We don’t wake up one day being good at something and it wouldn’t be very rewarding if we did. Developing skills, habits, and making change takes time, determination and consistency. Showing up on the mat once a month, while making you feel good at the time, won’t have a dramatic impact on your life. But practicing consistently and continuously will. Here are our top tips for how and why consistency pays off in the long run.
How to get consistent in your practice.
Set Weekly Goals and Be Accountable to Them
Set yourself weekly goals for your practice. If your goal is five classes a week, set goals of how many of each style of class you want to attend. And book them in. Make them as important as any work meeting. Once they’re booked in, it’s harder to cancel.
Set Weekly Intentions
Often knowing the ‘why’ is all we need to get a little more motivated. Why are you keeping up this consistent practice? To improve flexibility? To reduce stress and anxiety? Write it down and read it every morning.
Enrol a Partner
It’s easier to stick to something if you know someone else is relying on you to do so. When your friend is at the studio waiting for you at 6am, you’re less likely to snooze the alarm. We’re willing to let ourselves down more often than we would let someone else down.
Give Back to Yourself
If you find it really hard to stick to a routine, or know you’re prone to skipping class here and there, treat yourself at the end of each week if you managed to stick to your routine. It could be a massage to help with tired muscles, a weekend off to spend time with family and friends, or whatever works for you.
The benefits of a consistent practice
You’ll notice a shift in your body
This is a rather obvious benefit of a consistent yoga practice. But through consistency, your body will start to get stronger, more flexible, and more open.
You don’t feel like you’re at square one every time you step on the mat.
Remember your first yoga class? When everything felt impossible? With a consistent practice those feelings fall away. Yes, we all have hard days on the mat, but your body starts to remember where it’s going and what to do. You’ll then be able to deepen and advance your practice much faster.
You realise there is more to yoga than just the poses
With a consistent practice we start to notice a range of other benefits and facets of the yoga practice. We can discover the mindful side of things, dive into more meditation, and even notice habits and emotions that manifest on the mat and how they might be impacting us in every day life.
You learn to prioritise your needs
When we dive into something like a challenge, or decide to create a consistent yoga practice, we realise that sometimes that means letting go of things that aren’t serving us. We might need to leave Friday night drinks a little earlier to make it to the Saturday morning class, or say no to something in order to say yes to something that helps us in our goals. You start to learn a lot about yourself.