There are times when everyone hits a bit of a yoga slump, when your schedule starts to fill up and making time for your yoga practice takes a back seat. The immediate things (texts, emails, work engagements) overpower the important things (health, happiness, peace of mind) and you start to feel a little ‘off’ and don’t know why. When this happens, you might notice a quiet little voice in your head saying ‘slow down’ which you promptly ignore because oh-look-my-phone-beeped-must-answer-now. We’ve all done it, because it’s easy to do.
When you find you’re leaving your yoga practice at the bottom of your list, here are a few things to get you motivated to get back on your mat:
- Know that it’s human. Part of living a balanced life is learning to step in and out of balance every once in a while. See this as practice – you’re learning how to get yourself back into healthy habits. You’re learning what causes you to lose your practice. You’re learning what makes you happy and what doesn’t. All valuable information for learning how to manage your life.
- Remember how you felt after your last yoga class – go through every sensation. What did you feel in your body, how were you thinking, what did you learn to do on the mat?
- Why did you start yoga? Tap into what drew you to yoga and what benefits you wanted from the practice. Write a list of all the reasons you started your practice.
- Look how far you have come. Whether you have been practicing for a week, a year or a decade – look at how far you have come. What muscles have been stretched and strengthened? What has changed in your state of mind? How do you treat your body differently since you started yoga?
- What can you do right in this moment to get back to your practice? Can you sit for one minute and pay attention to your breath? Can you book a class for this week? Can you take 10 deep breaths and relax your shoulders down?
- Get some inspiration. I know they can be corny, but there’s nothing like an inspirational YouTube or Instagram video to get me back on my mat. Choose something friendly and fun, or something that shows progress or talks about the benefits.
- Get curious about what’s new for you. Find a pose you find interesting or want to work towards, find a new teacher you haven’t tried before, find a breathing technique that feels funky. Find one thing that’s new in your body today.
- Talk about yoga. To your pals, your yoga teacher, the lady next to you in the Tesco queue – talking about yoga always gets me excited to get back to class. Talk about what you love about it, what you’ve learned from it, what styles you like.
- Plan your day around what matters most. Stephen Covey (Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People) has a great exercise where you decide what’s urgent, and what’s actually important. Take a few minutes to think about what’s most important to you and how you want to plan around that. Check out the exercise here.
- Think about how much everyone around you would benefit from a healthier, happier version of you. When you are calm and healthy, everyone in your life and work will benefit!
These are a few motivators that I find useful to get me back to rolling out my mat and feeling good. What works for you? Share any hints and tips that keep you motivated and keep you coming back to your mat.