Yoga Practice

Why Yoga is the Perfect First Little Step

We hear it all the time: Change one thing in your life at a time. Just one little change can make a huge difference, and it won’t even be difficult.

Where I work, we had an entire presentation about how to better balance our health, with methods divided into social, mental, emotional, and physical. They even counted this seminar as part of our professional development training, because they just believed it to be so important.

I’ve read several books about motivation and improving your life, and been part of many online communities centered around the same concept. If you want to change your habits, especially without a catalyst, you have to do it one small change at a time.

It makes sense. Focusing on only one specific goal can make it possible to allocate quite a bit of mental resources to the task, preventing others from distracting and detracting from the most important goal. I think there’s a lot to be said for changing your habits one at a time like this.

I’ve found yoga to be an excellent fit for this habit-changing strategy. It’s easily quantifiable; you can have a series of poses that you like to practice every day, a class you attend every week, or an amount of time that you want to spend on yoga regularly. You can have a pose or sequence you wish to master, or you can even join a program to become a certified teacher yourself.

Don’t fit your life into someone else’s yoga; fit yoga into your own life.

Another currently popularized idea is that it’s incredibly difficult to start a new habit or stop an existing one. Instead, the recommended course of action is to change an existing bad habit into a new good habit.

I think that the adaptability of a yoga practice makes it perfectly suited for this tactic as well. A bad habit of driving through to get fast food on the way home from work can be redirected to stop at a gym or a park or a yoga studio.  

Being accustomed to coming home and collapsing on the couch can be changed simply by putting a yoga mat in your way, as a reminder. Obstacles, distractions and misdirections can be an excellent tool in amending a habit, and yoga can offer that as well.

Of course, these are just common examples. The (non-physical) flexibility of yoga means that even in more unusual circumstances, these principles can apply. You can be a certified yoga teacher working a desk job who finds a chance to teach his co-workers, a mother with two grown children looking for a new focus, an overwhelmed college student looking for stability, and you can find what you’re looking for through yoga.

It just fits.

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1 Comment

  1. Megan Reddix

    Megan Reddix

    August 29, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Great post Jenn! We are currently going through a major change at work right now, and we have also been having seminars about change and how to better balance our lives especially as big changes are occurring. Unfortunately for many, the change is not going well. It’s not necessarily because it is a bad change, but more of a reluctance to something new, and even more so an exhaustion initiated by the change while regular life is still happening all around us. I have begun to stress the importance of breaks. Not just a lunch break, but a 5 minute break when you begin to feel frustration seeping in to stretch, walk around, meditate, or just take a moment to breathe and refocus. Little do they know, I’m creeping yoga into their lives 😉

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