I have been lucky enough to have a short interview with Ismini about how she stays consistent in her yoga practice. If you don’t know who Ismini is, then go and check out her YouTube and Instagram. Ismini is an amazing Yoga teacher who is currently teaching in Greece, she is super bendy, loves improving her poses and is such a lovely person.
Let’s get to the interview…
Have you always been naturally flexible?
I am double jointed or hyper mobile, so certain poses can be easier for me to get into even without proper warm up. I had to work hard though in order to reach my end ranges and become more flexible without getting injured, using techniques surrounding active flexibility. (It’s easier for hyper mobile people to get injured, as their joints are “loose” and we need to work on strength of the muscles surrounding the joints).
How often do you practice?
I was practicing yoga every day from 2015-2020, but the past two years or so, I have been focusing on doing yoga 2-3 times a week, going for a run 1-2 times a week and then doing Pilates or doing weight training for the strength element, 1-2 times a week. It really depends on the week and how I am feeling, but I try to have 1-2 rest days a week. It’s difficult though, as I teach Pilates and yoga classes at two studios and I have days I might be active for 3-4h a day.
Do you practice the same drills weekly?
I try to practice the same drills weekly to stay consistent and check my progress out. However, sometimes it could get boring or I might want to work on something different, thus I might change the drills I do every 3 weeks or so. Keep things interesting. It also depends on your goals. For example, one year I was obsessed with getting my handstand holds and I would work hard towards that, but the last two years I’ve been obsessed with backbends, which I’m working on now.
How do you make sure you stay consistent?
I make a vague plan of my workouts throughout the week and add them onto my calendar to know when I’m training what. Sometimes of course, I might be tired or sick or injured or short on time, so then I might change the order of my workouts or take a rest day instead.
Do you find having a goal helps you to stay consistent?
Definitely! I can see that with the goals I’ve set for myself. One year I was obsessed with getting my handstand holds, another period of time I was focused on getting my back walkover and the past two years I’ve been obsessed with backbend training. I am an “all of nothing” type of person, so if I get into something or if I set a goal for myself, I’m going to give it my best shot.
Any tips or advice for people trying to stay consistent in their practice?
I’d say, try and make a vague weekly plan. Don’t be overly ambitious at first. Don’t set an unrealistic goal for yourself, you might not achieve it and you may lose your motivation and confidence. For example, if you know that you have 30mins to yourself 3 times a week, try to stick to that and block it off your calendar. Once you’ve made that happen over a 1-2 month period and it’s become more of a habit, you can try adding in an extra session if you have the time. You could also maybe try and involve a friend or loved one to have some company and to also hold you accountable.
How often do you recommend people practice to see improvement in their poses?
In general, I’d say 30mins a day, 3 times a week is a good start! It’s important that one stays active though even when not doing yoga, walking or working on mobility/ stretching would help as well. If one has a specific goal (eg handstand hold), then it really does depend on that goal, on one’s body and lifestyle.
Any tips to help people improve their flexibility?
Yoga is a really good tool, but definitely work on active flexibility as well, as it will get you deeper into poses in a safer way, as you’ll be working on conditioning and strength at the same time. Try and not hold static stretches for too long, especially when not fully warmed up and always listen to your body, if you’re not feeling 100%, don’t push yourself as you might get injured.