Come Fall, two things are certain – pumpkin-spice everything, and visual signs of change. The leaves, the weather, school and sport schedules, it’s all changing, we’ve even pulled the sweaters out! Beach season is officially over, and we’re beginning to think about indoor activities. Plus, holidays are on the way – that’s often a hard time to stay active, let alone start a new activity. So where others might see an opportunity to head inside and simply hibernate we think it all adds up to this being the perfect moment to reboot and reconnect to your yoga practice!
While other times of the year usually get the “new beginnings” hype and attention there is a natural, and possibly greater, opportunity for self-discovery and growth as nature tries to both literally and figuratively coax us inside. Now, before you sigh and say, “yeah, but, it’s hard to get started again!” or, one of our favorites, “but I lost my flexibility!” here are a few tips to jumpstart your yoga practice before the calendar forces you to jumpstart the holiday hustle and bustle.
Ease Back Into Your Practice
The best way to derail your new sense of motivation is to run headlong into the fray and bite off more than you can chew. Rather than signing up for an intensive series of classes that meets three times a week for five weeks, start slow and take it one class at a time. It often takes just a couple of yoga classes to knock off the cobwebs and get your body back into it – muscle memory, it’s a real thing!
Set Aside Distraction
What’s on your mind today? It’s likely some combination of the following: school, chores, children, pets, work, car issues, problems at home, politics, etc. You carry these thoughts with you all day long. You take them to work, they’re with you when you sleep, and inevitably some of them will come to mind as you practice – that’s a great opportunity for you to use your breath work to process them. That said, it’s unnecessarily difficult to reboot your practice if you haven’t unplugged from your smartphone. When it comes to setting up your practice space – at home or in a studio – keep your practice, and the studio floor, free from the distraction of personal belongs other than a towel and water bottle, when needed.
Modify Your Rituals
Are you practicing on the same day of the week, at the same time, and place? Do you even choose the same spot to place your mat in class? While rituals have their place in some walks of life, it’s a surprisingly easy way for your yoga practice to start feeling stale. Yoga provides an opportunity to try new things, explore new parts of our being, and often, to go beyond our comfort zone. So switching up even the smaller details of your practice is a surefire way to keep things progressing – remember, how we do one thing is how we do most everything else.
Keep at It
If nothing else, be consistent in your practice. Even if you can’t follow all, or any, of the tips above, showing up and just getting on your yoga mat can be the catalyst for change that you need. Show up, keep an open mind, and trust that things will just fall into place!