Tuesday, 26 May 2015

How to beat the yoga blues

We’ve all been there – feeling stuck, discouraged, or unmotivated in our life. But what happens when you feel that way about your yoga practice?

It’s not unusual for a person’s passion for yoga to dim or fluctuate over time, but what’s important is a person’s commitment to learn and grow from it. If you’ve lost your love for yoga, read more to figure out how you can reconnect with your practice and fall in love all over again:

Photo credit: Chelsea Desiree Photography

Remember why you fell in love with yoga in the first place

Re-visit the start of your yoga journey and remind yourself why you started practicing in the first place. Was it for the physical practice? To help an injury heal? To spend time with friends? Take time for yourself? Or simply because it made you happy? Remember and acknowledge your reason, giving gratitude for whatever it was that got you on to the mat in the first place.

Take your practice off the mat

The asanas, the poses, are only a small part of a yoga practice. If you haven’t rolled out your mat for a while it doesn’t mean you haven’t or can’t practice yoga. You can try reading a book (anything by B.K.S. Iyenger is a good start) or visit daily yoga blogs (such as this one that you’re reading right now). Share love by volunteering or giving back to the community somehow. Practice gratitude and daily affirmations. Give thanks for your breath. These are just examples you can do to practice yoga without moving into a pose or going to a class.

Look for inspiration within your self

Yoga photos on Instagram can be inspiring and motivating but sometimes you need to take a break from social media. Do this, and then take some time to reflect on yourself. How has your practice grown? What have you learned and how have you changed since you started a regular yoga practice? What can you do now that you couldn’t before? It could be anything from biting your tongue when you’re in a long line up at the grocery store to reaching your heels closer to the ground in down dog. Maybe you can hold a pose a bit longer than you could before. Maybe your clothes fit a bit loser. Maybe you have more compassion for others. Reflect on yourself and how you have grown. Be your own inspiration.

Do what you can

Do what can, even if it’s one little thing a day. You can renew your practice by taking just two minutes a day to sit in stillness and breath. Or maybe by reading a chapter a day in a yoga book. Perhaps you could follow at gentle 20-minute sequence on a YouTube channel at home or take a beginners class at the local studio. Whatever it is that you do, be kind to yourself and know that it’s enough. Know that you are enough. After taking a break from yoga, you can give yourself permission to be nice to yourself and as you start again, move slowly. You don’t want to get overwhelmed and discouraged easily, nor do you want to set unrealistic expectations and set yourself up for the potential of self-judgment.

Like any relationship, one with your yoga practice takes time to develop and it takes work to keep strong and healthy. Remember that if you love yourself, your practice will grow, replenish and renew. Do what is best for you. You already know the answer, you just have to find and listen to it.