Whether you are brand new to yoga or a seasoned yogi, your practice can feel stale sometimes. Whenever I am starting to feel that ‘ho-hum, get it done’ feeling, I try to center myself on a few tips that always re-up my adoration for what yoga gives me. Yoga has been a pathway to appreciating my body more, feeling at home in it, and being more proud of it. Losing my practice isn’t an option, it’s a part of my mental health routine, and paramount to my heart and brain function.
5 Ways to Refresh Your Yoga Practice
Shake Up Your Music! I listen to Pandora when I do yoga or work out. Often I feel stale when I am starting to rely wholly on videos. So I turn off the video, crank up some great music (my favorite is Alt-J Radio, or Glass Animals Radio) and just flow on my own. It may be clunky, and not quite as polished as a class or video, but it always gets me really sweaty, connected, and moving. If you don’t feel ready to lead yourself, just set a number and aim for getting through a handful of Sun Salutations with some good music. That is a foundational flow that will serve your body, heart, and mind SO much.
Get Outside! Your mat is movable. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not static, I can move. Change. Often a shift in scenery is helpful to changing up how your practice feels. I like moving it outdoors. But even just changing where in your home you practice can help. Looking for something more restorative, or to help you sleep? Try putting your mat at the end of your bed and flowing. Wanting to encourage a more family oriented, fun, movement practice? Move to the living room and the let the kids join in. Head out to your back yard, deck, or a park!
Add a friend, or partner! Charlie is my favorite yoga buddy. We put on a video or I lead, and we do a little yoga flow together. Something about the camaraderie, energy of having two people, and the ability to either be calm and quiet or laughing and fun through a practice together gives it a whole different vibe that always helps me get out of my funk. Same goes for inviting in my kiddos! Yoga is a part of their PE curriculum, so we do it together weekly. I love the kids yoga (Cosmic Kids Yoga!) videos on YouTube and they’re fun for me as an adult too! Yoga doesn’t have to be serious, or strenuous for it to be seriously beneficial.
Shake up your style. Maybe you always do power yoga, or only do vinyasa flows. Look up something new. Try some pranayama breathing techniques (whoa!), or sign up for a hot yoga class, or attempt to get upside down. Look up buti yoga (check out that hashtag on IG too!) and try something way outside of your norm. It might not be your new favorite practice, but often it will help you connect to your body, breath, and inspiration in a new way.
Put your feet on the mat. Sometimes, the only thing to do . . . is trudge. Put on a video you’ve liked in the past, that has a name that speaks to you, or just plain fits the amount of time you have. And go. Often just making it a habit is enough to revitalize a practice through consistency.