If your yoga practice feels like a chore, it’s time to shake things up. While the therapy boasts a range of great benefits, you’ll never get on the yoga mat if you don’t enjoy it. Boredom, procrastination, and lack of motivation are all totally normal, particularly amongst those that practice regularly. In this article, we explore some of the best ways to shake up your yoga practice.
If your practice has become boring, try to remember why you started. What goals and intentions did you set out with? If you’ve achieved these, great! It’s time to set some new targets to keep things fresh. Think about what you want to achieve from your current practice. What can yoga give you that other sports or exercises can’t? Writing down the answers to these questions can provide you with the clarity needed to progress.
If you’re still working towards your original goals, that’s fine too. If things are becoming boring, however, maybe it’s time to find a new approach. We will explore how to go about this later in the article.
At the start of each session, some yogis like to set an intention or Sankalpa. Doing this is a great way to transform your practice from an exercise session to a time of mindfulness. A Sankalpa is best described as a goal or intention that you want to achieve. Once you’ve thought about your goal, word it into a short phrase or sentence; for instance, if you want to build your confidence, you could say “I am confident”. This phrase should be read aloud at the beginning and end of your practice.
Studies have shown that changing your environment can improve motivation. If you stay in one place for too long, you’re guaranteed to become a little bored. Changing where you practice may be all you need to reignite your yoga spark. When it comes to changing where you practice, the options are endless. If the weather permits, consider practising outside. If you’ve got a garden, perfect! If not, why not head down to your local park? If the sun is shining, remember to wear an SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.
If you attend a weekly class, mix things up and try something new. If your studio has multiple rooms, choose a class in a different space to your usual one. If you feel extra daring, why not try a completely new studio? If you’re unsure of where to go, speak to your fellow yogis or look at some reviews online. Many studios will offer a free, no-obligation taster class. This means that you can try out the class without wasting your hard-earned cash.
Another great way to shake up your yoga practice is by trying out a new style. If your usual style is fast-paced, slow things down with a restorative class. If your usual style is slow-paced, try something more dynamic. Another great option is hot yoga. Practised in a heated studio, hot classes maximise the benefits of traditional yoga. As well as increasing your motivation, trying a new style will allow you to reap new benefits.
If you’re a regular yogi, you’ve probably got a preferred time of day to practice. If your schedule allows, consider switching things up and changing when you practice. If you practice in the morning, try to practice in the evening instead. Likewise, if you practice in the evening, consider squeezing in a morning session. If you’re strapped for time, you could even practice during your lunch break! Using the mat at different times of the day will allow you to see what works best for you. Although a certain time may fit better with your schedule, another may work better for your mental and physical wellbeing.
Music can bring a whole new dimension to your practice. If you use restorative yoga, a slow soundtrack can help to further calm the mind. If you use a fast-paced style, on the other hand, your favourite dance anthems can help to set the mood. If you’re struggling to find something suitable, a range of ‘yoga playlists’ can be found on YouTube or Spotify.
If you’re stuck in a rut, try picking up a book. Reading something inspiring can motivate and encourage you to move forward. If you’re interested in trying a new style, find a book based on that. If you’d rather read into the history and philosophy behind the practice, do that instead. Whatever type of book you enjoy reading, find one that relates to your practice and get stuck in.
If you normally practice alone, try practising with a partner instead. If you’ve got a friend that uses yoga already, great! If not, why not introduce them to the practice so you can use it together? A wide range of ‘couples poses’ can be found online; if you choose to use these, remember to put down a comfortable mat to prevent injury.
If you want to shake up your yoga practice, try some of the suggestions above. If all else fails, try taking a break. While daily practice is great, it can eventually lead to burn out if the right precautions aren’t taken. Taking a few days off will give your body some time to rest and recharge. You can then return to your practice a few days later with a fresh body and mind. If you plan to practice regularly, it’s important to have enough clothing. Building a collection of supportive yoga bras will ensure you’ve always got one clean and ready to go!