For some persons, it seems obvious to continue practicing yoga on a daily basis. For others it’s a recurring challenge with lots of attempts to build a structural yoga practice. How is this going for you?
By becoming more aware of what motivates you, you can use your insights to maintain your yoga practice easier. That is why you will not only find explanations of various motivators regarding yoga in this yoga blog, but also a number of questions that can help you to clarify your yoga goals. Like a blue print that can helps you to keep you motivated.
What is your motivation to continue practicing yoga?
Because, let's stay realistic, don’t 'learn' yoga in a year or so. It’s a journey whereby you continue learning more, while you are not even aware completely about what there is to learn more about. Yoga offers a system to support your life ... if you continue to practice. This, however, requires a long-term commitment, which is more difficult than motivating yourself for a short period.
Today I heard about out that there are three types of motivators:
- Incentive (such as a challenge or reward)
Yoga to resolve pain
How many people have started their yoga practice in order to fix pain? I think a lot. This could be physical pain, such as back pain or a knee injury. But you could also perceive stress, anxiety and depression as a pain, which also attracts a lot of people to try yoga.
Also for myself was stress the reason to start practicing yoga on a daily bases (instead of now and then). But even before that, I was attracted to yoga because it seemed to me a pleasant way of moving, which I used as a way to prevent pain, medical issues and fatigue.
Yoga because you are challenged or because you get a reward?
This sounds a bit strange, isn’t it? That seems so contradictory to yoga right? But if you practice yoga to feel more energetic, the energy is also a reward. And that amazing feeling after a yoga class is also a reward.
Or what do you think about a challenge to practice yoga each day for a specific period (eg. 30, 60 or 100 days)? In that case it is not about how much you’re doing in your yoga practice, because you have to align that to that days needs even to be able to finish your challenge. But it is about your dedication to your yoga practice. Such a yoga challenge can help to make your practice a habit, a habit that is worth it to create. Precisely because in the end you won’t even consider whether or not you will roll out your yoga. You just do it. In THIS yoga blog, you can read what such a yoga challenge has brought me.
Growth & yoga: stay curious
Growth is personally my biggest motivation for my yoga practice. Especially because of reasons that don’t have so much to do with the body. Because I am curious about how life works, who I am, how I can become the best version of myself and definitely also how I can support other people better in a way that I truly enjoy.
For this kind of growth, the subtle effects are important. And without consistency, it is difficult to retain what you have already discovered and being able to explore more. In other words, the yoga niyama 'tapas' is necessary for this, for which you use discipline and enthusiasm.
Make a blueprint for your yoga practice
By getting clearer why you want something and why you want it now (even when the objectives are long term), it becomes easier to take the necessary actions. You can use the questions below to get this clearer. I would suggest to write it down, so grab your favorite notebook and pen.
1) Describe how the various motivators are relevant to your yoga practice:
2) What is your goal regarding your yoga practice?
Recommendation: don’t focus on certain yoga postures, but at how you feel by practicing yoga in a certain way. And how it makes you feel after you have done your yoga practice.
3) Why do you want this?
How does this support your purpose and dharma in your life? How will this goal support your life? How will you feel if you have not achieved this goal?
4) What mindset do you need to achieve your goal?
Formulate this in the form of "I am ... .." statements.
5) How are you going to achieve your goal?
What are the specific actions and steps that come back daily or weekly? What are the things that you will stop doing to make space for what you want to do instead?
6) When will you carry out these actions (from the previous question)?
Recommendation: put this immediately in your schedule for the next few weeks.
7) Which barriers, fears and/or limitations do you have to overcome in order to actually implement your plan?
Recommendation: put reminders in your schedule to regularly evaluate how this is going and what you can do to improve this.
Enjoy your Habits© today with love and light!
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