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11 Tips To Help You Commit (And Stick) To A Yoga Practice

yoga-tips-for-beginnersHas this happened to you? You get all excited to start a new thing like this new dance class and you feel so good and happy doing this but then it’s just hard to keep doing it even though you love it?

You’re not alone. This happens to everyone. If you just decided to take up yoga (or even perhaps you’ve been a long-time yogi) and you have trouble committing to a regular consistent practice then this post is for you.

Today I will be sharing 11 tips on how to commit and stick to a yoga practice.

Here we go…

1. Start a Morning Yoga Routine

I think this is probably one of the best ways to have a consistent practice. If you do yoga first thing in the morning, nothing will ever get in the way of it. You’ll probably be practicing yoga at home but some yoga studios do offer early morning classes. Also doing yoga first thing in the morning sets your day to effectively handle all of life’s challenges—a win in my book.

Check out my post “Start Your Day on the Right Foot with a Yoga Morning Routine” on how to get started.

2. Plan, Schedule it, Show Up!

With me, if i don’t schedule something in my phone’s calendar it means 1 thing: it ain’t happening.

I believe that one of the reasons we have trouble sticking to a yoga practice is that we haven’t made it a priority. If we keep telling ourselves that we are too busy then we’re really telling ourselves that yoga is really not all that important.

But if we create the time for it like we do for family and friends, chances are we will be able to keep a consistent practice. So plan it, schedule it, and show up even if your practice is at home.

See your yoga practice like an important appointment…an appointment FOR YOU!

Bonus Tip: When you schedule it, I recommend you practice on the same days at the same time.

3. Sign Up for a 30-Day Challenge

Whether online or at the studio, sign up for a challenge!  A yoga challenge is a great way to give you that extra motivation to stick to a consistent practice. If you do a 30 day challenge doing yoga will most likely turn into a habit. Now after the challenge is over perhaps you won’t want to practice yoga daily, but it proves to you that yes you can stick to a consistent practice.

I suggest you download a habit tracker app on your phone and track your attendance during your challenge. It’s such a thrill to track progress!

4. Try Different Types of Yoga

For some people practicing the same style of yoga all the time can get monotonous. If you spice things up and do different types of yoga, this might keep you interested and stay committed.

You can do Hatha Yoga and then alternate it with Hot Yoga the next time around.

5. Try Different Teachers

I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts and comments. Sometimes the reason why we have trouble sticking to a yoga practice is because we just don’t resonate with the teacher.

Even if the teacher is just ok, it might be just enough not to inspire you to do yoga as often as you want to. Same goes for the studio. If you don’t like the studio’s ambiance it could totally explain your struggle to keep practicing.

6. Set An Intention

Ask yourself why you want to do this. Is it for your well being? To reduce back pain? To manage your anxiety and depression? To create inner peace? To help others?

If you set intentions for yoga, yoga will become part of your lifestyle and a way of living.

If your intention is that you are practicing yoga for others, your practice becomes more than about you and your ego: it becomes bigger than you. If you’re stressed frequently, you can’t support others. If you make yourself strong through yoga only then you are capable of helping and supporting others. Perhaps an intention to practice for others can keep you motivated to stay dedicated to your practice.

7. Go With a Friend

You wouldn’t blow off your friend for no reason now would you?  By having a yogi friend to go to yoga with you, it can make it easier for you to stick to your practice. Plus if your friend is also trying to commit to a practice you can both be accountability buddies. It’s a win-win!

8. Pay Full Price for a Membership

Studies have shown that we tend to value things more if we pay full price for them.

If we get a great deal on a membership we often believe that we will make use the most out of it but we often do the opposite. Because we didn’t pay full price we tell ourselves it’s ok to miss classes because we didn’t pay that much in the first place so we take it for granted.

So while the cost of full price membership makes you cringe, by paying full price it can do wonders to make you show up to do yoga.


9. Leave Your Mat By The Door Each Morning

If you leave your mat by the door each morning and you bring it with you, you are reinforcing the idea that you’re going to yoga. After all, you made the effort to bring and carry your yoga mat so you might as well go do some yoga.

10. The Golden Rule: The 5 Minute Rule

The 5 minute rule is effective for procrastination and you can use it to motivate you to do more yoga.

If you don’t feel like doing yoga, make a deal with yourself and tell yourself that you will only do it for 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes you still don’t feel like practicing then stop. Chances are that after 5 minutes you’ll end up continuing and completing the practice.

11. Cut Your Practice Short

Something as simple as making your yoga sessions shorter can help you stick to your practice.

If you’re a beginner a 90 minute yoga class can be especially challenging so stick to 60 minute classes. If that is still challenging then just do 30 minutes.

While it’s good to push yourself, if pushing yourself comes to point that you are dreading doing yoga you can still do 10-30 minutes and get the benefits of a full yoga class.

When you start yoga and you want it to become part of your lifestyle indefinitely, it takes time before this happens. We are creatures of habit so letting go and instilling new habits take a lot of effort and willpower.

It’s normal to have weeks where you practice consistently and then fall off the bandwagon. So  even if you’re implementing some or most of these tips, don’t be so hard on yourself when you’re not practicing as often as you want to. This is a journey and I promise that you’ll be able to stick to a yoga practice eventually. The hardest part is to show up and to get started.

I hope you found my 11 tips to staying committed to a yoga practice helpful.

Do you have any other tips to share that  I missed? I would love to hear from you.

Leave a comment or question below.

PS: I respond to all comments.

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  1. MattysMom MattysMom

    I think these are great tips to get started in a yoga class, and to stick with it. Shoot it can work for getting going into any workout routine as well. I go to the gym regularly, but have not participated in a class yet. I am curious about yoga though. What are the main benefits I can get from yoga?

    • Yoga is a great stress management tool; prevents cancer and can help cancer patients get into remission; manages anxiety and depression; strengthens the immune system; increases muscle tone and balance; strengthens the bones; improves your posture, and so much more. Basically you don’t have anything to lose (except feeling crappy) when practicing yoga. 🙂

  2. Kyoko Kyoko

    Great tips! Just like with anything else, being consistent can be a bit challenging. #9 especially resonates with me because when I see my yoga mat, I can naturally grab it and go to the yoga class. However, if I put it away (and I do that often!) yoga becomes my lower priority. Having our yoga stuff visible or not makes a big difference!

    • I totally agree with you. When I wanted to setup a 6:00 am gym routine, I would pack my gear in my gym bag the night before and leave it by the door. This worked out very well.

  3. Victoria Victoria

    Really good tips ! The list is long enough to find the right motivation to commit. I have to say that #3 worked for me in the past. Doing a challenge really helped me to stay motivated. I also was never very loyal to my yoga teachers and I kept changing classes until I found the perfect teacher. I liked how she was speaking, her pace and her approach suited me. I was always looking forward to my yoga class. So #5 helped me to stick with it ! So many ways to find our own motivation. Thanks for this great post !

    • You’re welcome Victoria and thank you for sharing what worked for you. 🙂

  4. Karin Karin

    Thanks for the information! I thought about yoga as it would ease my mind for all that’s going on. A few months ago I transitioned from a horrible, low-paying dead-end government job to being my own boss and working on my own terms. I am also in the process of selling my house and moving out of state. So I am going through some significant life-changing events. However, with all that I have going on, I may have trouble keeping the commitment to sticking with yoga practice. I envision myself taking up yoga, going to a couple sessions, then wanting to back out of it because I have so much to do. After reading #3, the 30-day challenge, that could help. I’ve done 30-day challenges for other things and they help me stick with the schedule, so I will try it for yoga too 🙂

    • Wow that’s a lot on your plate! And I congratulate for taking the courageous move of leaving your dead-end job to being your own boss! Yoga will certainly help you manage any anxieties you have about these changes and slow you down since you have so much to do. It might be helpful to consider at yoga as your “me time”.

      I think the 30-day challenge will work out great for you as you say you’ve had success with it in the past. You can then transition to a home practice after this to continue. Let me know how this goes and all the best in your journey.

  5. Jade Jade

    Thanks for the tips! I haven’t started yoga yet but I do pilates and these tips can also apply to that. I have started so many times with the intention of keeping it up, but something eventually gets in the way. I like the tips “try different types” and “try different teachers” because I wouldn’t think of that myself but it does make a big difference if you like the teacher/style. Have a great day and keep the good articles coming!

    • Thanks for your comment Jade. I haven’t done much Pilates but it’s something I would like to explore more. And yes I agree these tips can apply to doing yoga as well or even exercising at the gym with group fitness classes. Thanks for stopping by

  6. wildfind wildfind

    Hi Vanessa!

    I love your post as this is something we all struggle with…keeping the motivation going and following through the commitment to take care of ourselves.

    I personally have had trouble keeping my commitment of taking care of myself. Finding your website and the tips you offer really help.

    Especially the five minute rule. That is brilliant and it is true that after that five minutes you are all pumped up and ready to do this.

    Thank you for reminding us to take care of ourselves and giving great tips to stay focused.

    • Vanessa Vanessa

      You’re welcome and I’m so glad to hear that these tips were helpful to you. Yeah the 5 minute rule is really effective. You just surrender yourself to what you started doing. 

  7. marquis marquis

    Great piece. At my martial arts gym people have been telling me to get into yoga because of the benefits they have had with it. I have been reluctant with it mainly because as a male I understand that some people may give a weird look because they don’t know your intentions, but after reading your article I’ll cast my thinking aside and give it a shot.

    • Vanessa Vanessa

      I understand what you mean. I think perhaps it might depend on the studio you go to. I think that even if people initially give you “that weird look” they’ll have that one thought for a second and then forget about it and move on so I wouldn’t worry about it. Nowadays there are more men getting into yoga. It’s very rare that there isn’t at least 2 men in a yoga class I go. I never thought they were weird unless they were doing weird stuff which I haven’t seen so far. 🙂 

  8. Melani Melani

    Thanks for the tips and especially for suggesting the 30 days yoga challenge. I have never done yoga and I’m curious about it. This article triggered me to start yoga and to start exercising again.

    • You’re welcome. My apologies for the late response. How is your experience with yoga going so far?

  9. olina olina

    My motivation to continue practicing yoga is knowing that I will get the long-term benefits and feel those benefits.

    What also motivates me to continue my yoga practice is that I would like to improve and maintain my posture.
    I agree that practicing yoga promotes muscle strengthening and lengthening and opens the chest and shoulders. Through time, some people may even find themselves taller.

    Hopefully, this can motivate other people to start a yoga practice too!

    • Hi Olina! That’s a great trick to help you commit and stick with a yoga practice: find motivating reasons and remind yourself of them. I agree that once you start to feel the benefits of yoga you naturally want to continue practicing and it’s the same thing when you see your body changing and your posture improving. The process is similar to exercising while losing weight: once you see how your body looks healthier, feels stronger and in general you feel better, why wouldn’t you continue working out (and even when you achieve your desired weight)?

      • Olina Olina

        This is so true. Even though my goal is to mostly maintain my weight and to improve my flexibility, I see a lot of other benefits from yoga such as lowering stress and anxiety, improving positivity, and feeling more energetic during the day.
        Like in every other aspect of our life, if we would like to get some long- term benefits, we need to push ourselves to achieve the desirable goal. Goals keep me motivated.

      • You present very good points about goals Olina. They definitely keep me motivated too.

      • Olina Olina

        Yes, so true. Even though my goal is maintaining my weight rather than losing , I found a lot of other yoga benefits that motivate me to keep practicing. Yoga lowers stress and anxiety, increases flexibility, promotes positivity, and helps with sleep. It’s good enough to continue with practice! I found that even practicing it 10-15 minutes in the morning will set my day on the right foot.

      • I actually never tried morning yoga as the first thing I do when I wake up is to go on my elliptical machine. Hmmm instead of stretching perhaps I may try out 10-15 minutes of yoga after my cardio, However from previous experience I never liked doing 1 hour of yoga right after cardio as my body is too excited.

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