It usually struck about 4:00 PM. School had been out a good hour and a half, mom and pop were still at the office, and my across-the-street neighbor pal and I had run out of playtime ideas. Barbie wasn’t fun anymore. We couldn’t round up enough kids for a game of tag. Dinner wasn’t for another few hours.
And I was...bored.
Nowadays life gets so dang busy there’s rarely time to get bored. But in a free-from-distractions, quiet yoga class, sometimes that 4 PM witching hour hits. Since yoga is often the only pause in our daily lives, it is, frankly, one of the few times we can actually get bored: another Sun A. Sigh. Here comes Down Dog number five. Groan. And oh, hell no…not another plank already! Alas, even teachers suffer boredom at times. Sequences get stale. Cues start sounding like plug and play. The mind wanders into post-practice planning. But rather than cower in the yogi corner of shame, I simply acknowledge boredom when it comes on, and apply one or more of the following boredom-busting methods.
1. Breathe! It’s The Only Path Into The Present
Breathe deep enough, and your mind won’t drift off into yesterday or tomorrow. Breathe deep enough, and that longing for last Sunday’s sun and surf time, or the refreshing coconut water (or cold beer) waiting for you after class won’t even enter the mind as you hold it together in tree pose.
2. Listen Up! I know We Teachers Can Tend To Prattle On With Our Alignment Cues
But try listening once in a while. Be honest. How many times have you checked out in down dog, telling yourself, “I got this” as you tuned out the teacher? Even if you’ve done the pose a thousand times, try really listening – tilt the tailbone back, press the knuckles of the hands down firmly, rotate the triceps toward the thighs, you get the idea – and see if you’re still bored after all that.
3. Change It Up
The same poses with a different instructor or class style can definitely shake up your asana. I love taking classes from other teachers. Each one gives me a bucketful of new cues and demonstration tips on how to teach that pose I started to think was getting a little boring.
4. Add A Variation Or Modification
Do you always take a bind in side angle? Always drop the knee in side plank? Try that pose you do in every class and give it a twist. Bored no more!
5. Move Your Mat
Ditch your imaginary ‘reserved for yours truly’ rectangle in the back corner and flow somewhere new. Maybe smack center in front of the teacher. Good luck getting bored there!
6. Rooster Or Night Owl?
See how the other half lives and try an AM class if you normally flow with the night crew. Or sleep late and practice after work to get out of the wine followed by frozen dinner rut.
7. Hit The Books
This discipline has been around thousands of years. Clearly, it’s entertaining enough to last a thousand or so more. Have your favorite teacher compile a ‘must-read’ list, or Google away for suggested yoga reads and learn what amazing history and wisdom are behind the poses you practice every day. I doubt you’ll ever get bored again.