How to Stay Motivated in Your Yoga Practice

Okay, so you've decided that this is the year you are going to get into shape, both physically and mentally - you've decided to take up yoga or to recommit to your current yoga practice. Maybe you've signed up for a new class or purchased some new yoga DVDs, or maybe you want to begin your daily yoga practice at home. You're feeling enthusiastic about making some healthy changes in your life, but how can you keep that motivation going throughout the year?
Right after New Years many people are motivated to start a new yoga program or some other type of fitness program, but within a few months give it up, succumbing to frustration or loss of interest. Many people don't know how to maintain enough motivation to get them through the inevitable decline in enthusiasm and plateaus of their practice. Below are some ways to help you maintain your motivation for yoga or any other fitness program.
To stay motivated in yoga:
1) Vary your classes. Try new instructors and new places. Add new postures to your home practice. Keep the tried and true postures, but add something new each week.
2) Use different props for familiar poses. This is another way to create variety. Learn different ways to use yoga straps, blocks and bolsters. Be creative and try new things.
3) Involve your friends. Human beings are social creatures. You're more likely to go to class if you have a friend meeting you there. Get to know some of the other people in your yoga class. Having friends in the class will motivate you to keep coming.
4) Learn about the specific mental and physical benefits of different yoga postures. The more you understand about how yoga is benefitting you, the more likely you will continue your practice.
5) Write down what you hope to get out of yoga. What would you like to change (i.e. more strength, flexibility, balance, peace of mind, etc). Below your goal write what the date will be in two month. When that date comes, complete the following, "Before I started yoga, my body and mind felt; since practicing yoga, my body and mind feel. What a difference." Keep this statement posted somewhere in your home as a reminder of why you started yoga and how it has helped.
6) Whether you take a class or not on a particular day, schedule 15 minutes each day for additional yoga practice at home. Everyone can find 15 minutes at some point during the day and by doing at least something everyday, it becomes a habit, and you increase the likelihood you with stick with it.
7) Create a yoga corner in your home. Carving out a symbolic niche for yoga in your home, makes your practice an undeniable part of your life.
Most important, remember that procrastination and frustration often come with any new venture. Resistance doesn't mean that it's time to throw in the towel. If you keep persisting and ask for help when you need it, you'll push through the plateaus and find a whole new way of health and vitality.
To learn more about quick and effective yoga programs you can do at home, visit:
Nancy Wile, Ed.D. is the founder of Yoga To Go – a yoga organization that provides simple and effective yoga programs for busy people around the world. You can subscribe to her free yoga and fitness newsletter at:
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