When’s the best time to create a healthy habit?

Happy September! This is the time of year when students head back to class, and teachers go back to teaching. It’s an exciting time of new beginnings, big plans, and long, busy days. Here at Modo Yoga Burnaby, we are honouring teachers by offering them free yoga, from September 1-30. It’s our way of expressing gratitude for the skill, dedication and hard work that teachers contribute to all of the learners in our world.

But wait, it’s September! How is a busy teacher going to find time for yoga? When days are filled with responsibilities and obligations, how can anyone make time for a new wellness routine? It is possible. Here are a few ideas for how it might work.

Do it with a purpose in mind (or in heart)

Most really good things we do are done for really good reasons. Think about why you have considered creating a healthy habit… Maybe you want to work on strength and flexibility so you can enjoy your running or hiking or skiing more. Perhaps you would like to be more calm and focused. Maybe you are experiencing a life transition, and you are looking for an activity that will help you feel grounded while everything seems to be shifting and changing. Finding a purpose can help with motivation. You can remind yourself when you feel extra busy, “I’m doing this because…” It’s also a good way to make sure you have chosen a wellness activity that works for you. At the end of the month, you can check in with yourself to find out if it’s working.

Do it with a sense of adventure and curiosity

If you are new to yoga (or new to Modo Yoga) you may have expectations about what a regular practice will be like. Expectations can be reassuring, but they can also create stumbling blocks, or cause you to miss out on part of the experience. Try coming in with a beginner’s mind. Imagine yourself as one of your own students, at the start of the school year: a bit excited, maybe apprehensive, but curious and open to whatever is going to happen today. This adventurous attitude can make your experience wondrous and meaningful. These kinds of feelings make it easier to keep showing up. Each time you come to your practice is time to find out something new about yoga, and maybe about yourself.

Do it with a friend

Who invited you to try Modo Yoga? That person may be your biggest encourager as you begin a new healthy habit. If you plan to take practice together, you are both going to show up – for each other! You’ll have an enjoyable time together, and you’ll discover this wonderful thing that you now have in common. If you don’t already know someone at Modo, look around, say hello, and get to know the other people who come for practice. Lots of friendships begin over tea on our big comfy bench in the lobby. You are also welcome to invite someone you know to come and try it out with you.

Do it in community

One of the things that I discovered when I first came to Modo Burnaby was the community. It’s more than just an exercise class. The people at Modo interact in ways that show care and support for one another, and for the bigger world. At Modo, you can participate in a clothing swap, contribute to a cause, cook for a potluck meal, or learn about how to live in ways that help steward the wellness of our earth. If these activities sound interesting to you, you will find people of like mind and heart when you visit the studio. This is part of the yoga practice. It has helped me feel connected to the community, and to maintain my healthy habit.

Do it at the crack of dawn (or some time before dawn)

A lot of teachers come to the early morning classes. It’s a beautiful way to start your day. You can enjoy an invigorating practice, then shower, dress, and be out the door on your way to school by 7:30am, when everyone else is just rolling out of bed. At the end of the day, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have already done your wellness routine. Pro tip for making it to 6:15am class: Pack your work clothing and breakfast, and anything else you will need for the day, before you go to bed, so you can get up and go out the door with ease when morning arrives.

Put your practice on your calendar

You may find that booking your times for yoga onto your calendar will help you create and sustain the routine. It’s easier to get things done when you allocate time for them. It’s also very heartening to look at your calendar and see how many times you have shown up. If you use the Modo Yoga app to book your classes you can plan ahead, and also see a record of the classes that you have attended. Now that’s a good feeling!

Know that you need this now, more than ever

When is the best time to create a healthy habit? Now! It’s an especially good time if you feel like you might be too busy. Think about the benefits you will gain from making time for 2 or 3 hours a week to spend on your mat. This is time just for you. It is time for calm, focus, strength, release from the demands of every day. It is time to nurture your own resilience and sense of well-being. You give so much to others. Taking good care of yourself is worth it. It will help.

Dear Teachers, we honour and appreciate you with sincere gratitude and deep bows. Thank you for everything you do. We hope to see you in the hot room!