20 Yoga Journal Prompts to Deepen Your Yoga Practice

Keeping a yoga journal is one of my favorite ways to develop a deeper connection to my practice. It helps to keep me accountable in developing greater self-awareness. Additionally, it helps to cultivate “tapas”, the Sanskrit word for one of the most important parts of yoga, the concept of discipline. However, keeping a yoga journal is by no means an easy feat. We all need a little inspiration here and there. This post provides 20 yoga journal prompts to help you develop your own yoga journal that works for you and helps you to get clarity on the benefits of yoga as it applies to you.

Skip ahead to:

Key Takeaways:

  1. Yoga Journaling Enhances Practice: Keeping a yoga journal can deepen your yoga practice by fostering greater self-awareness, discipline, and mindfulness. It allows you to set intentions, track progress, and explore your emotions and experiences on the mat.
  2. Prompts for Every Stage: The article provides a variety of journal prompts tailored to different stages of your yoga practice—before, during, and after. These prompts encourage introspection, compassion, and mindfulness, helping you navigate both the physical and emotional aspects of your practice.
  3. Tips for Effective Journaling: To maintain a sustainable journaling practice, the article offers practical tips, such as setting a time limit, being honest with yourself, and using simple questions as starting points. Reflecting on past entries and seeking support from a community can also enhance your journaling experience.

Yoga Journal Prompts for Before Practice

How we feel before practice can shed light on how we feel during and after. In my case, if I come to the mat feeling slightly off-kilter, then I probably will be more likely to take shortcuts on the mat, and after practice will wish I had opted for something slower like Yin yoga, or more relaxing like Restorative yoga.

Take what works for you, adapt, and leave the rest.

  1. What brings me to my mat today?
  2. How does my body feel before I begin my practice?
  3. What emotions am I carrying with me onto the mat?
  4. What intention do I want to set for my practice today?
  5. What does self-care look like for me today?
  6. What are my personal goals in my yoga practice?

Yoga Journal Prompts for During Practice

Sometimes there are things that crop up during practice. Some uncomfortable emotions or some niggling anatomical concerns. Take a deep breath and make a mental note of them to jot down in your journal later. For example, I often feel a lot of frustration these days at how quickly I forget to focus on my breath. Therefore, the first prompt is one I refer to a LOT.

  1. How can my breath guide me deeper into my practice?
  2. What poses or sequences make me feel most grounded and stable?
  3. What am I releasing or letting go of during this practice?
  4. How can I show more compassion to myself through yoga?

Yoga Journal Prompts for After Practice

Some people like to journal immediately after practice. Others like to leave it for a few hours. There is no right or wrong way, opt for whatever suits you. That might change each day, too. Personally, I like to journal immediately after practice. Anything I notice beyond that I jot down in my phone, and then add it to the journal when I remember or before the next practice.

  1. How can I bring mindfulness into my yoga poses?
  2. What part of my practice needs more attention or improvement?
  3. What obstacles am I facing in my practice, and how can I overcome them?
  4. How can I bring more mindfulness into my daily activities off the mat?
  5. How do I find stillness and peace in the midst of a busy life?

The Extras

Some of the prompts that can be included in a journal may not fit neatly into a before, during, or after section. However, they could still be valuable in providing insight or inspiration. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so feel free to add your own.

  1. What does yoga mean to me personally?
  2. How can I cultivate more balance in my life through yoga?
  3. How does yoga help me manage stress and anxiety?
  4. What lessons have I learned from my yoga journey so far?
  5. What impact has yoga had on my relationships with others?

Tips to Keep a Journal

Yoga journaling can be a powerful tool to help you deepen your connection to your practice. However, a journaling practice is not all that easy to sustain. Some tips to keep you going include:

  1. Keep it in a place that is connected to your practice. For example, I keep mine in my yoga clothes drawer. That way, I remember to take it out each practice.
  2. Set a time limit (I spend 10 minutes on mine), and develop a format for your entries. I have sections for date, time, class information (teacher, class name, and link), notes (answering the relevant prompts from above), and questions or insights (to ask my teacher or to use as inspiration for my next entry).
  3. Be honest. For the journal to be an effective tool for creating a deeper connection with your practice, accept that sometimes, tough stuff will emerge. Your physical and emotional well-being is the most important thing. Have a support system on hand for the tough days.
  4. Use simple questions as a starting point. You are not expected to be a professional writer so go easy on yourself. The first time, maybe avoid all questions and focus on the easy stuff like date and time. When you do answer some yoga journal prompts, there are no wrong answers.
  5. Reflect on previous entries to keep track of patterns about your inner self. This “user data” is so valuable, taking your yoga to a deeper level. They may also help refine your own personal yoga routine and could shine a light on how it is that you measure your yoga progress.
  6. Join a group to learn from others how they use their journal or develop discipline in their practice. My own little Facebook group for Yoga Beginners is a great place to do just that.

FAQs about Yoga Journal Prompts 

1. What are the benefits of using prompts in a yoga journal?

A yoga journal will keep you accountable in your practice, help develop discipline on and off the mat, and will help cultivate greater self-awareness and deeper self-reflection. It will also help you to refine the process of setting intentions for your practice, whether that’s focusing on a particular movement or making your time on the mat more of a mindfulness practice.

2. How many prompts should I use each practice?

This is totally up to you. In order for it to be sustainable, I would recommend keeping your yoga journal prompts to only the ones you feel are truly relevant to today’s practice. Personally, I spend no more than 10 minutes per entry. There is no need to write a lot, just enough to help you develop greater awareness about how the time spent on your yoga mat influences you off the mat. The journaling prompts are there for inspiration only and are purely a guide.

3. What should I expect from keeping a yoga journal?

Don’t expect it to be easy or to provide quick results. However, over time, you might develop a little more mental clarity about:

  • how the practice is working for you
  • how it is impacting your personal growth
  • how it is helping you to develop a greater sense of inner peace
  • how it can take you to the next level in your practice beyond the asanas.

Expect to notice how small things like keeping a record of the dates and times of your practice work to keep you accountable, and how the practice of yoga is having subtle yet positive effects physically and emotionally.