Ugh. Your yoga mat that you laid out in a special place in your home is gathering dust and has fur balls and bits of dirt stuck on it. You sometimes accidentally step on it as you walk past and think: “I really need to do some yoga.” But for some reason, you can’t get yourself to get on the mat and practice yoga. Too busy. Too hot. Too much to do. Too tired. Not in the mood. Too many distractions at home. Just not motivated.
Well, don’t worry. You are not alone; there is hope for you yet!
Sometimes we just need a little help, a little structure and inspiration to get going again. Yoga is amazing, and one of the many, many things that’s amazing about it is that your yoga will change how it manifests in your life as you and your needs change. This will continue throughout your lifetime: if you let it. Approaching your practice has to change along with how you motivate yourself to it. Sometimes you’ve been easily motivated to get onto your mat and practice. You felt that special quiet connection with yourself and easily practiced alone at home or in a group practice at a studio you loved.
But things change, kids come, studios change, you change. And so that’s no reason to get down on yourself. You are not unmotivated – it’s just that you need a new way to connect with your yoga! So let’s look at some new ways for you to connect with yoga, and therefore with yourself!
Find a New Studio
I’ve found in my 20 years of yoga practice that some years I need help getting reinvigorated about my yoga practice. Finding a new studio and sampling classes allows you to see what turns you on in yoga right now. You are a different person now than you were several years ago – than yesterday even – and so your yoga needs have changed too.
Try several classes at a new studio, or a few studios, and take different types of yoga and sample different teachers. And when you leave a class feeling amazing, that’s the message to you. “This is what I need now!” Notice how you feel after each class, enlivened, calmed, connected? And when it feels amazing, build time into your schedule to take that type of class, or that teacher, weekly.
To start back, just one day a week is okay. It will get you into your body and will inspire you. It will remind you how much yoga helps you, how much it helps you to thrive and bloom. And that reminder will fuel your commitment. Then if it feels right, you can work up to 3 classes a week.
Use good yoga videos at home or sign up for an online yoga video studio. There are many great yoga videos and streaming options out there! Go online and type in “yoga at home” or “yoga videos”, or “online yoga videos” and see what you find!
You can hone it down by selecting types or styles of yoga that you like. And you can additionally search for levels: Beginner, Moderate or Advanced yoga classes. This allows you to try classes with world renowned teachers, sample different styles and yoga perspectives, and find classes that feel perfect to you! You can use these videos at home or when you travel.
All in all, this is a great way to try different teachers, styles, variations and begin to develop a home yoga practice that feels nourishing to you.
Practice yoga outside: at the beach, on your porch or patio, in your private yard, or under a beautiful tree. Nature is inspiring and fresh air is naturally invigorating. So add yoga to that and you have the perfect practice to nourish your body and feed your spirit! For instance, yoga on the beach in a quiet spot is beautiful. While in postures you can hear the breaking of the waves and cawing of the seabirds. It’s pretty hard not to feel awed and inspired while practicing yoga by the sea.
Make Your Yoga Space Beautiful
Used safely, candles and scented incense can definitely enhance your yoga experience. I also hang tapestries (far away from the candles) with Ganesha or another symbol or design I find inspiring, sacred or soothing.
Turn off your phone and computer and tuck them away or cover them with a pretty scarf, have someone watch the kids or maybe pay someone you trust to really babysit so you can focus, and go to your mat. Make sure you pay attention to this area even when you are not using it. Keep your mat clean and keep your incense stash replenished. Treat this as a sacred spot. Maybe you even have a alter here that you use to pray or practice appreciation and offer prayers for the people you know and love.
Buy Some New Yoga Gear
While I’m not advocating materialism in lieu of yoga, I do think that as your body changes, your needs for comfort change as well. So you need to update your yoga clothing so you feel good in your body when you put those clothes on for your practice.
I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, I don’t tolerate tight elastic around my rib cage. I actually hate it! And I think it was getting in the way of me actually getting onto my mat for awhile. So I went and bought some new, comfortable, elastic free yoga tops that are still form-fitting but made of a soft material that is hugging but not restricting. It feels amazing! And I was happier to get dressed to go to practice yoga with my new clothes.
I also bought a new yoga mat to replace my now ratty one, new foam blocks that are comfortable for abdominal exercises where you put the blocks between your thighs, a new yoga strap that I inked my name on, and a new yoga blanket so I have my own clean, soft blanket for the resting period savasana that ends every good yoga class. With your own gear, you feel a certain ownership of your practice. You don’t have to go with all the other students at the end of class to jostle to put away your borrowed things, and you don’t have to worry about cleanliness! These are your props, to care for a wipe down, to hold space for you in your practice.
I also feel that my blanket absorbs some of the good energy from my repeated yoga classes so that each time I cover myself with it I feel a special kind of cocooning.
Just Do It!
So you’ve read this, and are probably thinking, “Hmm, she makes some good points. I should do that,” don’t just “should” on yourself. Go out right now and do it! Do whichever step I’ve outlined that you felt the most resonance with. As you listen to what your body needs now, today, from a yoga practice, your body will begin to trust you and will bring things to your attention. More often than not, it will lead you to the next wonderful thing that will thrill you!