Have you fallen away from your yoga practice? It happens to almost everyone. We get busier. Our schedules shift and we can’t make it to our favorite class. Our favorite teacher moves on. A studio closes. We get injured or sick. Sometimes we feel we’ve hit a plateau and it’s no longer as inspiring. Just because you’ve taken a break doesn’t mean you can’t restart your yoga practice.
But how do you get back into the flow of regular practice? Read on. Here are some tips for finding the inspiration to restart your yoga practice:
Let Go of Guilt
Few things are less helpful for inspiring you to restart your yoga practice than feeling guilty that you stopped in the first place. Most of us don’t have the luxury of having our lives revolve around yoga practice. There are times when it’s appropriate to focus elsewhere. Our practice, like our lives, will naturally ebb and flow. So approach your practice with curiosity and interest rather than with guilt about the past.
Reflect on Why You Love Yoga
What is it that caused you to practice yoga in the first place? What makes you want to restart your yoga practice? Reflect on this as you prepare to restart your practice, and take a few minutes after Savasana (Relaxation Pose) to savor the moment.
Set Your Intention
Intention is powerful. Every action we take starts with an intention. We may not always be aware of our intentions, but they are the impetus behind whatever we choose to do. As you reflect on why you want to restart your yoga practice, set an intention to follow through. Identify a specific intention for how you’d like your practice to look. For example, resolve to practice every day for 10 minutes a day (or whatever amount of time works for you). If you plan to practice at home, set a time and stick to it. Or resolve to attend one or two classes each week. It doesn’t matter what you decide, but make sure it is doable, given your schedule and other responsibilities.
Restart Your Yoga Practice with Care
If you’ve taken a significant break, your body-mind may not be ready for the practice you were once accustomed to. There’s nothing that can dampen your inspiration quite like getting injured in your yoga practice. It’s common to feel pressure to practice whatever a teacher suggests when you’re in a class. This can lead to practicing things that your body may not be ready for. So you might want to start with a slow, gentle home practice for a week or two before you go to a class. Practice a few poses, or a slow flow vinyasa—10 to 20 minutes’ worth to start—to allow your body-mind to ease back into practice.
Make It Easy to Restart Your Yoga Practice
If you’re planning on practicing at home, have your yoga props easily accessible. For example, you can stash your yoga mat, yoga block, bolster, etc., in a corner of your practice room so that they’re easy to pull out when you want to practice. If you’re planning on going to a studio, you might want to start in familiar territory. Go to a studio that’s easily accessible and where you’ve enjoyed practicing in the past. Once your practice is back on track, feel free to branch out and learn from other teachers at other locations.
Savor Your Practice
In the times when I’ve taken a hiatus from practice, the thing that inspired me most was how I felt after that first time back on the mat. Re-experiencing that quiet sense of ease and calm is all it took for me to make a new commitment. Simply stepping onto the mat and experiencing the joy of yoga may be all the inspiration you need to restart your yoga practice.