Spending Time on the Mat

Have you wanted to take your yoga practice one step further and start your own little regular practice? Are you uncertain about how to start? Are you afraid you don’t know what sort of practice is the best to start with? No matter how experienced you are, you might need some straightforward ways to start your personal practice.

There are many ways of getting on the mat every day, one thing we all seem to have in common, which we can take advantage of, is the power of habit. Start off with finding what time of day would be the best for you. If you are a morning person then that is the best time of day for you. Many say that the morning is the very best time to do your yoga regardless, but if you are an evening person, then do yoga in the evening.

No matter which time of day you want to roll out your mat and practice, there are some things to consider. If you are new to building a practice don’t start off too hard or with too much. We all have a tendency to think: oh, I want to do an hour and a half of this every morning! After a few days, however, we lose the will to continue because we have started off too hard.

To begin with, do about 10–20 minutes every day. After that has become a regular practice, you can increase the time on the mat. Make sure you have a good and comfortable space for your mat. Remember to turn off your phone and other distractions that will keep you from concentrating on your yoga.

When you finally get to the mat and have decided what to do, don’t over think it. Start off with some of the poses you know and feel is good for you. With time and practice, you can develop what exercises you do and expand your practice. Just don’t go too quickly forward with either.

Another help on the way is to keep a diary of your practice, nothing big, just a note of which poses or exercises you did and, if you want, a few words of what it felt like. Keeping a diary will help you keep track of how much you actually did. If you for some reason stop your practice for a few days, it is much easier to see exactly how many days you have skipped. A week can often feel like just a couple of days, the diary will then be an easy way of checking in on yourself. If you decide to scribble a few words of what it felt like to do the exercises, you can also track your development in each pose, especially if you do the same poses every day.

There is no right way of starting your practice, just go with your gut feeling. If you want to start with one pose or a breathing exercise, then do. When you have a simple starting point it is easier to keep going. Good luck!

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