Let’s be real for a minute. Sometimes, it’s hard to stay committed to my yoga practice. Some days I just don’t have the time, the energy, or the focus to be practicing. Sometimes it seems easier to just find a show on TV and sink into the couch forgetting that unrolled mat only a few feet away. Sounds familiar? Sometimes, that’s okay. It’s what your body needs/wants but sometimes, this can get dragged on for a few days or even weeks, so I wanted to share a few tips that work for me.
1. Change up your yoga practice.
Sometimes, we don’t think it’s practicing yoga unless we’re doing a 1+ hour sweaty hot yoga or vinyasa flow session that gets up moving and grooving. While that’s totally acceptable and loads of fun, sometimes, it can be a hindrance to a daily yoga practice. I like to switch it up and keep my yoga practice fun & interesting. One day might include hot yoga class in a 100+ degree 40% humidity room while the next day my body wants some yin yoga where I can get deeper into each asana. Keep it fun and interesting. I find doing the same practice day after day a little too boring.
2. Develop a home practice.
To be honest, I get anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour of yoga in a day and a lot of that has to do with me having a solid home yoga practice. While I love going to gyms & studios and jiving with the other yogi’s, sometimes a home yoga practice is really where it’s at. I can get the poses that my body needs in. If my back is hurting one day, I can adjust the poses as necessary and build my yoga practice based on what I need on a particular day. I also don’t have to worry about what time the class is offered or if I’m in the right class. For instance, after work I typically have to head straight home to walk my dog unless I’ve made other arrangements so I can’t just hop on over to a studio. I think it’s typical to have limitations on when and where you can take classes so having a good mix of both gym/studio classes & a home practice can be key to sticking with your yoga practice.
3. Hold yourself accountable
Going with number 2, it’s really easy to not hold yourself accountable, especially if you’re practicing at home. I have had so many friends ask me how I can complete workouts at home and practice yoga at home because they just lose the motivation or get too distracted. What they’re really not doing is holding themselves accountable for their practice, for that time that they’ve carved out for themselves. If I hold myself accountable to get 60 minutes of yoga on a certain day, it shouldn’t matter if I’m at a studio or at home, that’s MY time for MY practice. After a while, you’re mindset will most likely shift and instead of your yoga practice being something you have to do with your day, it truly becomes something you look forward to in your day/week.
4. Practice gratitude & listen to your body.
Sometimes being able to stick to our yoga practice is just changing how we view our practice. Instead of viewing our practice as something that we have to do, just another think on the list to check of, try changing your mindset for a moment. Your practice is something that you get to do, it’s something that betters your mind & body and one of the things that really helps me is just letting go of any expectations of our practice or body. If I go into my practice thinking, “oh man, this is going to take an hour of my time that I just don’t have,” then I’m going to have a miserable practice and spoiler alert, your yoga practice should never, ever be miserable. One of the is to just listen to my body & change that mindset so whenever I’m feeling like that I take a moment to say. No. I get to take this hour for MYSELF (and if the 1 hour is really too much that day, then give yourself 30 minutes or 20 or 10 it doesn’t matter). If your body wants to be in child’s pose of savasana that day, let it. You know your body best.
5. Be easy on yourself
Going back to number 4, listen to your body, it really does know best. Some days, I’m just too tired and I have no motivation to practice. These are the types of days where sitting on the couch watching something on on TV sounds a whole lot better and getting on my mat. And guess what, that’s OK too. On days like this, I take my mat to the living room floor and tell myself I’m going to do just a few asanas while I watch a watch something (always being mindful of my form). Sometimes, I’ll go for 10 minutes before moving to the couch, while other times I’m three episodes in and my body is still moving on my mat.