How to Start a Daily Yoga Practice

The idea of how to start a daily yoga practice and stick to it may seem overwhelming at first. However, no matter how challenging it may sound, with a few small steps and a little commitment, you can establish a daily yoga routine at home easily. 

The idea of having a daily yoga practice may be something that you aspire to – but for many, it’s also a daunting prospect. Committing to doing yoga every day may seem like a huge commitment. But actually, the roots of the word yoga actually help us to see that this doesn’t need to be overwhelming. 

‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuk’,[link to the previous article] which means to join or unify. Therefore, yoga is much more than just a physical practice; it’s a spiritual path whose goal is to unify body, mind and soul. The physical aspect of yoga – the postures, which are called asana – are just one part of the practice. So if you’re thinking about committing to a daily yoga routine, remember that this doesn’t have to mean doing physical postures and challenging poses every day. There are other ways to practice yoga. 

And remember that a yoga practice is exactly that – a practice! It’s through regular practice that you can progress, and can truly experience the physical and mental benefits of yoga. So, here are my tips for how to start a daily yoga routine and stick with it!

Practice yoga in the morning

The morning – specifically when you first wake up – is the ideal time to practice yoga. Yoga helps us to calm the mind and reduce mental chatter that prevents us from seeing and thinking clearly. So if you can start the day from a place of calm and clarity, you’ll be setting yourself up for a good day! Carving out a short time for yourself in the morning to set your intentions for the day, wake up your body and still your mind will have a profound effect on your energy levels and mood throughout the rest of the day. 

Many yoga flows and postures are actually specifically designed to do in the morning, too. For example: sun salutations. Greeting the sun! This energizing sequence gives you a boost and should only be performed in the morning. 

Arrange a dedicated yoga space in your home

Try to set up a dedicated space in your home for your yoga practice. Or, if you don’t have the space, try to practice in the same place each day. Consistency is key! Ideally, the space you choose should be quiet, in a separate room, not too warm and not too cold. But the most important thing is that you feel good there. Ideally, try to use a yoga mat, too, or if you don’t have a mat, you can also use a carpet or anything else that you can put on the floor. 

Look for a teacher, instructor or guru to guide you

When you start practicing yoga, it helps to have the support, knowledge and guidance of a teacher. Look for someone who inspires you, and whose style of yoga you like. This could even just be online. The most important thing is that their energy and style of yoga resonates with you, and that you feel inspired to keep going with your daily practice!

daily yoga practice


Wear comfortable clothes

This doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy special yoga pants or sports bras. Actually, it’s the opposite. Thanks to very successful marketing in the west, we’re constantly conditioned to believe that in order to practice yoga, you need a dedicated wardrobe of yoga clothes. Of course, this is not true! All you need are comfy clothes that you feel good in, and that you can move your body around in freely. This could even be your pyjamas!

Practice all aspects of yoga – not just postures

Western expectations of yoga have taught many people to see it as purely a physical practice – but yoga is about so much more than just making shapes on a mat! According to the teachings of Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Yoga is actually an eight-limbed path, with asana (postures) being only one of the limbs. There is also pranayam (breathing exercises), yamas (attitudes towards our environment), niyamas (attitudes towards ourselves), pratyahara (withdrawl of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (transcending the self). 

Within your physical practice, you can also practice mantra (chanting) and mudra (hand gestures) to give you a fully rounded practice. Don’t let this overwhelm you, though! You don’t need to try to practice all of these at once, or all of them every day. Simply being aware of them is good place to start your yoga practice from.

Set small goals

As with many things in life, it’s better to set yourself small goals rather than over-commit and feel discouraged if you don’t achieve them. A daily yoga routine for beginners doesn’t need to be long. So commit to setting aside just 15 minutes a day for your yoga practice. It’s better to do a short practice every day rather than 2 hours once a week. Regularity is key! And a 15-minute yoga practice can easily be fit into your day – even on days that you don’t think you have the time. 

Choose the type of yoga that’s the best fit for you

Before you decide how to start a daily yoga practice, try to educate yourself on the different types of yoga and choose the one that suits you best. There are different types of yoga (1) – Raja yoga, Karma yoga, Jian yoga, Bhakti-yoga – and choosing the style that corresponds best to you will help you stick with your practice in the long-run, instead of abandoning your daily yoga practice because the style doesn’t suit you. A good start may be to read any of the books of Swami Vivekananda (1)  You can access all his books for free here

Keep in mind that yoga is not a work-out

It’s important to remember that starting a daily yoga routine is not the same as starting a daily exercise routine! Yoga is not a work-out, but a work-in. So much more than making shapes and poses on a mat, think of yoga as a spiritual practice that has physical aspects, rather than firstly a physical practice. By managing your expectations – and not trying to work up a sweat so that you can skip your workout later on – you’ll be able to soak up more of the benefits of your practice and offer your mental and physical health an indispensable gift. 


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