Have you ever had those weeks where you just don’t feel like getting onto your yoga mat? Well I certainly have! In fact, this week is one of those weeks. It’s like a mix between a creative block and a general feeling of lethargy. I just can’t get motivated!
When this happens, it’s easy to fall into thought patterns like:
“I’m being lazy.”
“Maybe I’m falling out of love with yoga.”
“I’ve lost all my creativity.”
The truth is, if you’ve invested yourself in any practice over a long period of time, then you’ve likely experienced “down” periods. Times when you just don’t feel quite as motivated as you used to. Just like anything else in life, this can happen in yoga too!
The key is to not let yourself get too caught up in the lull. Try to let the thoughts of “I’ll never get my groove back” slip away, and instead let yourself off the hook. Instead of thinking: “I’ve lost my mojo,” try replacing that thought with, “what would make me happy right now?”
With that in mind, here are five tips to help you through a lull in your yoga practice:
Try out different styles.
There are dozens of different styles of yoga out there. Everything from slow-paced Yin Yoga, where you hold postures for long periods of time; to structured, rigorous Ashtanga. There is Forrest Yoga, which blends more spiritual healing into the practice and Jivamukti Yoga which is grounded in compassion for all beings. If you’ve found yourself struggling to stay engaged in the yoga practice, try switching it up! Try out a few different styles, maybe one that you’re totally unfamiliar with, and see if it catches your interest. You can always return to your original practice, and may even end up integrating some new ideas into your regular routine..
Try out different teachers.
Just as it’s important to try out different types of yoga, trying out different types of teachers is important, too. Generally, yoga students tend to go to the classes of teachers who they know and love. Yoga Alliance has close to 90,000 yoga teachers registered on their website. With so many trained yogis out there, you’re bound to find someone else who you find inspiring if you expand your search.
Read about yoga, instead of practicing.
If you feel you need a break from the physical practice, you might try shifting your attention to other aspects of yoga. In the Eight Limbs of Yoga, the physical asana practice is just one limb. There are seven other areas of yoga that you can dive deeply into. You might find that this fulfills a different side of your yoga journey. While less active for your body, reading about yoga is much more active for your mind and spirit. Through your reading you might find another area of yoga that you’d like to dive more deeply into, or perhaps you’ll re-engage with the asana practice with more vigor.
Do something other than yoga.
If you’re lacking passion around your yoga practice, then maybe the right thing for you in the moment is to simply take a break from yoga! However, if your yoga practice was a crucial form of exercise for you, it’s always a nice idea to try to stay engaged in a regular routine. However, maybe instead of yoga you try something else. Pilates? Hip-hop? Hiking? Tai Chi? Find something else that piques your interest for a while. Maybe you’ll end up back on your mat, or maybe you’ll find a new passion! My go-to forms of exercise that I enjoy when yoga and I are taking a break are Pilates and Hiking. The key is to substitute your exercise with something else that you find enjoyable!
Give yourself a break, then come back.
Lastly, maybe you just need a pure break. Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing. Try to give yourself this break with no judgement and no strings attached. We all work hard at being human in this life–give yourself a little time to rest, guilt free.
Overall, it’s normal and natural to experience lulls. The thing to watch out for is treating yourself too harshly when it happens. Just keep doing what feels good and healthy to you, and you’ll get your groove back eventually.
Do you have any favorite tips for how to stay engaged on the yoga mat? Share them in the comments below!