Falling In and Out of Habits
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Falling In and Out of Habits

I used to do a daily yoga practice, but I fell out of the routine. In this blog I’m going to talk about why I fell out of the habit, how to create a habit and why yoga is a valuable part of a day.

falling-in-and-out-of-habits



First let’s talk about why we fall out of habits. There is relatively little research on this topic, but I’ve drawn some conclusions based on my experience. The main reason I stopped my practice was that my priorities shifted. I became more focused on school work and began staying up and waking up later as I became more stressed. This meant my routine fell to the side, when in reality the best thing for my mental health would have been to prioritize my practice. Additionally, my habit triggers changed. My life changed, and so the habits I had built my yoga practice around changed as well.


We’ll discuss habit triggers later in the article as well.


Next, let’s delve into what allows us to create a routine. Tara Parker-Pope discusses many ways to create a habit that sticks in her New York Times article. The top three in my opinion are the following:

- Stack habits (add your existing habit to a new one)

- Make it easy (clear any obstacles)

- Do it everyday (british researchers found that it took an average of 66 days to make a habit stick) (Parker-Pope, 2011)


    Stacking habits refers to building your new habit off of one that you already have. For example, if it fits with your schedule, you could base your yoga practice on the habit of eating breakfast everyday. Everyday after you eat breakfast, you would do your yoga practice, until it becomes automatic.


    To apply the second tip, you might leave your yoga mat somewhere where you will see it at the appropriate time, que up a yoga video the night before (if you choose to do your practice in the morning), or make sure your yoga clothes are ready the day before.


    To make sure you do your practice everyday, I would suggest setting an alarm, or writing a reminder somewhere that you pass by at the time you want to do your practice. This way, you’re sure to be reminded of it everyday. Personally, I set an alarm for the morning that specifically reminds me that it’s time for my practice.

     

    Why Yoga? The Numerous Benefits Backed by Studies


    Of course, all this talk about forming habits is irrelevant unless we discuss why yoga is a good choice. Many studies have shown that yoga has benefits. For example, Catherine Woodyard of the University of Mississippi concluded that yoga can add to your strength and flexibility, increase the effectiveness of your breathing and circulation, improve sleep, reduce chronic pain and some mental illnesses (Woodyard, 2011). Additionally, Healthline summarizes from multiple studies that yoga can decrease binge eating, and increase mindful eating (Link, 2017).


    At Thrive, we want to make your every day better. If you decide that yoga is a way that you’d like to strive for this, we can help you make that happen. We offer a variety of types of equipment at Thrive and we carry a book with various different yoga poses and sequences. So, in conclusion, as I’m challenging myself, I’d like to challenge you to take up yoga this fall. It’s good for you and can become a meaningful part of your daily routine.


    Good luck!

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