With the holiday season fast approaching, and the year coming to a wrap, it’s no surprise that a few of us have been feeling a little drained and may have fallen off the wagon a little bit when it comes to making that extra push for our well being. Whether it’s the gym or yoga – it’s important to remember that change does not come over night. If you’re in need of a little inspiration to take with you into the new year, you’ve come to the right place.
1. Try something new. We can all get stuck in a rut from time to time. We go to the same class, same teacher, same studio. While there are huge benefits to this routine, it’s nice to shake things up sometimes. Check out a different teacher or style of class. If you usually take a Flow class, try an Iyengar or Restorative class. Or try the same style of yoga with a new teacher. Each teacher brings their own unique voice to their class. You might learn something new!
2. Do some reading. There are so many fantastic books out there. There’s so much to learn about this practice. Check out: The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit by Donna Farhi, and Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar.
3. Do a workshop or training. Workshops and trainings are incredible sources of inspiration. You get to spend a longer period of time with a teacher working on a variety of subjects – specific poses, meditation, anatomy, or learning how to teach. You can find a workshop or training that really speaks to you on a personal level.
4. Dedicate your practice to someone. We often think that our practice is all about us. However, there are huge benefits to dedicating your practice to someone else. You can offer your efforts and light to that person. Also, remember that what you learn about yourself on the mat can ripple through to your life off the mat. When you learn to be more patient, calm, and peaceful, it can affect everyone around you in a really beautiful way. So try dedicating your practice to those you love!
5. Take some time off. After all, absence does make the heart grow fonder! Sometimes when we feel like we are dragging ourselves to class, it’s because we really need to take a break. A day or two of rest can make a huge difference. During your time off, use that hour and a half that you would normally practice to do something that helps you relax. Maybe it’s a massage, a long bath, a nap, snuggling with your dog or cat… whatever you want! When you get back to class, you will feel energized and refreshed.
Patricia Walden is a senior iyengar yoga teacher. Check her out below on how she keeps herself motivated to her practice: