Let me start off by making one thing clear: your lack of consistency is not because of you, but your yoga practice.
Huh? Let me explain.
If you think that you simply lack motivation, inspiration, or discipline and believe that having these feelings will propel you to a life of consistency you’re not alone. With slogans like “Just Do It,” or peers and mentors claiming that the grind is the answer to being consistent it’s no wonder you believe that you are the problem.
But in the case of a consistent yoga practice, you aren’t the problem, your practice is. Your practice isn’t serving you in the capacity that it needs to in order for you to want to keep coming back to it. I’m not here to tell you to get up earlier (though that can certainly help), to practice for longer (quite the opposite actually), or to find the motivation.
Instead, I’d like to introduce you to the idea that your yoga practice may feel like a weight you’re dragging along because you have evolved. Your yoga purpose may have shifted and your practice could no longer be in alignment with what you need. Notice how I said need, not want!
In order to discover what you need you must first uncover your yoga purpose to help you create a consistent yoga practice that feels less like a chore and more like something that you’re excited to do every day.
What’s Driving Your Lack of Consistency?
I’ve been where you are. I’ve tried all the 30-day meditation challenges, 14-day workout programs, and bought memberships, courses, and books that all claimed to help me create consistency in my life. Rarely I was successful with keeping up the daily practices. Then I’d begin the cycle of beating myself up because why couldn’t I just push through? Why was it so hard to meditate for 10 minutes a day? Why wasn’t paying for the yoga program enough fuel for me to keep going? I had access to what I needed every day! What more could I possibly need??
That’s because the secret to being consistent isn’t about having an outline to follow (though in the beginning, it can certainly be a huge benefit until you know what you’re doing). It’s not about doing your practice at the same time or having the perfect morning routine.
Being consistent boils down to having a meaningful intention that drives your willingness to practice.
Without a clear intention that is rooted in what you really want (we’ll get to the need after), your consistency will suffer. Your lack of consistency is directly related to having a strong intention, which is having a clear why or purpose.
If you’re rolling your eyes at having to make yet another intention because it’s such a “yogi thing” to do, hear me out first. This is not just another thing that yogis do. Having a clear purpose behind why you do things is a part of all aspects of life. Simon Sinket, a thought leader, author, and inspirational speaker for individuals and businesses alike has his book Start With Why and TED Talk of the same concept that is the third most viewed in the world. It’s popular for a reason!
Your why and purpose ARE the secret key to building consistency, keeping yourself happy, and knowing what steps to take for calm, collected, and peaceful days. Your habits, in this case, a yoga practice, is what assists in creating the days of your dreams.
With a clear intention and purpose, I’ve been able to complete Kriyas (a Kundalini term for doing the same practice every day in a row) for 40 days and even 120 days! It worked because my purpose was stronger than my desire to just practice yoga because I knew it was good for me.
How to Make Yoga a Habit (And Keep At It)
Yoga is Different for Everyone
First and foremost I’d like to invite you to think of yoga as more than just the physical practice (Asana). Asana is only one part of yoga and honestly the least important part! Yoga in the West has come to believe that moving our bodies IS yoga and while it has great benefits and shouldn’t be forgotten your yoga practice doesn’t have to include moving your body. Meditation or Pranayama (similar to breathwork) is equally as great a practice for you as Asana. Let go of the weight on your shoulders that you need to physically move through yoga poses every day. But if you want to, that’s perfectly fine if movement suits you better!
Small Habits Are King
A habit must start small. If you plan on committing to daily yoga because it seems like a good idea but haven’t practiced regularly in months you are likely setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m not here to burst your bubble, it can be done, but it is more often than not the small shifts that lead to big results.
Could starting with 10 minutes a day be easier and asking for fewer expectations from yourself? Would committing to twice or three times a week be a way for you to ease into daily practice? Maybe starting with meditation for 5 minutes first and then extending your practice to be longer or include Pranayama is the path for you. There’s no set answer here that I can tell you. It’s up to you to experiment and discover what your yoga journey to consistency looks like.
Tame Your Expectations
Just like how your life probably doesn’t look as aesthetically pleasing as those influencers on Instagram, your yoga practice shouldn’t look like anyone else’s either. I’m not here to hate on or discourage you from buying programs, courses, or books to help you find what works. In fact, please do! You have to start somewhere and sometimes your yoga practice will shift and you’ll feel completely lost, not knowing why your practice doesn’t give you the same spark it once did. That’s normal and getting support through the bumpy patches is highly recommended.
Reel in your expectations by knowing that you don’t need to practice for a set amount of time every day. Encourage yourself to be okay if your practice looks different from day to day. Allow yourself the time to experiment, test, change, and give up on practices or routines that don’t work for you. Day 1 doesn’t start when you figure out what works. Day 1 begins when you decide to commit to yourself. Consistency doesn’t mean doing the same thing every day but having the same purpose (which can also shift). Showing up on your mat, meditation cushion, or your space of practice with the same intention is consistency, even if the practice isn’t the same.
What Kind of Yoga for Daily Life Do You Need?
Now we get into the difference between what you want to do and what you need to do. What you want to do may be a power yoga class every morning because only when you put yourself through a tough class do you feel worthy. But what you may need is yin, a slow practice that helps you be still and feel worth in not doing, pushing, and striving.
You may want to sit in a meditation pose and not have to put in the effort of changing or getting sweaty. But you may need to move in order to not feel anxious later on in your day.
This is where you need to begin your investigation of what your yoga purpose is. Is your purpose to get a good workout? Great! Continue with power yoga. Is your purpose to cultivate stillness in the mind? Yin and meditation are what you’ll want to practice. Maybe your purpose is something deeper. Perhaps you have a curiosity to know if there’s more to yoga and want to explore how your practice serves your self-hate or self-love. Do you practice power or more vigorous classes because you want to lose weight deep down? Or would you prefer to come to a place of acceptance with your body and not feel the pressure behind absolutely needing to move or else you’ll feel bad about yourself?
There’s no set path here as you begin the discovery of your yoga purpose. It gets deep, it can feel intimidating, and it can be a lengthy process! You will probably need to journal, talk it out, and try all sorts of different practices to notice how you feel before, during, and after each. Your purpose for practicing goes far beyond just the yoga high you feel after you practice, but extends to the battle you may face before coming to your mat and the feeling you keep with you throughout your day.
Okay…but how do you even start this process of uncovering your yoga purpose so you can find consistency in your practice? The answer lies in the journey home to your soul.
A Tested Framework for Your Daily Yoga Routine
I’ve spent years trying different kinds of yoga and teaching them and guess what? My practice still changes! This is not a one-and-done type of deal. The evolution of your yoga practice is supposed to change as you evolve as a person. I started yoga to lose weight, but I kept up at it because I wanted to gain strength. Eventually, I used yoga as a way to find self-acceptance in how my body looked and felt. During COVID it shifted to be a safe place for me to let go of thoughts about the state of the world. Today I practice because I desire a connection to peace, quiet, and tranquility that I find best in doing yoga.
Through all of my experimentation, one thing became clear: one type of yoga wasn’t the answer, and it wasn’t just physical. I learned for myself through my changing practice that I needed certain practices for certain emotions, the bad days, the good days, and the days in between. A combination of various styles of yoga, meditation, and journalling gave me the space to dig into what felt right and what left me feeling my best throughout the day afterward, not just while on the mat.
This is why I created Journey Home, a 30-day yoga adventure that combines physical yoga, meditation, and journal prompts. Over the course of a month (or longer, breaks are allowed!) you have a framework that supports you during your exploration of what your yoga purpose is. Once you know your yoga purpose you can pick and choose what works for you more clearly and easily so that your days are filled with less stress, self-hate, frustration, and overwhelm. Instead, once you’ve determined what practices suit you best day-to-day you can create a steady morning routine where you are consistent in your practice because it is in alignment with your unique purpose. With a crystal clear intention, you can say hello to days of calm, peace, and tranquility, plus be able to keep your cool more often when things aren’t great!
Journey Home is the method that can help you shift your morning routine from one of chaos to calmness. It will help you let go of practices you may do to beat yourself up, and instead find ones that nurture you on a body, mind, and soul level. Are you ready to begin the journey home to your soul for the ultimate freedom from your current restraints?
- Try the first 5 days of Journey Home for free to begin exploring what you need from your practice
- Want to explore beyond the physical? Sacred Exploration, my yoga privates, will support you through relinquishing your mental blocks. Book your intro session today!
- Experiment with your yoga practice with vinyasa, yin, and gentle classes on my YouTube channel