Last night I took the first class of an introductory yoga workshop being offered at my local studio (more on that later). Granted, I’ve been doing yoga on and off for a year and a half so I think I know much of the basics - unfortunately it’s been more off than on. And to be honest with you all, I never know why I ever stop going. I mean, I really do love this stuff! So, the only reasoning I can possibly think of is that in 2011 yoga was a hobby, not a habit.
Since one of my main goals for 2012 was to do more yoga one of my favorite instructors urged me to sign up for the introductory course being offered throughout the month of January. I figured it was a good way to get back in the groove, make sure I have the right fundamentals in my practice, get to know others in my community and get used to going to yoga class after work. It’s basically a part of my master plan to turn yoga into more than just a hobby.
So how exactly do we make healthy habits in a world where busyness is like a badge of honor? I mean, let’s face it, we have responsibilities that take up a lot of our day – in my case a job, my freelancing (though I am slowly learning how to say no to projects), this blog, my family etc. Believe it or not, it’s not as difficult as it seems.
We all complain about how we don’t have time. I myself am guilty of saying “I can’t I have to work” far too often. The fact of the matter is that we do have time, we just have to learn how to manage it. Once we learn to do that then it doesn’t seem so bad.
Example: I didn’t go to yoga for much of last year because I would have to go to night classes due to my job. I would then either a) get home late or b) be in a horrendous mood because I’m tired from work. I also use nights to do freelancing and blogging. I kept thinking “I can’t because of x, y and z” instead of just trying it. When I did try it I realized that I actually ENJOY going after work and it’s benefits are worth me reworking my schedule.
2. Start before your scheduled date.
My New Year’s goal for 2012 may have been to do more yoga, but that doesn’t mean I waited until January 1st to start. On the contrary, I started a week prior so that my body and brain would already start developing the habit. That way, by the time I started working again it wouldn’t seem like such a big deal to hop on the trolley and go to class. It’s a nice little trick that actually worked.
3. Don’t half-ass it.
When attempting to develop a home yoga practice last year I was very reluctant to buy props I knew very well I needed. I would try and compensate with soup cans or large books, but it never really worked out for me. As a result, my practice was half-assed and my body and mind didn’t feel as great as the would have otherwise. This in turn made me reluctant and lazy to further persue a home practice.
Moral of the story: Don’t half-ass it. If you’re going to do something do it right. It will make all the difference in the end.
4. Don’t take on more than you can chew.
I would love nothing more than to go to a yoga class everyday, however I know it would probably bankrupt me. As a result I hope to go to class at least twice a week and then compliment it with a home practice. The same applies for any other healthy habit you may want to acquire – do enough to feel a difference and create a habit, but don’t overexert yourself.
And there you have it! Four tips to help you cultivate some healthy habits for 2012.
As for the class itself, it was awesome! It wasn’t a typical class of asanas and breathing techniques, it was a more in depth explanation to help us pay attention to what we’re actually doing. The first night focused on breath, why we do yoga and some muscle action. We also have more room for question and answer sessions and since the workshop is limited to a certain number of people we get more attention. Truly a great way to start the new year!
Image via veronica