The Benefits of Journaling for Yoga: What is a Yoga Journal?
When we hear the term ‘journaling’, our first thought is rarely of yoga. How can writing in a journal possibly help with meditation and exercise? The answer might surprise you.
Journaling and yoga both involve focusing on the present moment. They are mindful practices that complement each other perfectly.
The benefits of journaling for yoga are innumerous, and they can transform your yoga practice into a truly meaningful experience.
What is Journaling for Yoga?
A yoga journal is a space for you to write about your thoughts and experiences of your yoga sessions. The best thing about a yoga journal is that there are no real boundaries for what you can write about in your journal.
You might journal about the best way to perform the Downward-Facing Dog. You might journal about the feelings of peace you experienced whilst performing the Tree Pose. You might journal about the mindful thoughts you had whilst practicing yoga.
Yoga journals are for planning, analysing and being creative in your yoga sessions to enhance the experience. There really are no boundaries to what you can write about when journaling for yoga.
What are the Benefits of Journaling for Yoga?
So, you might be wondering what the benefits of journaling for yoga are? Can a yoga journal really improve your yoga practice?
There are many benefits of journaling for yoga. Keeping a yoga journal leads to more mindful yoga practice. You notice the sensations of each of your movements, drawing your mind into the present moment, so you can really appreciate the process of your yoga practice.
Yoga journaling lets you record the details of successful routines, so that you can repeat them. You can write about your achievements, as you add in unfamiliar moves or complete longer sessions.
Yoga sessions are the perfect time for introspection and understanding of the self. Any thoughts or ideas that come to mind during your sessions can be written down in your yoga journal.
What's a Good Daily Routine for Successful Yoga Journaling?
Practice makes perfect. Make journaling for yoga part of your day-to-day routine to get the full benefit of your journaling sessions.
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 yoga practice. Generally, you will need to write in your yoga journal after your yoga practice, so you can record the details without breaking the stride of your session.
You can also write your goals for the session beforehand. Is there a particular movement you want to complete in this session? Or do you want to practice for a certain period of time? Log it all in your yoga journal. You can also record your feelings before and after the session to record improvements in your mental wellbeing.
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 outcomes.
What Should You Write in a Yoga Journal?
One of the benefits of journaling for yoga is that what you write in a yoga journal is entirely up to you. You can focus on your physical practice or your mental journey through the session.
Another way to make use of your yoga journal is freewriting. Freewriting involves writing down whatever comes into your mind without attempting to control it. It doesn’t matter if what you write is boring or nonsensical - freewriting in your yoga journal is about tapping into your subconscious without limits. This can help you let out ideas and feelings you might have experienced during a yoga session, using yoga as a springboard for self-exploration.
Journaling for yoga can also help record your feelings about the sessions. What did you discover about yourself during the session? How did particular movements feel? Did anything make you feel uncomfortable? You can use this information to tailor your yoga routines.
The many benefits of journaling for yoga can create a more mindful yoga experience, where you can record your goals, thoughts and feelings throughout your yoga practice. As you develop your yoga journal, look back on your old sessions and see how far you have progressed. Through using a yoga journal, yoga practice becomes more than just an exercise routine, but an opportunity for self-exploration.