Finding motivation for Yoga + Movement at home...

 


Even for the uber-motivated among - and I know there are plenty of you that fit that description - motivation isn’t always the easiest thing. There are so many things in life competing for our time and attention that it can be tough to get mentally geared up for anything that doesn’t have an official deadline… even if it’s something you know is good for you, like an online Sass Yoga class!

Whether you're brand new to virtual classes or you're a long-term pro, how can you ensure that you’re motivated enough to consistently show up for class? It’s totally fine to take a day off from working out now and then, but ideally, to keep you in tip-top physical and mental condition, you should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

So, what can you do when motivation lags for an online yoga class… or any other form of exercise, for that matter?

1. Schedule - commit to a time and make it achievable

Consider what works best for you – are you a morning person or an evening person? We all have so much to do right now but if you want to keep on top of your wellbeing, YOU have to make it a priority. Start by looking at one session each week and then on the other days make sure you get out for a walk or try a little stretch every morning and night. As much as exercise should fit into your life, sometimes, it's also about creating a slot to fit it in.

2. Make some space

Try and make a place to practice. It doesn't always have to be peaceful and quiet - I sometimes like the challenge of switching off in a busy environment. Having a wall nearby might be helpful too but it’s not essential. Realistically, you only need space the same size as a mat, with a little room for arm movement. Consider adding a candle or two, maybe some incense, a photograph or quote that inspires you and if possible, leave your mat out permanently in view as a reminder. Also, you’re more likely to declutter your mind if the space you are practising in is also clutter-free.

3. Get a mat and grab some props

One of the best things about yoga is that you don’t need much equipment. However, a mat and props (a strap and a couple of blocks) can help you commit to your practice and make some poses more comfortable or more interesting!  If you need help choosing a mat, give me a shout! I also get good discount with Sweaty Betty, Manduka and Yoga Mad. 

4. Find a Yoga buddy

It's not an original instruction, as there's plenty of recommendations for why an accountability buddy will help you stay motivated in your wellness journey but it really works! Find someone in your life who is equally excited to get into a good fitness routine, then invite them to be your accountability partner for online yoga classes. One of the best things about recruiting a buddy for online workouts is that you can both get your sweat sessions in on your own terms, in your own space, and on your own schedule. For these kinds of online workouts, having an accountability buddy can even work when we’re dealing with social distancing!

You can check in with your accountability buddy any time you’re feeling your motivation lagging and cheer them on when they’re feeling the same way. The National Institute for Fitness & Sport highly recommends this approach!

5. Work towards a goal

We all have a general understanding that working out has plenty of benefits for our physical and mental health, but when that’s not enough to get you pumped up for a gym session, jog, or online yoga class, it might be time to show yourself some tough love....

Let’s get specific. What do you actually want to accomplish with your online yoga classes? Do you want to be more mobile? Increase your body strength? Improve your mental health? Use the time for yourself to just clear your mind? Or do you just want to get more comfortable with exercise?

There’s no “right” or “wrong” answer, and no goal is too small. The trick is to simply set a goal.

Write it down somewhere you can see it regularly. Tell your friends and family about it - tell me about it! That way, when you’re feeling less than motivated to follow through with an online yoga class, you’ll have a clear reminder of why you wanted to do it in the first place. I personally think that just committing to a weekly workout plan is a great goal to have!


9. See it through

If you’re one of those people who seeks the “perfect” practice, know that it doesn’t exist - there is no perfect in my classes - we are always learning, always growing. 

In practical terms, try not to spend the time you’ve allocated to yoga procrastinating. Add it to your schedule and unless there's a genuine reason to stop practising, try and see it through. It’s the nature of the monkey mind to keep searching for “perfection” but whatever unfolds you will learn something (whether about yoga or yourself). 

Know too that the biggest lessons are usually learned from doing what you find challenging – be this physically or mentally. 


10. …at the same time, cut yourself some slack 

For all its benefits, practising at home can, of course, sometimes be more challenging than going to a studio. If finding time to squeeze your yoga practice in between work and family commitments causes you more stress than going to an external class, then that’s fine too. The key thing is that you just show up on your mat open, present, accepting and curious – wherever it happens to be.

Now take a deep breath, make a plan and book your class. I for one, can't wait to see you! 😍


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