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The winter of COVID: Here’s how to stay motivated with your yoga practice

We’re going to open this blog with a thoughtful idiom. Are you ready? Good. Here goes:

Nothing in life is permanent, and everything requires effort.

Whether it’s your diet, your relationship, your career or your yoga practice, the key to succeeding in all these areas is consistent effort over time. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, you may have good days and bad days, and you might even have days where all you want to do is lie in bed. While this is perfectly acceptable behaviour (in small doses, of course), to succeed at something, you must try at it.

But 2020 has been a tough, tough year. Here at Yogaline, we’ve felt its aches and pains, and we’re sure you have, too. Political turmoil, COVID-19, no travelling, isolation, layoffs… you name it, it’s been exceptionally hard. And with winter fast approaching, we unfortunately have to wait a while before we see light at the end of the tunnel.

But while it may be dark and gloomy outside, it doesn’t have to be on the inside. This winter, we implore you to put time aside in your day for a little self-care in the form of yoga. If you’re struggling to keep yourself motivated, there are a few things you can do. Here goes…

1. Join in with virtual classes and lean on community

Community is everything, and while we may not be able to attend in-person sessions, we can still show up to virtual group classes and rally around one another. Teachers may not be able to correct your posture in these classes, but they can promote a sense of togetherness and guide you through those tough days.

Here are a few of our favourite yogis offering online classes: 

2. Make your home yoga space warm and inviting

Your space is as important as your practice. If you don’t feel motivated or inspired to step onto the mat, try to modify your space and turn it into a place you want to spend time in.

Some of you have the luxury of a spare room and a dedicated yoga space in your house. Some others have to make do with a mat on the floor in the living room. Whatever your situation, your space needs to feel warm and inviting.

Here are a few tips on how to build a home wellness space.

3. Set a new challenge for your practice

It’s easy to maintain a habit when we’re working towards a goal. It’s easier if we’re accountable for that goal by someone other than ourselves.

To help you continue with your practice this winter, set yourself a few new intentions for your practice. What is it you’d like to achieve when springtime comes? Injecting a fresh change of pace through the long winter months will keep your practice diverse and will help you avoid repetitive, boring and unfulfilling routines that you perform time and time again.

4. Focus on restorative practices

Maintaining good mental health is going to be the challenge this winter. To help mitigate any negative emotions we may face, it’s important to focus on restorative practices that help us build resilience to things like stress and anxiety.

Whether it’s healing through Nidra Yogaperforming a lengthy Shavasana or simply just understanding how your practice can help you fight off those fight or flight symptoms, be sure to place emphasis on your mental health and make space to process your thoughts and feelings.

5. Give yourself a break!

Lastly, be sure to let yourself off the hook every once in a while. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens. Instead, brush it off and walk into tomorrow’s practice with a fresh head.

The only important thing is that you show up to the mat more times than you don’t and that, when you do, you show up with good intentions, a calm mind and a willingness to learn and be vulnerable.

Reward yourself with something good

To maintain your yoga habit this winter, implement a reward system. This might be something as simple as a hot cup of coffee to drink when you’re done, or it might be a lavishly long bath and a glass of wine to soothe your muscles.

Whatever it is, for every practice you do perform, be sure to treat yourself afterwards. This way, you can hold yourself accountable to your practice and safely indulge without feeling guilty.

If ever there were a time in life focus on yourself, it’s now. We’ll finish with some wise words from Oprah:

‘Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.’ 

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