We’ve all been there. Some people thrive on routine, but others get bored with it. After building a consistent practice, we tend to do the same thing over and over again – this can lead us to plateau. No one wants to get stuck and put their practice on pause. Here are a few ways that you can bring some life back to your mat after taking a break:
1. Try a new kind of yoga
Whether it’s at your studio or a youtube video at your house, trying something completely different can bring some energy back into your practice. Maybe you end up loving it, or maybe it’s not your thing; either way you tried it, kudos to you! If you typically do Vinyasa flow or power classes, maybe you try Kundalini, Yin, or Restorative. I recently took a “glow yoga” class complete with glow sticks and face paint, and it was unlike anything I had ever tried. Usually I am very intentional and calm about practicing, but this class brought a lot of laughs and smiles to my mat and was a reminder not to take myself too seriously. As one of my teachers says, “Relax, it’s only yoga!”
2. Force yourself to spend 5 minutes a day on your mat…doing anything.
It could be meditating, napping, reading, stretching. It doesn’t have to be yoga! This keeps us consistent and in the habit of spending time on your mat even if you need a physical break. Before you know it, you’ll spend those five minutes practicing, and you might even stay for longer!
3. Try a new setting
If you always practice in the same space, it can be nice to switch it up every once in a while and get a different perspective. You can try a new studio and see how it feels. You can also try and practice outside in a park or your yard if you have one. If you usually practice in one spot inside your home, try moving your mat to a different room. Usually practice in your living room? Why not try the bedroom or kitchen and test it out? You never know until you give it a shot!
4. Look up video of a pose you haven’t tried yet
Nothing gets us into our bodies quite like the sensation of trying something new for the first time. It may not be successful, but trying and falling (safely) are key parts to every practice! It will always give you something to work towards, even if you never quite get there.
5. Practice with a friend
When all else fails, sometimes we need an accountability partner. Talking with them can help keep you motivated because you don’t want to let them down. Don’t know anyone who practices yoga in your area? Get talking to someone in class the next time you’re at a studio. Or, you can always find someone and ask them on social media to be online buds!
The most important thing is just to keep trying until something sticks. Consistency builds habit, which helps us over time change our bodies, minds, and behaviors.