“This practice becomes firmly rooted when it is cultivated skillfully and continuously for a long time.” -The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 1:14
Habits are powerful, unconscious patterns of behavior that once formed, play a large role in influencing the direction of one’s life. To a certain degree, our lives go where our habits take us. Our bodies, the vehicle; Our habits, the chauffeur.
Here are a few suggestions for succeeding in creating a yoga habit:
- Make yourself accountable. Another aspect of commitment is accountability. Write down your goal and tell someone about your plan. Memorializing the commitment on paper or telling a friend helps set it deep into your mind that you will practice your yoga to achieve your goal. Make yourself accountable to prove that you can do anything you set your mind to.
- Prioritize your life. if a 30 day yoga challenge is something you want to commit to, then make it a priority. Use these 30 days to simplify and streamline your life. Examine your current daily routine and activities and determine what really needs to stay and what needs to get the axe. Maybe that means watching less TV or cutting back on social web surfing so you have time to dedicate to your practice. Most people have plenty of time, they just don’t use it well. Depending on how high the yoga challenge ranks in your priorities, you may also decide to temporarily give up otherwise worthwhile activities to create the necessary time. Chances are if you cut something out of your life, you won’t even notice it’s gone in a month.
- Set a time and have a practice plan. A lot of our daily routine, i.e. when, where, and how we do things, is determined by our habits. Since you’re trying to make yoga a habit, figure out the certain yoga classes you want to attend. Plan for it. Remember, you’re trying to form a habit, and consistency will help with that.
- Educate yourself. This is also a very important step in maintaining your motivation throughout the 30 day yoga challenge. Spend some time at the bookstore or library and browse through the yoga section. Browse the bookshelf in the studio (our free lending library). If you see a book that interests you, get it. Throughout the month, turn to your yoga library and other yoga-related magazines, DVDs, and websites to increase your understanding of whatever aspect of yoga interests you, be it asana sequences, philosophy, history, whatever.
- Write about it. In addition to tracking your progress at the studio on our challenge board, keep track of your 30 day yoga challenge by writing about it in your journal or blog.