New practice for a New Year


Cassie Signore

2019 is here and I’m sure everyone is seeing #newyearnewme. It’s the time of year where everyone sets goals and makes promises to themselves about hitting their goals this year. “This is the year for me.”

The new year generally kick starts everyone’s fitness fads, diets, training, and overall trend on what they want to accomplish in the coming year but what about revisiting your past commitments. What did you want to accomplish in 2018 that you missed out on? Maybe you were almost to one of your goals, but you were still a few steps out of reach. Did you commit yourself to the gym? Do you feel like you really took a hold of your practice? Missing your goal is ok as long as you keep pushing forward to complete it. With the practice of yoga, we often can find ourselves distracted and off our mats more than we like but why not make 2019 more focused.

The single most defining factor in establishing your yoga practice is your commitment to unroll and get on your mat every day. Whether you are going to classes or practicing on your own, it’s ultimately your decision to make the practice a part of your life. Some days might be tough. We might be tired, stressed, lacking inspiration, everything hurts, or maybe we’re just “not feeling it” but we still need to do it.

Having “practice” as a part of your mindset doesn’t have to apply to just yoga you can use it for committing to other things like weightlifting, running, or just getting yourself up and going to the gym.

Practice is a ritual that once it becomes a part of your routine, it becomes a part of who you are and a part of your life. No one can walk your path for you. Only you can accomplish your goals.

This year, I challenge you to commit yourself to taking some time out of your day to practice. Even if it’s not yoga related get up and commit yourself to your goal.

Whether you’re getting on your mat, going for walks or runs, going to the gym, or going to fitness classes, stick to it. Our bodies respond well to routines so try and take the same time every day to obligate yourself to exercise.

I recommend signing up for fitness classes somewhere in your community. I know when I go take classes I’m more motivated, I feel refreshed afterwards, and I enjoy going so much that I keep going to class. You gain a better sense of community when you participate in fitness classes and you meet new people who also help keep you motivated.

With yoga, it’s a relief finding that one teacher who helps you stay committed to your practice and challenges you every class. I’m sure it’s the same when finding a personal trainer. At the same time, you have to put in the work.

The teacher or trainer can only do so much unless you’re willing to commit yourself to your routine. The most important part is consistency.

Get on your mat. Even five minutes of meditation can help clear your mind of negative thoughts, stressful emotions, and ultimately has the power to change your day. There is no substitute for getting on your mat. Commit yourself to practicing for at least 5-10 minutes every day until the end of the month. A good start would be at least four days a week. Remember, it doesn’t have to be just yoga it can be committing to something as simple as walking around your neighborhood. Keep a journal to record your practice time and your progress. Maybe write down how you felt that day or ways to help keep you motivated. Progress can’t happen without practice. Commit to doing and kick off your new year right.

Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach at The Edge Fitness in Bristol.

Cassie McIntyre performs a yoga back bend.