Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2020 issue.
We’ve all been there. One day you’re high-fiving yourself for a consistent practice and the next that sneaky feeling of boredom creeps in. Plateaus in yoga are real and can do a number on your consistency. Before you give in and start skipping your mat time, check out these five tips for some inspiration.
1. EXPERIMENT WITH SOUND
Do you usually practice in silence? Try using a playlist of tunes that support you in meditation or asana, like drums, singing bowls or ‘90s hits. Tune into what you enjoy and feel will best support your yoga experience. If you already play music in the background, test out some new jams. Always flow to upbeat acoustics? Next time, listen to your top favorite songs — words and all. Practicing in silence can be a welcome change too, especially if you want time to reflect. Not ready for complete silence? Chanting can bring an entirely new element to your session.
2. FLOW LIKE A DANCER
Love flowing to music? Let your inner Misty Copeland shine and use it as a tool to cultivate your moving meditation skills. Choose songs that are steady and rhythmic. Then, try matching your pose to the beat. Begin moving into your asana on the first beat of the measure and feel settled into it by the last. This adds another layer of challenge and fun to the physical aspect of yoga.
3. REVITALIZE YOUR SPACE
Gazing at something new can be all you need to reinvigorate your practice. Print your favorite mantra to hang on the wall. Get new props in your favorite color to sprinkle around the room. Choose an aromatherapy for a diffuser or mat spray to uplift, calm or balance you. Draw awareness to tiny things that bring you joy and use them in your space. Create the ambiance that inspires you!
4. SWITCH UP THE LOCALE
The backdrop for your practice can make a huge shift in your mindset about making it to the mat. Move your home yoga session to the backyard, deck, nearest park or even just to a different room. Hearing the birds chirp or feeling the sunshine on your face might be encouragement enough to practice more often.
5. CHANGE YOUR POSE LINE-UP
Unless your private yoga coach switches up your asana for you, chances are that you regularly practice the same poses at home. Break out of the rut by choosing a pinnacle posture to work towards each month or playing around with one new asana every practice. This not only allows different muscles to be recruited during your session, but focuses your mind on a new challenge. Remember, seemingly small shifts can create a huge impact. This week, my challenge for you is to experiment with one tip from the list and notice if anything changes. These tips are a great way to not only help reinvigorate your home practice for more consistency, but to learn something new about yourself. After all, that’s ultimately what yoga is all about.
Photo by Zen Bear Yoga.