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how to start a yoga practice

May 29, 2021


How To Start a Yoga Practice

Do you find yourself saying the sentence, “I’ve tried yoga, and I just can’t get into it?”. Or secretly have never even tried a yoga practice because you don’t even know where to start? This blog is for you! Today we are breaking down how to start a yoga practice and how to create a yoga practice that sticks. 

Discover Your WHY

If you’re coming to yoga just for the physical benefits you’re missing out on a lot of goodness.. I think if you can come to your mat with a deeper and more personal intention the practice will take on a while new meaning. So ask yourself why. Maybe to deepen self-love and appreciation (side note I have a podcast episode on yoga & self-love!) or maybe it’s to cultivate inner peace and irradiate anxiety; there is no wrong answer as the reasons for starting yoga should be personal to you, but I want to ensure your WHY lights you up at your core. 

Your why will keep you motivated in those inevitable moments in your practice where showing up feels tough. When that “I just can’t get into it” voice pops into your head. Because as with all new habits, a learning curve, patience and time are required to become established.

I didn’t step onto a yoga mat and instantly become a committed yogi. It took days, weeks, months, and years. I share more about how I started yoga in this blog post, but even now, after practicing for nearly 12 years and living and breathing yoga in my life and business, I still am constantly pivoting to find my updated flow and routine with yoga. My “why” keeps me coming back though nearly every single day. 

Get Curious

You know what we allow ourselves to do by getting curious? Discover. It is truly a beautiful thing when we come into new situations with curiosity over expectations. We set ourselves up for an adventure this way instead of success or failure. 

Get curious about every step of the process when starting a yoga practice. Ask yourself: 

  • How do I feel energetically?
  • What emotions are coming up?
  • How did that pose feel in my body?
  • Do I need to speed up or slow down?
  • What are the voices in my head?
  • Do I need less, or do I need more?
  • What is my body telling me?
  • Is it hard for me to get still?

This list is just a starting point. At every second of your practice, question the experience. This will support building your routine because you will begin to understand yourself well enough to know how you need to shift. The vague answer for why you can’t get into it becomes specific. 

The beautiful thing is we actually know what we need; we just have to get quiet enough to really listen. And this is what yoga is all about — increasing self-awareness and building connections between our body, mind, and the world around us. 

Prep For Your Practice

Okay, now that we have your mindset ready to go… now it’s time to get you ready to actually get on your mat! By being prepared, you will be more likely to succeed or at least just not quit immediately. There are two main things to prep: you and your environment. 

Let’s start with you! Yoga is all about being present, so I like to set myself up to be as present as possible by making sure I’m not distracted by being hungry, or too full etc. Same with your hydration levels and your bathroom requirements. 

I am going to get cheesy with you for a second here but stay with me. I want you to think of yourself like Goldilocks… we are looking for her answer of “just right.” This goes for your outfit as well! I am all for cute babe, but there is nothing worse than constantly pulling up your leggings the whole practice; trust me on this one. 

Now for your environment! Space is vital in yoga. You are going to be in positions where space is required. Ensure the corner you chose to do your practice in is decluttered and has enough surface area for your limbs. Lastly, you will want to get the following props so that if a class you are trying is using them, you won’t be caught off-guard: 

  • Yoga Mat (not going to lie, having a good mat with adequate “stickiness” changed my physical practice – there’s nothing worse than sliding around on your yoga mat 😂)
  • Yoga Block (or stack of books or even a water bottle can work as a substitute)
  • Yoga Strap (or a towel can substitute)
  • Water Bottle 

I have linked some of my favorite versions of these items for you to make the yoga prop shopping easy, you can also head to the shop page to snag links to all of my favorite things that make living my yoga inspired life easy and fun!

Explore Beginners Classes

A common occurrence is that we try a single class with a single teacher who does not resonate with us and then we decide that yoga is not for us. This doesn’t mean you don’t like yoga. It means you didn’t like that experience. There are just as many styles of yoga as there are styles of teachers — try them all out! Find what kind of yoga you do like and teachers who resonate with you.

I created an entire blog post about some of the most popular styles of yoga and a great place to actually start practicing is via my YouTube channel! Here is a link to a beginners class of mine on there, but you can honestly start with any of my free online classes on my YouTube channel! I do my best to create virtual flows that are accessible to all levels! If you’re keen to practice IRL I highly recommend trying out different teachers and styles and find who you resonate with, you can even ask some friends for recommendations! I repeat: try it all to discover what version of yoga really sticks! 

Once you find a style and/or teacher you really like, discover how you more regularly work this into your routine. For example, do they teach at a studio near you? Or on a platform, you can purchase to consume more of their content? The investment is now worth it because you already know you really like the style and/or them! 

This is how you find your flow, BB. This is how to start a yoga practice that will not only stick for you but that you will begin to love. We often skip the mindset work and go straight to our mats, but that isn’t what yoga is truly about. 

By discovering our why, getting curious, preparing ourselves and our space, we can let go and truly experience what yoga has to offer. And it has to offer a lot as you are about to discover now that you are one hundred and ten percent ready to get started!

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About The Blogger

Hey! I'm Shayla

I’m a yoga and fitness loving, green juice drinking, wanderlust-ing, wellness obsessed gal living in Los Angeles, CA with my sweet rescue dogs Penny Lane and Bali.

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