Yoga, just like anything else in life, has its ups and downs. You might love yoga more than anything else in the world and still wake up some days with absolutely no motivation to get on the mat. We can even end up unconsciously avoiding our yoga practice because sometimes it’s hard to face up to whatever might be going on in our inner world! To reap all of the wonderful benefits of yoga, we need a dedicated practice. To maintain this consistency we need to find potent and effective ways to stay in love with our practice.
Yoga philosophy teaches us to meet ourselves where we are in each passing moment, with non-attachment and an awareness that all is in a constant process of change. So if one day you are raring to go and have the best 90-minute asana practice of your life then enjoy it but don’t cling onto it or expect every practice to be the same. Equally, maybe another day you’re exhausted and just need an extended savasana, that’s fine, no judgment, roll with it!
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How to stay in love with your yoga practice
If you need some extra inspiration to keep the sparks flying between you and yoga then we’ve put together nine effective ways to stay in love with your yoga practice:
- Try something new. Being committed to a routine can be beneficial but sometimes we need to shake things up a bit to stay interested and learn more. The body needs variation in movement. Changing the way that you practice helps to train resilience, develop strength in other parts of the body and prevent injury. What’s more the brain loves figuring out new ways of doing things so you will stimulate your mind too.
- Remember there’s more to yoga than asana (posture). There are so many other aspects of yoga that you can explore which are bound to reignite your passion for this path. Whether it’s meditation, breathwork, Yoga Nidra or sitting down to get lost in a yoga philosophy book, you’re bound to find something that inspires you. There are also countless podcasts out there on all kinds of interesting topics ranging from spiritual to political to scientific and more.
- Connect to the community. Most yoga studios offer more than just classes. Check out what your local studios have to offer for social events, this could be a summer meet-up, an evening of kirtan (mantra chanting) or a Satsang (discussion group). Connecting with other yogis can be a great way to reconnect with your love of yoga.
- Remember why you ended up here. The why behind the what is an essential part of cultivating gratitude and a sense of purpose. There must have been something that brought you to your yoga mat for the first time. Maybe it was a physical injury, mental health issues or the desire to feel healthy. Remember why you practice to motivate yourself to actually get on the mat.
- Take your yogi self on a date. This is a sure way to spark things up between the two of you! Take yourself out on a yoga date with just you. It could be to the cinema to watch a yoga documentary, maybe out to dinner or somewhere out in nature to practice yoga alone with the elements. Taking space away from other people can be very beneficial.
- Create a sacred space. Clearing a space for your practice carries a powerful intention behind it. It’s a way of honoring your practice and yourself by saying “this is important to me”. Consider setting up a little altar next to where you practice at home with your favorite crystals, some candles and perhaps something natural like a pinecone.
- Display your favorite yoga quotes. There are so many gems of wisdom out there that inspire yoga practice. Choose some of your favorite yoga quotes, print them out or write them out yourself with some decoration if you’re feeling arty, and get them displayed around the house. This will remind you of your love for the practice.
- Read a good yoga book. There are so many to choose from covering different areas such as philosophy, anatomy, history, spirituality, tantric traditions and more! Two of my personal favorites are Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest and The Science of Yoga: Risks and Rewards by William Broad. Check out Amazon’s top 100 list of best selling yoga books.
- Watch some inspiring yoga videos. The media you consume matters and has a direct effect on how you feel. So if you want to reignite your passion for yoga then watch a video that is designed to inspire you in all things yoga!
Hopefully, these tips will remind you of how great you have felt during your periods of a strong and dedicated yoga practice. Know that not all of these tips may work for you and their effectiveness will vary based on where you are on your path. And once you are back in love with yoga, check out these tips to help you stay dedicated to your daily yoga practice.
How did you first fall in love with practicing yoga? Do you have any yoga love tips you’d like to share?