment will push me to be more consistent and stick to my own goals!

 

The public commitment part is so true.  I think it would help out a lot. 

I have practiced yoga for several years with varying levels of commitment. I have had months when I practiced daily, and months when I neglected my mat, and months where I practiced somewhere in between the two extremes. Between parenting, working, taking care of a household, and all of life's other busy-ness it is too easy to let go of the priority to take care of myself. About eight weeks ago, I vowed to commit to my practice once again, to explore why I so often break the commitment even though I reap amazing benefits, and to work toward a daily practice. I am currently practicing five days a week, both at home and at a local studio.

 

Good luck to you, Wildore! I think that 3x per week is a great goal, but I know for me, I have to get to my mat every day, even if it is for just a quick meditation, a ten-minute video, or a couple rounds of sun salutations. I think it helps me keep it a priority.

 

Here are some things I have found that help me get to my mat regularly:

  • I leave my mat out, unrolled, ready to welcome me at any moment. It is in a room that is also used for other purposes; it is not a perfect nor beautifully decorated yoga sanctuary (although I did create a little altar near the mat to make the space seem a bit more sacred and with purpose). The point is, it can be anywhere--the kitchen, the hallway, wherever. 
  • I set my alarm for the same time each weekday, 5:30am, and go immediately to my mat (I do this even if I plan on taking a studio class later in the day.). Some mornings I eagerly go, some mornings the thoughts in my head are like a small child, throwing a tantrum. I go anyway. This is how I discovered Candace. I was looking for gentle morning yoga videos, as short as 10 or 15 minutes. Just something to get me moving on my mat. Somedays 10 minutes only, and I am off to enjoy my favorite cup of coffee. Other mornings, I stay longer, a 30+ minute practice feels good. I think Sun Salutations are a great way to build strength needed for more advanced poses.  
  • I keep a yoga journal. I think this has been the number one tool to keep my motivation high. After each yoga practice, I take a few minutes to write the date, time, where I practiced (@home or @studio/teacher), and the duration. Then I jot down something about the practice: how did I feel, what pose did I enjoy the most, what pose did I resist the most, did I feel focused/distracted, did I have any proud moments in this practice? I don't want to have to skip a day, so it has been a good incentive for me. 
  • I try to keep yoga current in my mind: I read yoga-related or yoga-inspired writing (e.g. currently reading Pema Chodron), I seek out yoga online via video (Candace!), Pinterest, blogs, this forum, et cetera. I am also working my way through the e-book Forty Days of Yoga (http://www.amazon.com/Forty-Days-Yoga-Kara-Leah-Grant/dp/0473239582/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414467712&sr=1-1) which is good read as I work toward my goal of a home practice. 
  • I try to do yoga poses throughout the day: tree pose while washing the dishes; plank pose during TV commercial, downward dog while I am talking to the kids about their homework (they have gotten used to talking to me while I am upside down lol). No, it doesn't replace a full practice, but it helps build strength which I am eager to bring to the mat. 
  • I write it on my calendar, just like any other appointment or important event.

I am enjoying reading what inspires others to show up at the mat regularly!

Yoga journal!  I think this will be a great step in the right direction for me.  Thanks so much for your input!

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I find myself more motivated (forced motivation haha!) when I get ready in the mornings and deliberately dress in yoga-appropriate clothes rather than putting on a typical dress or jeans. Then I'd have to get changed in order to not practice, and it makes more sense to roll out the mat than get changed twice in one morning. That's my version of logic anyway! 

 

If a day goes by in which was not deliberately a rest day and I feel I should have practiced yoga but didn't, I go to bed earlier and do some gentle yoga in bed. I'm pretty sure Candace has a before bed yoga video on her site which could give you some good ideas. And with any luck this will lead you to a peaceful sleep. 

Turi, andiphant, Yogabliss and 1 other like this

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Thanks! I just signed up in Wordpress- novicetonamaste.wordpress.com. I'm thinking i'll do the 39 day challenge on there too to track my progress. I'd definitely be open to the forum journal idea too!

Cool!  MrBalloonHands just enabled the reader blog feature on the forum. It looks like you can add externally linked blogs too, so you don't have to transfer any entries?

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Hi!

Also a full time student and have a part time job so I totally understand the stress of it all.  I have been doing yoga since about my freshmen year of high school too but never made it fully part of my routine until about a year ago.  I think the most important thing is to set an intention.  Sometimes right when I get up and only have five minutes to spare, I'll do some yoga in bed before I get up (child's pose, cat cow, etc).  Other times, I set an alarm 20 minutes earlier and do it then.  I think you just need to find what fits for you, maybe it's before you go to bed.. whatever it is, just remember to do what is best for you  :)

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I made a commitment to myself to practice everyday...

What I do and for how long depends on how my body is feeling. During the week when I'm working I can only do 30 minutes - at weekends I do 60 minutes and I also attend a 60 minute class. Even when I don't feel like it I do something.. Even if it's just a 10 minute relaxation routine before going to bed and everytime I'm glad I've pushed myself to complete my practice.

I also track all my yoga.. There is an app called yoga tracker that I use which is great and I can chart my achievements.

fshliz09, laceyd, Yogabliss and 2 others like this

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I made a commitment to myself to practice everyday...

What I do and for how long depends on how my body is feeling. During the week when I'm working I can only do 30 minutes - at weekends I do 60 minutes and I also attend a 60 minute class. Even when I don't feel trike it I do something.. Even if it's just a 10 minute relaxation routine before going to bed and everytime I'm glad I've pushed myself to complete my practice.

I also track all my yoga.. There is an app called yoga tracker that I use which is great and I can chart my achievements.

I too made a commitment to myslef to practice everyday. I started by focusing on building the habit of making a little time (15-20 mins/day) every day to practicing. My goal now is an hour/day which includes meditation but if I can only squeeze in 30 min, I don't beat myself up for it. I am grateful that I accomplished making time for myself, however small it is. There are times that I have to convince myself to not be lazy but I never regret it. Who does? LOL

 

I don't have the money for classes. 3 kids to suppport there is not enough room in the budget for it. But there are a lot of tools and insirpation out there to help you practice at home. The yogabycandace videos have been my lifesaver!

 

I will have to check out that yoga tracker app for sure! I've always wanted to track my progress in some way. When I really dedicated myself to yoga it wasn't about making progress really it was more about finding a release from my depression and stress.

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