Every once in a while we all get to the point where we just don’t want to unroll the yoga mat.
You may stare at that rectangle in disdain. Or maybe you hit the mat, but can only think about the thousand other things that you would rather be doing. Sometimes you may not even be aware you are in a rut until — epiphany — a rut!
We all get there sooner or later, but the trick is out to get out of it. Below are nine suggestions for getting out of the yoga rut:
1. Shake Things Up. If you’ve been practicing just one style of yoga, try another, such as Kundalini or Hatha. Are you an advanced yogi? Try going back to a beginning class where you can refocus on the details of the poses. There’s always room for adjustments and improvements!
2. Mediate: Meditation can be a very powerful tool — it’s been shown to help the mind open and be more creative. Take a few minutes to meditate and clear your mind. This meditative space may help to solve the yoga rut itself or heal some stress in your life that is causing the stagnant feeling.
3. Change Your Flow: If you always go to the same class at the same time in the same spot with the same instructor you may simply be feeling bored. Try changing the time you practice, as your body and mind will respond differently at different times of the day. Switch up the studio(s) you attend or go to a different instructor. Every teacher has his or her unique way of teaching and their own flow.
4. Bring a Friend: If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, try bringing a friend to class or inviting them to practice with you at home. A new energy in the room may change your energy. A friend can make your practice more fun and social. You’ll also get to share your love of yoga with someone who may not have discovered it yet. Plus you can grab a (healthy) bite afterward!
5. Talk to Your Instructor: Your yoga instructor has probably been practicing for awhile and has probably gone through a rut or two of their own. She can give you advice about what she’s experienced and how she got out of it. Instructors can also give you feedback on what they observe in your practice.
6. Get Down to the Details: When you first a yoga practice you make noticeable progress from week to week, but as your practice advances, you may make less tangible progress as you attempt increasingly advanced poses. This can be very discouraging to some. Counter it by focus on each minute detail. Remember, yoga isn’t about advancement but awareness. Make adjustments and corrections to your poses — A slight adjustment to your hips or a twist here or there can make a once-easy pose challenging again.
7. Take a retreat or workshop: Exploring new places and cultures is eye-opening, and visiting historically and spiritually rich locales may offer a great feeling of connection. Plus, going to a yoga retreat or attending a yoga workshop lets you meet fellow yogis. Seeing someone else’s passion and connecting with them can be inspiring all on its own!
8. Head in the clouds: So maybe a retreat or workshop isn’t feasible for you right now. How about just changing your space and perspective? Take your mat outside! Find some space where you feel comfortable and get into a flow. Yoga doesn’t have to be practiced inside only, and there is beauty in nature all around us!
9. Pause: When all else fails, take a vacation from yoga. Explore other hobbies and passions, and soon, you’ll be thinking about yoga again! Sometimes a vacation is all we really need. Take the time to relax and refocus and you’ll find your rhythm again.
Originally published on YOGANONYMOUS.
Yoga Rut Solutions:
Nicole Webb is the creator of The Yoga Getaway, a Los Angeles-based destination yoga retreat company. She has always had an insatiable desire to travel coupled with a devotion to health & fitness. She wanted to somehow integrate these elements into both her personal and professional life to achieve the ultimate kind of happiness. After many years in the online advertising industry it was time to start the next chapter in search of a new path, thus creating The Yoga Getaway.