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7 Ways to Create a Sustainable Yoga Practice


200-hour Yoga Teacher Training
Establishing and maintaining a dedication to practicing yoga consistently requires planning and viewing this time as relevant and necessary for daily living. -Sandy Raper

In the hustle of daily life, maintaining a consistent yoga practice can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Yet, cultivating a sustainable yoga practice is not only achievable but also essential for long-term physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


In this blog post, we'll explore seven key factors and strategies that can help you build and sustain a fulfilling yoga practice for years to come. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or just starting your journey, these insights will guide you toward greater resilience, balance, and fulfillment on and off the mat.


Sustainability is the backbone of any long-term endeavor. In the context of yoga, it's about maintaining and supporting your practice over time. Wherever you are along your journey, here are some key factors to consider to ensure your yoga practice remains sustainable:

 

7 Ways to Create a Sustainable Yoga Practice

 

1. Consistency

Do what is possible with consistency. Consistency is key to sustainability and begins with a choice. Establish a regular practice schedule that works for you, whether daily, a few times a week, or whatever fits your lifestyle. Make an intentional appointment with yourself and schedule that time in your weekly calendar. Consistency helps build momentum and keeps you connected to your practice. As you devote to this designated time you will begin to reap the benefits of all that the practice offers on your mat and out in life.


2. Variety

Keep your practice fresh and engaging by exploring different styles of yoga, trying new poses, or attending different classes and workshops. Variety is the "spice of life" and keeps you engaged in life and within your yoga practice. Mentally, variety piques our interest and increases engagement, which will also contribute to your ability to create consistency. Variety and developing a cross-training approach to the various styles and transitional movement patterns you practice in yoga allows you to learn and discover new aspects of your practice and prevent overuse injuries. 


3. Create Relevance

Going hand-in-hand with consistency and variety is relevance. Finding relevance and functional associations within your yoga practice as they apply to the activities and daily movements you take in life will elevate the desire to maintain your commitment and dedication to your practice time. Over time, you find that the practice doesn't become an "extra" or a have-to; rather, it becomes a "must" and a keystone habit for your daily living


4. Set Realistic Expectations

Set yourself up by choosing to be realistic about the progress you seek as you develop and grow in your practice. Cultivate a growth mindset that encompasses novelty and allows time for exploring something new. Seek progress over perfection and prioritize levels of improvement over the attainment of mastery. Be intentional about the expectations you set for achieving desired outcomes from the practice. Challenge yourself while inviting discovery within a curious mindset that releases attachment to reaching a particular destination. Remember, the journey is the destination.


5. Factor in Mindful Rest

Rest is just as important as movement in yoga. Incorporating restorative practices, such as yin yoga, deep stretch, gentle flow, meditation, or yoga nidra, into your cross-training approach is crucial. Cultivate balance between the physical and mental aspects of your practice by listening to your body's need for rest and recovery to prevent fatigue and burnout. Honor your body's requests and tune in to its signals. Practice in a way that feels relevant for you, paying attention to any discomfort or pain, and modifying or skipping poses as needed. Honoring your body's limits helps prevent injuries and ensures a sustainable practice in the long run.


6. Community Support

Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow yogis who inspire and motivate you. Joining a yoga class, attending workshops, or participating in online yoga communities can provide encouragement, accountability, and a sense of belonging. Explore different venues where yoga is offered and expand your practice experience by taking classes held as part of community-organized events. Practicing yoga is a relational experience and a great opportunity to connect with others, tapping into being part of something much bigger than ourselves as individuals. In a yoga class, there's a unique opportunity to bond with others through the shared practice of movement, breath, and mindfulness. Practicing alongside others can create a sense of unity and camaraderie as you work towards similar goals of health and well-being.


7. Adaptability

Be flexible and adaptable in your practice, especially during times of change or challenge. If your schedule shifts, your body changes, or unexpected life circumstances arise, adjust your practice accordingly. Remember that yoga is about meeting yourself where you are and adapting to the present moment. Yoga encourages being present and aware of the current moment, allowing practitioners to accept change as it comes without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Practicing the quality of adaptability in yoga will also provide relevance for your daily living. Through challenging poses and sequences, yoga teaches practitioners to stay grounded and resilient even when faced with difficulty. This resilience fosters the ability to adapt to new circumstances and make peace with change.

Prioritizing longevity and sustainability in your yoga practice is an investment in your overall well-being, both physically and mentally. By cultivating consistency, variety, and adaptability, you can experience the transformative benefits of yoga throughout your life's journey. Remember that yoga is a lifelong practice, and by approaching it with intention and commitment, you can enjoy its profound rewards for years to come.





Want to dive into more resources that will support your growth and development as a student and yoga teacher? Check out a variety of resources available through the various Beyond Yoga Teacher Training Platforms with Sandy Raper.





About the author:

Sandy Raper is an E-RYT 500, RYS, YACEP, Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialist, author, and host of her globally recognized Beyond Yoga Teacher Training Podcast.


She has been a respected yoga teacher and mentor for over twenty years dedicating to the ongoing pursuit of educating others on movement literacy within the yoga practice. Sandy seeks to equip yoga teachers with the resources they need to be successful and highly effective in teaching yoga.


Within the Beyond Yoga Teacher Training Programs, Sandy offers a variety of resources to support the ongoing growth and development of yoga teachers through foundational teacher training, online courses, and mentorship. Sandy's much anticipated first book, Teaching from the Heart, will be released in April 2024.


Find all of these resources and more: www.sandyraper.com 





 

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