We all know it, the one constant in life is change. Just as life changes around us, the beloved yoga routine, which felt so right some years ago, may not be the best for us anymore.
But how do you know if it’s time to move on and mix it up a bit? Here are five signs that could be telling you that your current yoga routine is no longer working for you.
1. You haven’t felt inspired by your practice in a long time.
Sure, you will not always feel a divine inspiration to roll out your yoga mat, and that’s ok. These uninspired times teach us the power of consistency and the power of routine. We develop when we stick with things, especially through the hard times. But if you have not been inspired by your practice for a long time, maybe it’s time to sit on your mat for a little self reflection.
Are you always practicing the same familiar poses? Is there a sequence or a pose you are avoiding? Maybe you need to mix it up, choose a more challenging routine, or opt for more mini, bite-size yoga sessions throughout your week instead of few bigger chunks.
2. Your lifestyle has undergone big changes.
Maybe you started your yoga practice when you had more time on your hands, or your physical condition was different than it is today. It’s time to check that your yoga practice still complements your life today. Sometimes life can be hectic, and if on top of a very yang style life we cram a lot of powerful yoga into our day, it can be too much for the body and the nervous system to handle.
If, on the other hand, our lifestyle is very mellow and quiet, maybe Yin yoga would be too much of the same thing. Think about your lifestyle outside of the mat, and consider what could complement it. Take care of yourself and view yourself as the holistic being you are.
3. You feel drained and exhausted after every practice.
Are you driven and goal-oriented, and this is also reflected in your practice? If you are feeling exhausted during every yoga routine, or long after practicing, maybe it’s time to take a step back and listen to your body. Yoga is great to build muscle tone and stamina, but all of that does not build itself over night.
Every pose comes with several prep poses, which you can explore before moving up to the full versions of the postures. Challenge yourself, but give yourself time and space to develop. Remember, if you lose your breath, take a step back and tone it down a notch.
4. You “nail” every pose, every time.
It’s a great feeling when your practice flows effortlessly and you feel light, strong, and at one with your breath. But the mat is also a place of exploration—a place to feel vulnerable and to try something you haven’t tried before.
It’s a safe place to be a beginner; yoga is a journey after all, and being a beginner offers great humility and curious energy. So try something new! Try the pose that scares you (within safe limits), and explore what happens within you. Balance is everything.
5. You forgot why you are practicing to begin with.
When we start practicing yoga, we usually have an intention or a calling beyond the asana practice that pulls us onto the mat. There is something sacred, fascinating, and beneficial waiting for us within the world of yoga, and we explore it with great openness and curiosity.
Are you still learning and curious to explore all sides of yoga? Maybe you can benefit to add more meditation, pranayama or yoga philosophy into your practice in order to find your reason again.
Yoga practice should develop with us, and we should feel free to modify it without feeling guilty about it. Take it slow when needed, spice it up when there is energy available, and always keep an open mind towards our practice.
Where are you today with your practice? Is it still benefiting your current lifestyle, or are you very attached to one type of practice? Create some space for yourself to explore different opportunities and trust that the spark will come back again.
Image credit: Dan Morgan
Jake Paul White