Uh-oh, you booked an appointment during your favorite yoga class yesterday; maybe life just got a little too hectic. But then, you 'accidentally' forgot to pack your Lululemons when you left for work this morning.
What's really going on here? These signs may indicate that your practice needs a little inspiration to help you stay focused on your sankalpa (yoga intention) when you feel less than motivated. Below you will find a few tips to send you swooning back to your Savasana in no time!
1. Turn up the heat.
Fiery yogis swear by the heat, boasting that a sweaty sesh can fend off budding flu symptoms, improve physical flexibility, and give you the endurance necessary to sustain poses for longer periods of time. If extreme heat doesn't light your fire then opt for a low to moderately heated room.
Even a slight increase in temperature may reignite your passion for your practice.
2. Turn down the tunes.
If you always have the sound vibes flooding the airwaves can you hear your ujjayi breath? Perhaps the music distracts you lately from your asana?
Both music AND silence create an ambiance for your practice. A silent practice, sometimes known as Vipassana meditation, heightens your self-awareness and helps you pay greater attention to the mental chatter that sometimes gets drowned out when it’s ALL ABOUT THAT BASS.
3. Shift your drishti.
Drishti helps you cultivate the ability to focus. If you learn to pay close attention to what you see externally during your practice, you train your mind to quiet down, withdraw your senses (pratyahara), and connect internally.
Often we fall into the habit of perfecting physical alignment so much that we lose sight of the mental and spiritual qualities of yoga. Dedicating your practice to your drishti will help you gain inner awareness and the insight your practice needs to bridge your internal and external worlds.
4. Find the Yin to your Yang.
Do you love to Chaturanga until you sweat a small ocean beneath your mat, or do you prefer to bliss out with your blankets and bolsters for 90 minutes when you show up to your candlelight Zen class?
While both styles of yoga offer amazing health benefits, such as reducing stress and aligning your spine, you still may have shifted away from your center. If your Yin and Yang energies do not sync, you may feel less inspired, edgy, or even bored by your practice.
Rather than continuing on the same path, one day this week, try taking a more active Vinyasa or Power class (YANG style), or slow your roll with a gentle Hatha based or restorative class (YIN like) to bring you back to balance.
5. Give yourself props.
Even if you can rest your elbows on the floor in Uttanasana or press up into a one-handed Handstand freestyle, props (blocks, straps, and the wall) provide "new to you" variations to some old faves, helping you access underused muscle groups and offer you a more well-rounded yoga physique.
Props do not necessarily make the practice "easier." In fact, they often give you greater challenges or deepen your ability to relax depending on the pose. Check out an Iyengar style class to learn more.
6. Break down the walls.
While the use of props has many benefits (see number 5 above!), if you use them every time you get on your mat, you may develop a dependence on them, which can limit your practice.
If you always need the wall to kick up into your inversions such as forearm stand, for instance, you may be allowing your resistance to take over your practice. Safety, of course, takes priority, but if you suffer from prop codependency, ask your yoga teacher to work with you on healing this pattern.
You will reinvigorate your practice when you realize how yoga helps you overcome your deepest fears!
7. Shake up your Shakti.
Do not restrict your yoga to the mat! Many styles and hybrids of yoga, dance, and martial arts exist nowadays to help you apply ancient yoga philosophies to all areas of your personal, professional, and family life.
Shakti means creative empowerment so by all means, enroll in a tantric or partner workshop, or commit to a weekend immersion program in anything that interests you. You will shake off stagnant energy that has left you feeling uninspired, wake up your imagination, and invite your spirit out to play.
Keep in mind that boredom may signify that you need to deepen your practice or take it in a new direction.
Change usually goes hand in hand with resistance, so check in with your authentic feelings, and, without judgment, dare to follow this practice wherever it leads you.You will likely experience new adventures and learn how to fine-tune your ability to listen to your own inner guru.
Do you have any ideas that have helped you stay motivated to keep showing up to your practice? Please share them with the community below! We all need a little encouragement from time to time!