Whether you’re an active yogi, someone who dabbles with the practice every once in a while, or someone who has never tried but has always wanted to—it’s important to remember that yoga, like anything in life, is a disciple—and with any discipline (work or play) there will be times when your interest and passion drifts.
Even someone who regularly practices yoga may need to relearn how to fall back in love with yoga again—whether that’s because of outside circumstances, a health concern, job shift(s), family obligations, etc.
Regardless of the reason, it’s okay to move away from (and return) to a practice, yoga or otherwise. But if you’ve found yourself falling away, here are some tips for bringing yourself back and learn to love yoga all over again.
1. Dive Into The Meaning
At first, everything in yoga is new. You’ll find yourself doing poses that you’ve never done before, stretching muscles you didn’t know you had, and feeling incredible every step of the way. Yoga feels good.
Over time, though, the ‘newness’ begin to fade, and you may even start to lose the energy around some of the classes, poses, and routines. (This is normal!) But keep in mind that yoga isn’t about being entertained; it’s about connecting with the universe.
Yoga is just as much about moving your body as it is a spiritual pursuit.
If you find yourself getting bored, change the way you approach your practice. Think less about being stimulated and more about your mental state. Focus on becoming more intimately connected with yourself and everything around you. You should feel as if you’re practicing self-care, as well as get a release through your mind, body, and soul.
2. Accept The Ups & Downs
Everyone will hit a plateau during their practice (even the most experienced yogis!). Remember that this is normal. It doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped improving entirely. It’s just a temporary pause before you dive into another area of your practice.
Don’t focus more on getting a ‘workout’ and ‘advancing’ over enjoying, reflecting, and being open to the way your practice will shift. Despite what the world may say, yoga isn’t all about progress all the time! It’s actually about connection. Focus on a more ‘yin’ approach: being receptive and open. Don’t try to get somewhere; just be in the now.
3. Explore New Things
Yoga goes far beyond routine classes. In fact, fundamentally, yoga is a form of meditation and can be used as such. As you move in and out of poses, think about disconnected from the physical world and entering the spiritual world. While you’ll, of course, reap the physical benefits—like the release of tension, stretching of muscles, and improvement of balance—you’ll also (and perhaps more so) be elevated in your conscious thinking.
When you commit to the practice of yoga—beyond the traditional and into the personal—you’ll have a new way of thinking, feeling, and living.
4. Embrace Being Solo
Group yoga classes are great way to connect with likeminded individuals; however, group classes don’t always allow you to move at your own pace and have your own experience. The social aspect of yoga is wonderful, but it’s not the core of the practice.
The core of yoga is the union between your mind, body, and soul and how those aspects of you connect outward.
Instead of always jumping on the opportunity to join a class, consider being virtual, where you can have your individual experience. Or, think about starting your day with a 20-minute session with music or even a guided track.
When you embrace the solo aspect of yoga, you’re able to listen to your body better and figure out what challenges you, what limitations you have, and where your mind and heart are.
5. Consider Teaching Others
When it comes to yoga, you don’t always have to be a student. In fact, becoming a teacher is a great way to fall in love with the practice! Whether you opt for online training or an in-person workshop (or classes) this can be a great way to step out of your comfort zone, guide others into deeper wellness and healing, and grow in your own practice.
6. Try Different Styles & Teachers
When you’re feeling stuck (and even if you’re not!) consider changing your teachers, practices, locations, and/or styles. At times, you’ll connect with certain instructors over others (and that’s okay). Finding the perfect fit will help you to grow and deepen your experience.
7. Invest In Quality Materials
While you don’t have to have the latest and greatest to strengthen your practice, having high quality materials can make you feel more inspired! Material objects, such as mats, blocks and yoga pants, aren’t necessarily the end-all-be-all of yoga… but they can give you energy.
Remember that investing in your materials and items is investing in yourself.
8. Don’t Force Anything
If you’re not feeling positive, it’s okay to take a temporary step back. Keep in mind that if you’re not passionate or committed, you won’t be able to gain the true benefits of the class/experience/practice. The idea, here, is to change your perspective.
Yoga isn’t something that should require extreme amounts of effort or force. So, if you’re feeling stagnant, try changing your mindset around the ‘why’—why you’re practicing in the first place. Try to move into a space of positive energy, relaxation, and ‘flow’ where you’re less worried about and you’re able to be in the moment.
For other yoga tips, read this article about finding your balance in yoga!
Featured Image Credit: Thomas Park