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On a day-to-day basis, you may not notice all of the changes that are occurring in your yoga practice and that occur as a result of your yoga practice. Over longer periods of time your memory of your original practice begins to fade and you may forget altogether where you began or even where you were six months ago in your practice.

Keeping a yoga journal to record your thoughts is a great way to bring a new awareness to your practice. By taking a few minutes after yoga to jot down thoughts about the practice, over time you will have a nice record of your progress. This can be a great tool not only to help you learn more about how your practice is deepening, but it can also help you to determine what is the best practice for you under certain conditions.

A yoga journal is a great way to learn about how our practice affects us on a physical, emotional, and mental level. If you noticed that a particular pose, sequence, or class felt great when you were experiencing a certain emotion or mental state, then write it down. You will be more likely to remember what worked if you write it down, and you can always turn to your journal at a later date when you might be feeling the same way again.

Yet another useful reason for keeping a yoga journal is the valuable insight that arises while we are on the yoga mat. Have you ever had a really great idea or solved a problem you were facing while on the mat? In those moments when we are focused on our breath—while all else fades away—we can often tap into a wiser insight that comes from simply being. Recording your insights after practice will help you to keep those thoughts fresh so that you will be able to put them into use later on. If you don’t record it, you may forget the idea even arose. With a journal, you will always be able to re-learn what you may have forgotten.

If you want to get a new perspective on your yoga practice, keeping a yoga journal will help you to view your practice through a wider lens. Carry a journal with you to class or keep one in your car and take a few moments to record your thoughts about practice. Record whatever thoughts come to your mind and then read back through those pages every few months to gain a deeper understanding of your practice and yourself.