How to Make Yoga Habitual while Improving Neuroplasticity
Creating a daily yoga practice
A lot of us are looking how to make yoga a habitual part of our life. Whether you’re looking for help to start a yoga practice or be more consistent, below are 4 ways we can understand how to use the brain to our advantage to build a practice.
Before I continue, I want to address the concept of improving neuroplasticity. In general the improvement of neuroplasticity is not an end result. There needs to be a purpose in the neural changes we are attempting to achieve.
So these 4 concepts apply to improving neuroplasticity for any patterns of thought or behavior we’d like to change.
Examine what you are specifically passionate about in your yoga practice and focus on that. Meditation, slow flow, a specific asana, chanting or a certain style of yoga are a few examples. Our passions are extremely personal to each of us so once you’ve figured that out, practice the part of yoga that excites you the most. Know why you practice and go from there.
Yes, once you’ve figured out what you love about your yoga practice, do it over and over again. This step may be somewhat of a no brainer in building a habit, but the key is to do what’s accessible to you. Don’t make plans to go to a daily 90 minute yoga class if that is not feasible to do because of time, health or other commitments. For example, if meditating is your jam, meditate for 5 mins as soon as you get up or before you get in bed. Start where you are. If you can only do this one day a week. Start there and you may start to see other opportunities arise (check out my blog on ”“How to Train the Brain to Manifest Quickly” to understand why you may start to notice more opportunities to practice) You can also do something simple like practice one one pose a day for a week (yes. Savasana counts)
So do what you love, do it often, and do it different ways. This can be as simple as starting your poses on the left side if you always start on the right. Taking classes from different teachers with different styles is another way. There are many styles of meditation so try a different method. Contact me if you need help figuring how to add novelty to whatever part of yoga you’re loving and repeating.
4. Focus and Awareness
Doing both of these may be the biggest key to changing neural pathways to creating a habitual yoga practice. Focus is more of an immediate paying attention to what you’re doing in your practice. Whereas awareness is paying attention so you may notice changes from practicing. You may be surprised and find that both focus and awareness may bring you to finding that your passion in your yoga practice has changed. Since our minds so easily distract us, here are two analogies to help letting go of the distracting thoughts. Imagine your thoughts are like balloons, but you let go of the string as the ballons float away. Are you a fan of nature? Imagine those thoughts like clouds drifting across the blue sky. They come and they go gently.
If after reading this, you’re having a bit of overwhelm, I invite you to start simply with practicing sun salutations here. Do as much or as little as you can, but remember these four things so you can train your brain and have a more consistent yoga practice.
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