So you've started doing yoga. You've learned a few poses, got some of the breathing techniques down, and maybe started to feel like your body's in better condition that it ever was before. If you want to keep things that way (and chances are you do), then you should probably consider starting a yoga journal as well. This will help track your progress, in more ways than one.
What's A Yoga Journal?
A yoga journal is basically a diary of sorts. In it, you can keep track of all of the yoga exercises you've done so far, and which ones you want to target on doing one day. You can make notes on the various yoga types and poses to help you ascertain which parts you need to brush up and improve on. You can detail in your journal how each exercise or day made you feel so that you can easily pinpoint which poses or stretches work for you for any given mood. If one particular day's routine leaves you feeling sore or dissatisfied, you can quickly look over the entries in your journal in order to determine if anything needs changing. Going beyond that, you can even include your pre-session preparations and whatever post-session activities you engaged in as well.
Why Keep One?
Keeping a yoga journal is a great way of staying on the routine that you or your yoga instructor came up with. It helps you stay consistent and focused on both your short-term and long-term goals. Reading about all the work you put into your body, mind, and spirit can get you even more motivated to stick to your regimen. There's a certain sense of accomplishment when you look at a journal that is almost devoid of blank entries. A yoga journal also acts as written evidence of the many benefits of yoga that you have gained throughout all of your sessions. Apart from being a great form of exercise, yoga is also deeply rooted in meditation. That means it's not only physical, but spiritual and emotional as well. A journal is a great outlet for both positive and negative emotions that you want to let out. If you're feeling stressed, a journal can lead you to a measure of catharsis so that on your next session you don't have any unnecessary baggage weighing you down.
The next time you go to your yoga class, think about bringing a notebook with you and writing down your experiences, thoughts, and reflections. It may sound a bit too much like taking down notes in school, but hey, they are called "yoga classes" after all. Just like how your ratty old high school notebook helped you, your yoga journal will also keep you on track to being the person you want to be.