Maddy Douglass

Knitter, lawyer, and safer beauty advocate in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, and cheese plates.  


How to Get to Yoga On Time | health

How to Get to Yoga On Time | health

"Eat healthy and exercise."

We allllll know that moving our bods is an important part of staying healthy (and, you know, alive!) but sometimes finding that motivation is just friggin hard. Life is exhausting! It's enough to go to work, deal with a commute, pay for an unsatisfying lunch, make sure you get your To Do list done, and then come home to laundry and dishes like every other adult. Ugh, I'm tired just typing that.

So even though yesterday morning I was up over two hours before my 10:30am yoga class, a class I genuinely love going to, I was still finding myself thinking of excuses to not go. 

Based on my personally tested system of forcing myself to go to exercise classes, I present the following ways to help get your butt on that mat when you should: 


1. Your calendar controls

If you're anything like me, you have a color coded Google Calendar that runs your life. Ok, maybe not runs, but at least informs. I have my bill payments, my mentoring appointments, trips with friends, and work events all locked in to my calendar. So, the first step to making myself commit to a workout routine was scheduling it in to that mess! 

Luckily, my studio allows for online class registration too, so I look at my personal calendar about a week in advance and plan the 2 or 3 or 4 times that week I'm going to make myself "hit the mat," so to speak. Knowing it's on my schedule in advance gives me that mental push to prepare for it, whether that means bringing my clothes to work or planning my grocery shopping for after my Sunday morning class. If I skip the class, I'll have to remove it from my calendar - and seeing that month full of little purple appointments I kept with my yoga studio is an extra congratulations to me!

2. Stow your mat

Some studios have a system for keeping your mat on the premises for a small fee. My studio charges $10 a month to keep the mat there, or provides the service free to unlimited monthly members (me!)

Just knowing I don't have to drag my neon green mat from my apartment to work to take an end of day class, or trek down the hill with it under my arm early on a weekend morning, makes me 75% more likely to get to class already. Even if I had to pay the fee, it would be well worth it to actually get a workout in. 

3. Dress for success

There have been a few articles circulating about how your exercise attire affects your workout, and I believe it. If you're wearing something uncomfortably tight, or so loose that your shirt falls over your head with every downward dog, you're far less likely to have a good workout experience. And who wants to keep doing something that isn't enjoyable to some extent? 

So, act within reason, but if treating yourself to some new yoga pants or a tank top with ruching so it doesn't slide up or down gets you to actually go to class, then do it. Treat yoself. 

4. Think of the money, honey

I missed two months of classes even though I was paying for the unlimited pass. I didn't realize that until I looked at the calendar and saw the date of when I last attended. You'd better believe that motivated me to commit to going 3-4 times a week this month. 

5. Think of the food, dude

Don't become manic about your diet or restrict yourself in an unhealthy way, but sometimes reminding yourself that life is about balance and you had two quesadillas for dinner or had a giant pumpkin spice latte or just haven't been to workout in a week while you've been eating not-the-best will give you that extra push to make it happen.

Or, schedule your weekly brunch with the pals for after a weekend class and let yourself fully indulge, knowing you've earned it! Food is fuel, yeah, but food can also be a good motivator. We're just like that Pavlov's dog with mimosas and hash browns at the end of the day. 

6. Let yourself breathe. 

This may be the best way to get yourself to go to class: just go when you can, and if you really can't make it happen, don't force it. Keep it a pleasurable workout experience, and give yourself a break when you need to. This counts for in-class too - if a move is too hard, or you need a breather, don't make yourself push too hard.

But, the converse is true too - just make the effort to go, even if you know you can't do much that day. Keep th habit going strong and you won't regret it. My last class was with a new teacher, was more full than any other class I'd taken, and I could hear someone's music on their phone through their headphones still playing in the cubbies next to me the entire time. But I stayed there, I tried to make the best of it, and I'm really happy that I went to class that day.

Do what you can, congratulate yourself for even showing up, and try again the next time. 

Ok, your turn! Do you have any tools (or just straight up mental tricks) you use to get yourself to move more?

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