5 Ways to Connect with Yogis Online

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Let's be honest. There are times when I think to myself, I know I should get up and practice (or do something else that will be healthy and inspiring) . . . but I really don't want to right now. I'll make a silent vow to do my practice later. More often than not, later doesn't come.

What could possibly help me break though this unhealthy pattern of putting my practice on the back-burner? The one thing that has helped me more than anything else is having a supportive community of people who understand the necessity of regular yoga practice and encourage me to get off my butt! In an ideal world, I'd be surrounded by this community at all times. I might not have a live-in yoga cheerleader, but I do have a thriving community of other yogis right at my fingertips. And you can, too!

Here are 5 ways to start building your online support system of yogis.

1. Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs! If you're reading this blog, you're already well on your way! There are SO many talented yoga bloggers out there--and each one has a following of like-minded readers. If you love writing, starting a blog is a great way to start finding yogis like you. But even if writing isn't your thing, read and participate by commenting on blog posts that you find interesting. (To find them just do a quick Google search for your style of yoga or if you'd like to know about my favorites, go to SpoiledYogi.com and scroll down to find a list.) Pick a few that resonate and become a regular commenter, and before you know it, you'll be forming relationships with yogis like you.

2. Facebook. Chances are pretty good these days that your local yoga studio has a Facebook fan page. If you'd like to start building your yoga community online, that's a great place to start! Start by "liking" Yoga Journal, local studios, teachers and bloggers you know, and pay attention and respond to what they post in their updates.

3. Twitter. Twitter is my favorite tool for community building, but it can be a little overwhelming at first. (See my yogis' guide to Twitter here.) But once you get started, it's an amazing resource for yoga support. Whenever I don't feel like practicing, I announce it on Twitter and get instant feedback from my online yoga community reminding me of how much better I'll feel once I've done my practice!

4.Take the 21-Day Yoga Challenge. If you're interested in connecting with other yogis online, I can't think of a better way than signing up and participating in the 21-Day Challenge YJ is hosting in January. You'll be doing the same practice as thousands (maybe millions!?) of yogis all over the world who will be facing the same challenges and experiencing the same triumphs as you! Share your experiences, ideas, and advice and watch your practice (and your online community) flourish! Are you up to the challenge? Sign up here.

5. Don't be shy! The best advice I can give to anyone looking to make connections with like-minded people online is to do participate in some way every day. Make yourself known! Comment on, Facebook "like," and share the things that move you so that others can benefit, too! The more meaningful your contributions, the more people will want to be a part of your network!

This is the perfect opportunity to get started! Comment below and let us know how your online community has motivated you to get on the mat!

Erica Rodefer is a writer and yoga enthusiast in Charleston, SC. Visit her blog, Spoiledyogi.com, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.