It can be very difficult at times to find the motivation to do Yoga, even if we know about all the amazing benefits of Yoga and have experienced them on the mat.
The solution is to stop and take stock of what is going on and work out the steps to take.
In this article, we help you identify what is holding you back, what you want to achieve with Yoga and some key steps to take to get back on track. Take advantage of our handy six-step checklist to help you get to more regular Yoga practice.
What Is Holding You Back from Doing Yoga?
There are many reasons that hold us back from doing Yoga regularly or not at all. We outline the most common challenges below. Is there anyone that fits the picture? Or are there several reasons that might contribute?
Don’t’ know where to start
You would like to get started with Yoga but have no idea how to go about it.
Sick or injured
In case of a physical injury or illness, holding back from doing Yoga is, in fact, a good idea. Certain Yoga poses can make a physical injury worse. However, targeted Yoga poses can also accelerate the healing of an injury.
Solution: Talk to a Yoga studio or a Yoga teacher about your particular situation and find out whether a particular Yoga class would be helpful or not. There are also many great Yoga websites and forums that you can explore to guidance on your particular problem.
Lack of fitness, strength or flexibility
Lack of fitness, strength, or flexibility is not an impediment to doing Yoga. In fact, these issues are the very reason for doing Yoga! The key is to choose the right class or online video that will be respectful of your level of fitness, strength, or flexibility and allows you to ease into Yoga with grace and joy.
Solution: Choose a Yoga class or video that it either for complete beginners or older/limited adults, or uses the words “gentle”, “slow” or “chair”.
Feeling tired can be an overwhelming reason for avoiding Yoga – it feels like it will take too much energy. On the other hand Yoga, and especially Yoga in the morning, can be instrumental in reducing tiredness and bring you back to a greater level of energy.
Solution: Do some sweet and short Yoga at home in the morning. Even 10-15 minutes of Yoga in the morning can make a big difference to how energetic you feel for the rest of the day.
Feeling uncomfortable in Yoga class
Feeling uncomfortable in Yoga class can be a surprisingly big deterrent to doing Yoga. It could be because we feel a bit shy and embarrassed about our Yoga skills by comparison to the others in the class. We may also feel uncomfortable with your Yoga teacher.
Solution: If your issue is shyness and embarrassment, you could do Yoga for a while at home until you feel more confident. Check out the many free YouTube videos or paid online channels. If you feel uncomfortable with your Yoga teacher, read our article on the 10 qualities of a Yoga Teacher you should be looking out for. Have the courage to change your class or teacher, if necessary.
Too busy or overwhelmed
This is probably one of the most common reasons for giving Yoga a miss. Everything just feels too much. However, Yoga and the associated breathing and meditation exercises enable us to connect with ourselves. Through this, we can move to a place of greater calmness and resourcefulness. This, in turn, creates more space for activities such as Yoga.
Solution: Make a commitment to do at least a short amount of Yoga: Even 10-15 minutes of Yoga can make a significant difference. Think about creating a daily routine that incorporates Yoga practice, so that you don’t have to rely on motivation and will power alone.
Again, that’s a very common reason. After all, who has never procrastinated? The sofa, at times, looks eminently more enticing than the Yoga mat. Procrastination, however, can also become debilitating. It can also have deeper psychological reasons which can be explored with professional help.
Solution: A well-thought-out daily routine that incorporates yoga is a great tool to outsmart our own procrastination tendencies. Once the routine is sorted, it can help us avoid that internal battle we immerse ourselves when we procrastinate.
Lack of a suitable space
A lovely home Yoga space can make all the difference to wanting practice Yoga. Often this is not readily available in small, busy or cluttered homes. However, we really only need quite a small space to roll out a Yoga mat. That can be literally anywhere in a house – even in a corner of a room.
Solution: Find a space in your house to claim and that will be known and accepted as your Yoga space – even if it means temporarily shifting some furniture. A Yoga space is best if it is relatively clutter-free, warm and quiet – your little sanctuary.
Add some nice decorations such as candles, incense sticks, colorful pillows and calming ornaments. This will make it instantly feel like a special space and conducive to Yoga practice. Think about introduce some music.
The Six Steps That Help You Get Into A More Regular Yoga Practice
Step 1 Identify the reasons that hold you back from doing Yoga
Did any of the reasons described above strike you as familiar? Note them down, together with the solutions or strategies described to get on top of them, or any of your own creative ideas. you know what’s best for you.
Keep them in mind for when you start writing up your strategies in Step 3.
Step 2 Explore what you want to achieve in Yoga
Now it’s time to explore what you want to achieve in Yoga. Do you want to develop more strength and flexibility? Become fitter?
Or, would you just like to able to relax more and restore yourself to a calmer position?
You may even decide that you want to become more familiar with the philosophy of Yoga and explore its spiritual aspects.
Choose what interests you most and write a few goals down. Be specific. Clarifying your goals will sharpen your focus and deepen your intent about Yoga.
Any time you lose connection as to why you want to do Yoga, you can go back to your writings and reinforce your goals.
Step 3 Set up your strategy
A strategy encompasses a range of solutions or tools, or the “how-to” of achieving the goals you identified in Step 2. Address questions you have such as:
- What type of Yoga do I want to get into? (If in doubt, refer to our article on choosing a good Yoga type for yourself)
- Do I prefer to go to Yoga class or practice in my home environment? If it is at home, which book, online teacher or service will I choose?
- How often do I want to commit to doing Yoga and for how long?
Write the answers to these questions down.
Lastly, go back to Step 1 and identify any strategies you need to implement to overcome any key challenges that stand in your way. Write these down as well.
Keep it as simple as possible and be realistic. It’s better to start up small and have room for improvement, rather than being over-optimistic and fail.
Step 4 Create a routine
Creating a Yoga routine in itself is a great strategy to practice Yoga regularly. A clear and written down routine takes away the need to operate by will power only.
Write down a routine that incorporates the strategies you have identified in Step 3.
The more we practice a routine, the easier and pain-free it becomes, and the more likely we are to achieve our goals.
Find out more about creating a yoga routine in our article on the benefits of practicing Yoga in the morning.
Step 5 Create your Yoga space
If you like the idea of practicing in your own home environment – make it really enticing. Allocate a space – even if it is only a corner of a room – and make that known and accepted.
Try and de-clutter it as much as possible and then add a few decorations such as candles, a Yoga bowl, flowers, a nice picture – you get the drift.
Have a space for your computer or tablet if you plan to do online Yoga. Think of adding some calming music to your practice.
Step 6 Check and Review
Yes, that’s an essential step! Check and review your Yoga goals, strategy, and routine on a regular basis. An idea is to do this on a weekly or monthly basis, together with some other regular tasks or routines you have.
Doing this is a good reminder that you actually have a Yoga strategy and routine. It’s also a good opportunity to see whether it is still working for you, or whether there are aspects that need to be changed or improved.
The Six-Step Checklist
Do you want all of the above summarised onto one page? Check our 6-STEP CHECKLIST TO BUILD A REGULAR YOGA PRACTICE.
You can also use this checklist for anything else in your life you’d like to get more regular about.
Do Yoga with a friend or partner: Doing Yoga with a friend or partner, or even exploring Acroyoga (combined Yoga poses with a friend or partner) can be great fun. It can also just a give that extra motivation to do Yoga on a regular basis
Start to follow some Yoga “gurus” on the internet: There are many amazing and inspiring Yoga teachers and gurus out there. Start to follow one or two of them and become inspired!
Go easy on yourself if it is still hard to get motivated to do Yoga: It happens to the best of us so don’t worry too much about it. There is always a new day to get started. Be gentle on yourself and accept that no-one is perfect.