Jade Lizzie

Sharing the yoga love

How to Motivate Yourself to do Yoga

Camel PoseI love going to yoga classes, but my practice transformed when I started doing yoga everyday on my own. I began to explore the postures for myself and to rebuild my relationship with my body and mind. However, practising yoga by yourself brings its own challenges, the main one for me being motivation. So how do you motivate yourself to do yoga on the days when your bed is more appealing than your mat, and you don’t have a teacher telling you what to do?

Here are my three best pieces of advice:

  1. Remember that getting there is the hardest bit. A friend of mine passed on these words of wisdom years ago and they’ve stuck with me ever since. With any situation that you know will require some effort (even something you enjoy, like yoga!), the hardest bit is getting there. Once you’re there, you’ve already overcome the biggest challenge. I used to remind myself of this on the cold, dark mornings as an English teacher when I REALLY didn’t want to leave home. It works even better to get me onto the yoga mat.
  2. Set the intention that you’ll get on your yoga mat and just move for 10 minutes in any way that feels good. That way you take the pressure off your yoga practice and free it to be whatever you need right then. Often I tell myself I’ll only do 10 minutes, and after that time, my body and mind feel so good that I carry on and do lots more. But even if that’s all I do, I think of it as a gift to myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise had in my day.
  3. Create a bank of motivation prompts for the days when you really need to be told what to do. I have a few great free online yoga resources that I use when I really don’t want to practise “alone”, such as the wonderful DoYogaWithMe website – the classes with Fiji McAlpine are my favourite. I also love this mini Forrest Yoga inspired core workout, and my lovely yogini friend Amanda posts some great sequences on her Youtube channel that always make me feel good. It’s good to go solo and practice totally by yourself, but these online yoga classes are perfect for the days when you need a bit more inspiration.

Whatever you end up doing, try to keep your yoga practice free from judgement. We already spend too much of our lives critiquing ourselves, and seeing how we measure up. Challenge yourself to let that go while you practise yoga by yourself. After all, there’s no one there to impress, or even to care what you are doing – this is just about you.

Happy yoga-ing lovely people – let me know how you get on!

Jade xxx

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4 Comments

  1. I love this! Especially number two. It’s so true, when I gave up expecting silly ideals of solo 90 minute vigorous vinyasa everyday I’ve found that my body really just does what it needs. Sometimes I just hang out in savasana or do yin style yoga on my own and it’s so true that giving up that pressure makes it so much more enticing and enjoyable!
    And also I have a great YouTube yogi whose videos I love , mostly 20 minutes and for specific body parts or styles : sarahbeth yoga (YouTube) great for days when you don’t feel like going at it alone
    Thanks jade awesome post 🙂

    • Jade Lizzie

      So glad you like it Jenne 🙂 Solo yin is my absolute favourite self practice – especially at the end of a long day! I’ll check out that Youtube channel – always on the lookout for new inspiration for my classes too 🙂 xxx

  2. Lovely post! Great tips on staying motivated! I think I’ll apply them to my meditation practice. You know, motivation is a funny thing. I have noticed that motivation goes in waves. There are moments where motivation seems to disappear because the practice appears not to bring us the fruits we expect. It is by going forward that those fruits appear in a way we could not foresee. I’ll remember your words when I’ll be in those motivation valleys again! Cheers! N

    • Jade Lizzie

      Thanks Niccolo – glad you like it 🙂 Totally agree re. the motivation going in waves. It can be so hard to keep going when you don’t feel you are getting the rewards of the practice. When you keep going anyway – that’s when things start to change. Like you say, not always in the way you expect, but they do shift 🙂

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