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The Benefits Of Keeping A Yoga Practice Journal

Okay, when you hear the word “journal” you might not immediately think of yoga. After all how could writing and doodling in a journal possibly help with your yoga and...

The Benefits Of Keeping A Yoga Practice Journal




What is a Yoga Journal?


Okay, when you hear the word “journal” you might not immediately think of yoga. After all how could writing and doodling in a journal possibly help with your yoga and meditation journey? Well, both yoga and journaling are all about focusing on the present moment. Both at their core are mindfulness practices that complement each other perfectly. The benefits of journaling your ongoing yoga practice are so numerous and can truly add even more meaning to the experience. A yoga journal is a portable sacred space for you to write about your thoughts, feelings, and sensations during and after your yoga practice. The best part is, there are no hard rules and no set boundaries. Your journal is your domain.


Yoga Journal-Shakti Warrior


Choose a journal that fits your personality. Get creative, here are some ideas: handmade journal, blog, text document on your computer...Whatever feels right to you! Don’t worry if it’s not the beginning of the year, a new month or even a new day. Start today! Make sure to keep your journal within easy reach of your yoga mat so that you’re more likely to strengthen the habit! Make journaling a regular part of your yoga practice!


What Should I Write About?


Yoga journals are for planning and analyzing your yoga sessions to enhance the experience, sitting with your emotions, and revealing insights. There really are no limits to what you can write about. You might journal about your experiences with a new asana. Or maybe about the feelings of peace you experienced whilst sitting in meditation. You might journal about intuitive thoughts you had just after practicing yoga.


 Yoga Journaling


Here are some good prompts to touch on:


*What was the purpose of the class?

*What was your own personal intention? Did the class achieve that for you?

*Was there a particular asana that you had a difficult time with?

*Did you overcome a challenging asana today? Celebrate these accomplishments!

*How did I feel before practice?

*How do I feel after practice?

*What do I want to work on next time?



What’s a Good Routine for Successful Yoga Journaling?


Practice makes perfect in yoga and in journaling! For the fullest benefits make journaling part of your day-to-day yoga routine. Whether you practice yoga in the morning or evening, it’s important to write in your yoga journal as close as possible to the time of your actual experience. That way all of the thoughts and experiences are fresh, and you have that great post-Savasana clarity.


Meditating on a Shakti Warrior Yoga Mat


You can also write your goals or intentions for the practice beforehand. Is there a particular sequence you want to complete? Or do you want to meditate on a certain theme? Record it all in your handy yoga journal! You don’t have to journal for each yoga session, particularly if you practice yoga multiple times a day. However, journaling for yoga should be as consistent as possible to get the best and most consistent outcomes.



Benefits On And Off The Mat:





It can be hard to pin down your thoughts and feelings as they swirl around in your head. Often, the more we have to say, the harder it is to say anything at all. Putting pen to paper can really help with this, because it gives you a chance to solidify those wild thoughts and crystalize those errant feelings. In doing this, you can reach a higher level of self-awareness. If you write without a filter, you may be surprised to see what surfaces on the page. Your inner self can take shape as you write down your real thoughts, feelings, opinions ands beliefs- things you may keep secret even from yourself. Becoming aware of that inner self allows you the opportunity to shift the things about yourself that might not bring you joy.


 Cute Yoga Journals



We often forget to thank ourselves for doing the things we want to do, and more importantly, those things we really would rather not do. Getting to your mat regularly might feel like a chore some days, as do many other things. However, documenting our journeys- the lessons learned, challenges faced, and peaks we reach- reminds us why we continue to do these things, and cultivates a sense of gratitude in us. It is through this that we are truly able to appreciate the time we spend on the mat, even on days we would maybe rather not. This feeling is what keeps us coming back to our practice, on good days and on bad.


 Mindfulness and Yoga



A part of journaling is learning to trust yourself. Recording your thoughts and feelings requires a level of confidence and vulnerability that little else ever will. We have a tendency to second-guess ourselves, and there’s no exception where writing is concerned. This is why journaling can be an exercise of self-trust: there’s no singular right way to do it, just what feels right in the moment. Trusting yourself in this way can actually reduce stress, and also allows you the rare opportunity to refocus on who you are and what you want, which in turn can drive you toward reaching your goals.


Overall Health

Writing is a curious thing. By putting all our various stressors down on paper, be they physical, mental, or emotional, we immediately begin to create some distance from them. Often, they begin to seem small, and we may wonder why they had even been bothering us in the first place. Research actually backs up these feelings, showing evidence that this practice can actually help us to cope with stressful events and even overcome them. Some research even suggests that journaling can strengthen your immune system, improve asthma, and reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Over time, journaling may not only make you happier, but healthier as well. It’s the perfect way to compliment the time you spend on the mat.


So, pick up that pen or laptop and begin today! Let the light of your inner truth shine through!

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