When you are starting out with any sort of journey, journaling can be a very useful tool for keeping yourself accountable and tracking your progress. There are hundreds of studies that show the numerous benefits of journaling (this website lists 100 benefits!).
I highly recommend that anyone starting out in Ashtanga start documenting their progress in some way- whether it be pictures, video, journaling, or blogging. Progress can seem to take so long and it can be easy to get discouraged. Being able to look back and see how far you’ve come can be a major motivator to keep practicing.
For me, I am a lazy daily journaler. I can usually keep it up for a week or so, but then I get bored with it. I do find it to be time consuming. A great little tool I’ve found is this little journal:
It’s called the One Line a Day Five Year Journal. I think they are available at quite a few bookstores. I got mine at Chapters (Canada), but I’ve also seen them on Amazon. Each day has a page and there a few lines for each year. When completed, you can see what you did each day for the past five years. Every day after my practice, I just jot a few quick notes in it. It takes less than 5 minutes. Potential things to include are:
- Where you are in your practice
- How you felt- Are you tired? Happy? Had a hard time getting out of bed?
- Any aches & pains
- Poses you’re struggling with
- Any breakthroughs
- Major life events
I’m finding that partnering this daily journaling with blogging more in-depth a couple times a week is working for me at the moment. Even after a few weeks, you can look back and start to see patterns and small breakthroughs. I can’t even imagine looking back after five years of practice! If you are a lazy journaler like me, I would highly recommend this tool*. You don’t even have to buy this particular journal. You could very easily just buy a regular notebook and dedicate each page/half page to a day.
*Side note: This would also make a great daily gratitude journal!