As someone who works at a yoga studio, way too often I see familiar faces disappearing after a few weeks of consistent attendance. I call this coming down from the "yoga high."
Students will buy a package, make an effort to come every single day because they love how yoga makes them feel, make time in their busy schedules, tell all their friends and family, maybe even snap a quick picture in a pose they have been working on to share on social media and then suddenly...life gets in the way again.
They are back at square one. Yoga becomes something in the back of their minds that they will get back to if they find the time...maybe.
That Yoga High
When you first try yoga and enjoy it, there is this feeling that you get that is indescribable. You feel your mind, body, and soul aligning during class and you carry the mantra the teacher repeated throughout class with you for the rest of your day, leaving you happy and calm.
This feeling is what keeps you coming back. You get - for lack of a better term - an addiction to the practice.
But then, something comes up and you can't practice - maybe you get sick, maybe you have a family emergency, maybe you don't feel like putting on yoga clothes and driving to the studio that day.
But that passion for the practice doesn't have to disappear over time. Here are five ways to help make yoga a daily habit so that you can hold on to that yoga high:
1. Make a routine.
Sit down, look at your studio schedule, and figure out what classes are best for you that week, or even in that month.
If you have an agenda or planner, put it in! This way, you can plan your day around your yoga class. If you create a time slot for yoga, you cannot book yourself up for that time. Once you get used to going to a specific class throughout the week, it will inevitably just become a part of your routine.
2. Sign up for classes in advance.
If your studio has the option to register for classes online, DO IT! This way you are one step closer to your wonderful Savasana. It also holds you accountable for showing up to class. You are already committed!!
3. Create a home practice.
This is super important if you want to stick with your daily yoga practice. If you're ever in a situation where you can't get to your yoga studio or you just don't feel like leaving your house, have a home practice that you can fall back on.
Make a list on your phone of poses you want to work on, along with pictures of your favorite yogis doing those poses. When you are at home, look through that list and get inspired to work on the mat.
You can google yoga sequences to prepare you for those poses, or even practice online or download a yoga app with full length yoga classes. There are plenty of resources online that you can follow to make your home practice as great of an experience as the one you have in the studio.
And you don't have to worry about what anyone thinks of you if you are nervous about trying something new. Find a quiet place in your home that you don't normally spend a lot of time in. Add some candles, roll out your mat and you're good to go. Your home practice is where all the magic happens!
4. Bring friends and family!
If you find friends and family that love yoga as much as you, awesome! This will encourage you to go to more classes as it is something you can do together.
There is nothing better than spending time with friends and family through an amazing yoga class.
Together, you will create happy energy to take with you for the rest of your day.
It's also so fun to watch each other grow and get stronger from class to class.
5. Join a challenge.
At my studio, they sometimes host a 20-in-30-days challenge for students. You have to complete 20 classes in 30 days. If you are new to yoga or trying to get into it, this is the best way to do it.
Usually the studio will have a list of names on the wall where you can mark how many classes you have completed that month. This gives you a reason to go to class on the days when maybe you weren't planning to.
Sometimes the studio will even give money to charities based on how many people complete the challenge (sometimes even a free t-shirt — and who doesn't love free t-shirts??).
If your studio does not host challenges, make a personal one just for yourself! A good idea to keep track is to have 2 mason jars with 20 popsicle sticks in 1 (or more if you'd like). Write down something rewarding for yourself on half of the sticks.
This could include "ice cream for dessert" or "treat yourself to a new yoga top." When you complete a class, move one of the sticks to the other mason jar. If it has a reward on it, yay for you! If not, you better keep going!!
Keep this going for 30 days and watch how fast you'll complete 20 classes. After the challenge, you will be so used to going to classes that you won't even need rewards; going to class IS the reward!
You can even check out Instagram for fun yoga challenges that come with awesome prizes if you complete them. This also encourages you to get on your mat each day to participate.
Not only will you be getting on your mat every day and challenging yourself, but you'll be surrounded by an amazing virtual community participating with you!
Whatever you do, don't let your "yoga high" fade away. No matter how long you've been practicing, you can always reap beautiful benefits from stepping onto your mat.