Five Simple Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated when starting Yoga
I am so excited to have a guest blogger joining me in advising new yoga students how to stay motivated. Cassie Phillips is a yogi in her late 20s and a health blogger for ehealth informer. I have put her name by her advice and mine next to mine giving our readers the best of both worlds.
Many people start yoga and don’t stick with it for a variety of reasons—they injured themselves, they get bored or they are not really sure exactly what they are doing. Don’t give up. Even though it requires dedication and a solid routine to reach your goals, we have a few yoga hacks to help you. There is a growing body of research that yoga is a great start toward a lifetime of taking control of your health since it focuses on improving the connection between mind, body, and spirit.
Here are five great resources to help new students of any age stay focused so that they can start to see the amazing benefits yoga can offer at any age. I am co-authoring this article with a younger yogi who is in her late 20s. Most of you know I am approaching 60. I hope our readers enjoy hearing two perspectives on this subject. Thank you, Cassie Phillips. Cassie is a blogger for www.ehealthinformer.com
Cassie: We live in an age dominated by technology. It appears there’s an app for almost everything, and yoga is no exception. One app that has helped me (under age 30) and many other contemporaries of mine stay focused are Daily Yoga. With 500 poses, 100 meditation exercises and 18 distinct types of background music, users can customize each session to be exactly how they like it. The app also allows users to alter the difficulty level of their sessions, making it a useful resource for both beginners and experts. There are many other yoga apps out there. Some of them help you learn more about the spiritual side of the practice, others offer you tips to improve your form, and some of them can be configured to track your progress and remind you to practice. With these types of apps, though, you sometimes you need to enter some personal information, so think about using a secure connection to vital important data and provide you with that all-important peace of mind.
Andrea: Even us over 50 yogis are getting into apps. My favorite one is called Home Yoga by Olga Kabel, a yoga teacher, and yoga therapist. Her website is called Sequence Wiz and if you have been a yoga student of mine, you will see her influence in my classes. The app costs under $10.00 and it starts with a basic all-around practice. Olga has a lovely voice and a very clear teaching style. Like me, she is a stickler about safety. She also introduces the yogic concepts of physical, energetic or emotional states and then you can specify your activity. There is even a chair yoga practice. She also has a reminder calendar built into the app. You can also pick the amount of time you want to practice or a specific kind of practice like Yoga for Tennis. That sounds right for me.
Cassie: There is no shortage of books available on yoga, and reading is a terrific way to stay focused and enthused. The book that got me started was the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. This book was more about spirituality and self-discovery than yoga, yet it introduces some amazing meditation ideas and opens yoga to a wider audience. The Science of Yoga by William Broad was another book I read shortly after starting yoga. I have always been interested in science, so connecting it to yoga was an eye-opening experience that made me even more interested in the practice. Browse the net and your local library to see what books interest you on the subject; there are many to choose from.
Andrea: My favorite yoga books include The Book of Chakras by Ambika Wauters, a visual encyclopedia for decoding your Chakras. I love teaching Yoga for Balancing the Chakras and working with Chakras through the creation of jewelry. This book has short sections on each Chakra’s qualities and attributes, the influence of the Chakra, a Chakra questionnaire, how to balance each Chakra, meditations for the Chakra and working through negativity. It’s a treasure trove of Chakra information. I also love Sally Kempton’s Mediation for the Love of It and The Mind/Body Prescription by John E. Sarno.
Blogs and Websites
Cassie: Just as for almost anything else, the internet is a major source for information on yoga. You can search through sites just like the one you’re on now and learn a great deal about the yogic lifestyle. If you have specific questions on yoga poses, styles, techniques or pretty much anything else, simply search the web and you’ll find plenty of answers. Some of my favorite yoga websites are:
Daily Cup of Yoga
Mind Body Green
Andrea: My favorite blogs and websites have some things in common with Cassie’s. I love Mind Body Green for its fabulous short articles on everything yogic including nutrition, fashion, meditation etc. After that my websites of choice are not bite size and may require a bit more time for digesting.
Yoga International www.yogainternational.com is my go-to website on all the latest research in everything yoga. I subscribe for $14.95 per month so I have complete digital access. But you can read three articles each month for free and they offer special digital workshops all the time. www.sequencewiz.org referenced above helps me stay on top of Yoga Therapy information and sequences that fit great into my Yoga for Wellness Classes. www.yinyoga.com was where I learned a great deal about the Yin practice. I have also received several pieces of training in Yin and you can experience Yin every Friday with me at Happehatchee at 9 am. Yoga Anatomy— www.YogAAnatomy.net has a good newsletter and small podcasts. They offer in-depth workshops for a fee. I trained with them for close to a year and that is where I learned most of my anatomy that I use in my classes.
Cassie and I agree on the best periodicals for staying motivated. Some of them have both on-line and magazine subscriptions. Yoga Journal seems to appeal to the widest audience, but these other journals offer great reads as well.
The Yoga Journal (subscription and on-line)
Elephant Journal (on-line)
Yoga International Magazine (on-line, older issues available in print)
OM Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine
Integral Yoga Magazine
Let’s not forget YouTube. If you are a visual learner and don’t have time or money to get to classes regularly, videos can be very useful for new yogis since they allow you to see assorted styles and poses performed. You also can explore different styles of yoga inexpensively to help you decide which are appropriate for you. Many yoga experts run their own YouTube channels, some of which have become very popular. Caution, I would not solely rely on YouTube without the knowledgeable eye and hands-on assistance of an experienced teacher if you are new to yoga. Also, it is amazing how a community of yoga students can support you in your goals.
Cassie: The yoga channel I visit most is run by Tara Stiles. She offers actionable yoga advice and interviews top yogis all the time. Getting this kind of expert, in-depth guidance would have seemed impossible once upon a time, but thanks to YouTube, we can now get it whenever we have an internet connection! Other popular yoga YouTube channels are Yoga with Adriene, Yoga with Tim, Kino Yoga, BrettLarkin Yoga.
Andrea: I subscribe to Yoga with Kassandra. She is a Yin Yoga teacher and I also have started making bite size yoga and essential oil YouTube videos myself. Check out my YouTube Channel and consider subscribing to me.
Stick with it!
Getting started with yoga is a big step, but sticking with it is just as important. These resources are designed to provide you with the information and guidance needed to inspire new yogis to stay focused and maintain their practice. Times will surely get tough, but when they do, turn to your favorite source of information, and stick with it!
Special thanks to Author Cassie Phillips. She is a freelance writer who specializes in topics relating to health and tech. For most of her adult life, she started and stopped practicing yoga, but a few years ago she made the decision to commit to it and hasn’t turned back. Now, through her work and personal life, she tries to help others get involved in this life-changing practice.
I wish you health and joy in your day. Namaste, Andrea
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