A yoga journal can bring a depth of awareness that will enrich your yoga experience and enhance every aspect of your life.
When I teach Yoga 101 workshops, during Yoga & Self Care Retreats and private sessions I design a unique yoga journal for each student as a tool to begin or deepen a yoga experience. Taking a moment after your practice to put ideas and revelations that arise in writing can be essential personal growth and the growth of your practice.
How to make yoga journaling a habit?
- Make yourself a priority! Give yourself a little extra time after your practice to journal. And, yes, you’re worth it.
- Choose a journal that fits your personality. Here are some ideas: commercial journals, notebook, blog, text document on your computer or a simple piece of paper.
- Don’t worry about the fact it’s not the beginning of the year, a new month or a new day. Start today.
- Keep your journal easily accessible close by your yoga mat. Make journaling a regular part of your yoga practice.
- Even with regular journaling everyone experiences writer’s block. Keep a list of journaling prompts close by to jumpstart your creativity and ideas.
- Your journaling does not have to be prolific or profound. Focus on the content of your words, not how they’re written.
- Do not edit. It’s unnecessarily time consuming and overthinking can get in the way of what our intuition is telling us.
- Keep in mind your writing is only for you. Consider where you write and where you keep your journal for privacy.
- Date each entry.
- Keep it simple.
Consider including the following in each yoga journal entry:
- Date and time of the practice
- Practice Details:
- Who taught the class?
- Was your practice at home or a studio?
- What type of yoga?
- How long?
- How did I feel before the practice? Consider physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual feelings.
- Which asanas did I have difficulty with?
- Which asanas feel stronger and come with more ease?
- What do I want to work on next time?
- How did I feel after practice? Consider physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual feelings.
- Be vulnerable- explore the feelings that arise during or after your practice
- What did I learn? Maybe you tried a new asana, pranayama, or vinyasa sequence. Perhaps you gained a new perspective or insight about yourself.
- Strengthen mindfulness– take time to stop and truly enjoy the moment. Document the details of thoughts and feelings that you experienced during your practice.
- Yoga off the mat– contemplate how you can take what you’ve learned from your practice and apply it to day-to-day life.
- How has my practice changed, grown or deepened? This could relate to knowledge, asanas, self-understanding, goals, etc.
More ideas for your yoga journal:
Track your accomplishments.
Write down anything you noticed about your breath (i.e. was it smooth and even, easily connected to movement, labored, etc.)
Explore/process your emotions.
Explore specific about how your body felt during the practice.
Identify new goals
Taking notes of your progress as well as keeping track of all your thoughts and ideas as you get better at yoga is extremely helpful, both mentally and physically.