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The most well-intentioned plans don't always become reality, especially if you have a busy home and work life. If you're feeling a little disappointed because you haven't kept up with your yoga goals, there's no better time than the present to explore what went wrong and make changes that will help you renew your commitment.
Was Time an Issue?
It's not always easy to schedule regular yoga sessions when you have a demanding job, an active social life, and family commitments. Although you may have assumed you would find plenty of time for yoga back in January, life may have become much more complicated since then.
No matter how tight your schedule, you may be able to carve out some time for yoga if you're willing to be a little more flexible. Getting up a half-hour early or taking advantage of your lunch break can help you stick to your commitment.
Making time for yoga is particularly important if your busy schedule leaves you frazzled. Women who participated in an Iranian yoga study reported a significant decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression after 12 sessions of hatha yoga. Even though it may be difficult to squeeze a yoga session into your day, you'll be glad you did when your stress level decreases.
Do You Practice Yoga Alone or Others?
A sense of community is one of the most important benefits of participating in yoga classes or doing yoga with a friend. When you practice yoga with other people, it's only natural to encourage each other to grow and accomplish much more than you ever expected. You may also be less likely to skip a session when you forge connections with your fellow class members or don't want to disappoint your yoga buddy.
Did You Experience an Injury?
After an injury, it's not always easy to get back into yoga. You may be afraid that you'll injure yourself, or might have gotten out of the daily yoga habit. Luckily, your instructor can help you ease back into classes and offer suggestions that will prevent a new injury.
Do You Need Help Mastering More Complicated Poses?
Did you plan to perfect the one-handed tree pose or another complicated pose this year but didn't quite reach your goal? It's disappointing when your plans don't work out, but that doesn't mean you must abandon your goal. Your yoga instructor may be able to offer a few tips that will help you develop the skills to master poses that are challenging for you. He or she can also recommend aids that may make performing the poses easier.
Recommitting to Your Goals Starts with a Realistic Plan
If your yoga plan involved daily two-hour sessions or advancing from the beginner to advanced level in six months, you may want to set more realistic goals. When you create your goals, consider:
Time. How much time can you carve out of your day for yoga? You'll probably want to spend at least 30 to 60 minutes practicing your asanas, but it's perfectly fine to skip a class occasionally or try 15-minute sessions if your schedule is tight.
Skill Level. Slow and steady progress is the best way to advance in your yoga practice. Although you may ultimately want to reach an advanced practice level, focus on perfecting two or three intermediate poses at a time before moving on to more complicated ones.
Your Interests. It's much easier to find time to do anything, whether it's yoga or reading, if you truly enjoy it. Hot yoga may be incredibly popular these days, but if you hate getting hot and sweaty, you'll probably be tempted to skip classes. Luckily, with so many types of yoga available, it's fairly easy to find a form that interests you.
Need a little help recommitting to your goals? An experienced yoga instructor can help you improve in your practice and find a form of yoga that you'll love. Contact us to learn how you can join a class.
International Journal of Preventive Medicine: The Effects of Yoga on Stress, Anxiety and Depression, 2/21/18
Yoga Journal: Setting Goals and Intentions
Shape: Yoga for Beginners, 3/3/17