Having recovered from the illness that knocked me flat on my back for over a week, I have been thinking a lot about starting daily yoga practice again. I’ve been thinking about it and talking about it, however when it comes to actually unrolling my mat and getting on it – there’s been a disappointing lack of action.
Looking at it critically – there are a number of reasons for this malaise:
I am bored. In home practice I stay firmly within my comfort-zone, often repeating the same routine (Sun Salutation A; Sun Salutation A; Sun Salutation A; Sun Salutation B; Stare out the window…) for several days in a row.
Going through the motions indicates yoga has become habitual, however without mindfulness, concentration (literally) goes out the window.
I am also not pushing myself. In a class if a pose is unfamiliar or challenging, I still try it but at home with no encouragement (or pressure) if something is difficult I barely attempt it.
When I first started practicing yoga it was to get moving and manage stress and it often left me blown away with how relaxed I felt after a good session. Staying within the comfort zone deprives me of the physical rewards of a good practice.
Having given some real thought to the issue and being determined to get back my yoga passion I have decided to try the following:
1) I’m going back to class. I need an instructor and the class environment to take me out of my comfort zone.
2) I’m going to use online classes for home practice to break up monotony and keep me moving.
3) I will stop feeling bad about feeling bad. If I don’t want to practice I will not think of this as a failure and instead consider what else I can do with my time.
4) This article from Haley Coghill for MindBodyGreen examines the concept of the ‘yoga rut’ and has some great ideas to escape it. As suggested I will continue my running and am keen to see if different disciplines enhance my experience of yoga (plus, yoga makes an amazing warm-up for running.)
5) I’ll get inspired by others. In the Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Blog, Michelle Laxton explains how she watches Seane Corne’s body prayer video to revitalize her approach to yoga. Thinking back to when my obsession with yoga began, watching amazing videos of talented yogis practicing with beauty and intensity was a key inspiration, so I am sure a session with YouTube will re-spark some passion.
6) I will not forget gratitude and intention. In another (timely) post from Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Blog the importance of acknowledging gratitude and intention during your practice.
Naturally any tips on how I can reinvigorate home practice and become a happy, devoted yogi again are greatly appreciated!