How to Create a Yoga Practice in 2022 [With Printable Yoga Planner]
It’s that time of the year again.
We’re excited about the new year and extra motivated to write down a list of resolutions for 2022.
And we know that exercising is always on the top of the list…
You've done it before. You know it can get boring to force yourself to do something the hard way. But it doesn’t have to be like that!
The benefits of moving your body everyday are endless. But it shouldn’t be a hard, tedious task! It should be enjoyable and preferably something you’re looking forward to. That’s when yoga comes in.
WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE A YOGA PRACTICE?
Before listing a few helpful steps to become a yogi, it’s important that you have an idea of what we’re talking about.
Although most of today's media sources show yoga as just simply pretty poses that we can achieve with our bodies, yoga is so much more - and less - than that.
Yoga is about simplicity. Yoga is about getting in tune with your body. Moving it in a way that feels good, it doesn’t necessarily need to be pretty or hard. Sometimes it’s just a seated stretch, a moment for you to align with yourself, to the earth.
A set of techniques that lead you to higher levels of consciousness.
Yoga is an ancient practice that has been proven by modern science to help with stress, mental health, balance, sleep, posture - the list goes long.
Long story short: your mind, body and spirit will thank you.
Are you ready to become a yogi?
Here are 5 easy steps to help you develop a daily yoga practice in 2022:
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT TYPE OF PRACTICE YOU NEED
Practicing at home or going to yoga classes? Either way, there are many different styles of yoga that you can practice. Here's a brief overview of some commonly practiced yoga styles so to help you find what works better for you and your unique physical abilities:
Modern day Hatha yoga involves moving slowly through poses (or asanas) and holding onto the poses for a few breaths. This is a great option if you're just starting out as it focuses on finding proper alignment.
Hot Yoga practices tend to be longer (usually 90 minutes) and are done in a hot and humid space with 26 specific poses. It’s a very physically demanding practice that can help you to gain strength and flexibility.
Vinyasa literally means linking breath to movement, so the physical postures in a vinyasa class are held for shorter amounts of time and linked together in a flow. It’s a great choice for those days when you are full of energy and wanting to tone your body. Power yoga classes are also very vinyasa-inspired.
If you’re in for a more spiritual practice, this one is for you. Kundalini focuses on seating postures and chanting mantras with uplifting movements.
This is what we call restorative yoga. On this one it can be helpful to have some yoga blocks and a strap to help you align your muscles and joints. Holding each pose for approximately 45 seconds to 2 minutes to take the full benefits.
Ashtanga is a very rigorous physical practice that follows the same sequence every time. While it shares many similarities to Power Yoga or Vinyasa, it is a much more dogmatic practice with a large focus on Sanskrit (the ancient language of yoga), Pranayama (control of breath), Bandhas (internal “locks” created in the muscles), and Drishtis (single points of focus).
Bonus: check out a few yoga terms to help you understand your practice better.
2. HOW LONG DO YOU WANT YOUR PRACTICES TO BE
Now, it can be helpful to set some minutes out of your day or week just to make sure you have time, and that you will maintain your practice throughout your days.
Although, this is relevant. Keep in mind that yoga is about moving your body in a way that feels good. It really depends on what you can take that day. What kind of movement are you being called to?
With that being said, be open to make a longer or even shorter practice if it makes sense to you and your body.
There’s no right or wrong here!
3. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED
The only thing you truly need to practice yoga is your body and breath, so don’t let equipment be a barrier to getting started.
That being said, quality yoga equipment can help enhance your practice and further explore the physical side of yoga. Here are some
There’s one thing that is indispensable: a yoga mat. You saw that coming right?
Your yoga mat is a very important tool for your practice, both literally and symbolically. It’s the physical space that you have dedicated to your yoga practice, and allows you to stay protected and supported as you move through your asanas.
No, you don’t need to spend your money right away on a bunch of yoga props to build an effective yoga practice, yogi!
But, there are a lot of additional tools that can help you modify or up-level your practice to meet your specific needs. These yoga props can include yoga blocks, yoga balls, straps, bolsters, or even blankets.
If you’re exploring using some props for the first time and are not sure if you’re ready to invest in buying your own, feel free to get creative! For example - stack a few books together instead of blocks, or use some pillows instead of bolsters.
There’s no need for a lot of space for your practices. Just make sure you have a flat ground and room for a yoga mat with a bit more space for these expansive poses.
A quiet space that’s slightly on the warmer side silent is best to can guarantee that you’re focused on your practice, and prevent injuries that might happen in a cold space.
This is very personal. Some yogis prefer no music, some prefer gentle mantras or sound bowls in the background, and others prefer pump-up tunes at full blast to add to their practice.
Try experimenting with some different music styles to get you in the mood and help disconnect from a busy day.
There are hundreds of different playlists on Spotify or just make one your own!
4. PLAN YOUR WEEK
Ok, you feel like you have no time? We’ve got you covered!
We know that life these days is hectic. So, when setting goals it’s important to write things down, plan so it’s easier to get things done and make sure you’re not missing on your practices!
We created this simple planner to help you organize your week and most importantly how will you fit your practices each day.
Remember, you don’t have to be too strict! This is just to have an idea of how you can fit your practices into your routine.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This is probably the most important one - I know I have said it before but it is never enough.
It’s perfect if you have weekly planned practices but at the end of the day our bodies speak to us.
Sometimes your body will just ask for that 5 minute stretch and meditation. And that’s ok! Yoga is about getting in tune with your body, practicing listening and understanding its needs.
Making better choices on the mat will help you make better ones in life. 😊
NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR:
You’re now ready to build a yoga practice that you can actually stick to in 2022.
Finally, I want to highlight a few points that are never lacking in my yoga practice:
- Always start your practice with a warm up sequence that involve some some gentle stretches to prevent any injuries
- Include inversions - poses where your head is below your heart. These make a huge difference when I find it hard to clear my head space
- Pay attention to your breath, it is better than any super flexible pose
- Be gentle with yourself
What do you consider indispensable in your yoga practice? Share with our community!