Knowing yoga (or any other exercise) makes you feel happier, fitter, healthier and more confident doesn’t mean it’s always easy to motivate yourself into actually doing it. How can you make daily yoga seem easy and reap the benefits for the whole of the summer?
Regular yoga is easy for some. It’s a passion for the discipline that grows inside you like a flower that’s continually watered by the feeling of euphoria you get every time you do it. The balance it brings to your life is unbeatable and almost indescribable to non-yoga fans. But for others, even this is not enough and it’s not so easy to make the effort or find the time for a session. Life events can be a distraction and yoga can appear to be a chore – something we feel we ‘should’ do but don’t. Sadly, yoga can become a bandwagon that we’re continually jumping on and off, on and off.
If you live this way, not only are you missing out on all the fantastic benefits of yoga, but the avoidance creates constant niggling thoughts at the back of your mind that say: ‘I should,’ or ‘I’ll do it tomorrow,’ and this is laced with guilt and a lack of self-trust (because you know you will break your promise to yourself), and all of these layers of negative thoughts and feelings are uncomfortable and stressful. This means irregular yoga takes you further away from inner and outer harmony than if you’d never done yoga at all!
It’s the same with eating healthily, and as we know yoga and healthy eating are connected. It’s so easy to get stuck in a pattern of doing yoga, eating well and feeling good, then ‘falling off the wagon’ and stopping yoga and eating badly and feeling bad.
Are you in this latter stage? If so, it’s important to get out of it. But how?
One way is to use the Five Minute Rule.
How to use the Five Minute Rule
It’s simple. Just promise yourself you’ll do five minutes of yoga at the same time every day. Set your alarm and do it. Five minutes is easy. Tell yourself you’re only committing to five minutes, no more, no less. Do some yoga and when the five minutes is up, stop and get on with your day.
You’ll find, after a few days, your motivation to do more is building and you’ll get a feeling of being restrained by your five minute rule. So now is the time to identify this feeling and use it to change the game – repeat the process and up your time to 10 minutes a day.
Same time every day, 10 minutes of yoga. No more, no less. Make sure you don’t go over time, even if you feel like it.
After a few days, you’ll get the feeling of being restrained by your 10 minute rule. So you can use the feeling to up your game and… well you don’t need any more help with this, just move on to 15 minutes, then 20, until you’re happy with the amount of yoga you’re doing.
To get good habits ‘set in’ in the long term, and stop the repeat pattern of falling on and off the yoga wagon, booking yourself on a yoga retreat is a really good idea as a week of twice daily yoga sessions, and an abundance of healthy and delicious food will cement your new habits for months. You’ll feel fantastic and have the best summer of your life.