How I’m Building a Daily Yoga Practice

building a daily yoga practice

One way I’ve been trying to Find The Good Everyday in 2017 is by building a daily Yoga practice. What a difference this ritual has made to my wellbeing! All of my practices are at home and I mostly use videos that are freely available on YouTube.

My starting point

I’d done the odd yoga class in the past and I attended regular Pilates classes a couple of years ago. I had also dipped my toes into Yoga with Adriene’s youtube channel but hadn’t got into the habit of practicing yoga with any regularity.

For 2017 I set myself the goal of completing Adriene’s Yoga Revolution as it was shared throughout January.

To prepare myself, I:

  • got myself some outer accountability by declaring my intentions on Instagram
  • set myself the task of sharing a photo on Instagram each day to confirm I’d done the practice
  • set a daily reminder on my phone to DO the yoga!
  • created a checklist in my bullet journal to check off the days as I went.

A sense of achievement

Yoga Revolution was a success! When I got to Day 31 I was so incredibly proud of myself that I’d completed it. I totalled up the amount of time I spent practicing yoga in January…15 hours 22 minutes!

During those 31 days I begun to feel:

  • stronger,
  • fitter,
  • more relaxed,
  • at peace,
  • more flexible and
  • more aware within my own body.

All these benefits meant I wasn’t ready to give up anytime soon.

Namaste

Moving from the 31 day challenge to building a daily yoga practice

I kept going by choosing daily from the huge catalogue of videos available for free on You Tube. I kept the reminders in my calendar and a monthly log in my bullet journal so I knew what practices I had done and how long I was practicing each day. February and March passed by with yoga becoming a core part of my daily routine.

My newly developed routine was shaken up in April when we were away from home for over a week. Adriene also offers a paid subscription service. The subscription has an app allowing you to download practices to your phone to view at any time. With our trip approaching I made the call that it was worth investing in. I felt I had certainly got my money’s worth (before I’d paid anything!) from the access to free videos on YouTube. Plus the money paid is used to fund more free content which is available to everyone.

And I’ve just kept going from there. I mostly do the YouTube practices via our TV in the lounge. If we are away or I need to find a quieter space I play videos on my phone.

Allowing myself to pick practices based on my mood, schedule and energy levels has meant that I haven’t given up. I can always find a practice that suits me on any given day. To me, it still counts as practicing yoga even if it’s a 5 minute video or learning the corpse pose!

Keeping my interest levels up

yoga by candlelight

I found as the months went by that my daily average practice was decreasing. Often I would find myself leaving yoga until the end of the day when I’d pick a quick practice so I could take myself off to bed. I’ve done a few things to challenge this habit and ensure I am making the most of my Yoga practices:

  • In June I took part in an online week long retreat.

    For each day there were a couple of suggested practices, a journalling prompt and another activity such as a nature walk or meditation. This was fantastic for breaking me out of what had become my yoga comfort zone, trying some new practices and immersing myself in yoga!

  • Then in August I completed a week long Yoga Ritual series for paid members.

    This came with a calendar which offered a daily 15 minute yoga practice plus 5 minute meditation. Adriene suggested to start each day with a glass of water with lemon and go on a daily walk. There was also a daily prompt which you could journal or ponder about.

  • And in September I made the call to work through the 30 Days of Yoga challenge

    This has probably been the most challenging series I’ve done but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

Having surpassed 275 days of yoga, I am now approaching 300! The ultimate goal is to close out 2017 with a 365 day streak.

Overcoming injuries and time restraints to get it done!

pyjama yoga

There have been days when it’s been really tough trying to get to the mat. I had tendonitis in my wrists a couple of times and chose to do hands free practices until I was recovered so I didn’t break my streak.

I’ve been poorly and done “Yoga for When You Are Sick” several times and there’s been a couple of days when I’ve found myself doing “Yoga for When You’re Angry” and “Yoga to Calm Your Nerves”. All great practices!

Some days have ended up with just a 5 minute practice from the “Quickies” series and other days I’ve done over an hour of yoga. It’s been a fantastic experience and the benefits I experienced after the first 31 days have increased with the more time I’ve spent on the mat. I’ve also found that, for me, it’s easier to commit to doing something DAILY rather than a few times a week.

 

I’d love to hear from you if you’re a fan of yoga or this post inspires you to try building a daily yoga practice. Namaste.