Each time I feel bored or stagnant in my yoga practice, I take action to bring back life and fun to my practice. My first episode like this spurred me to develop my home yoga practice. Each time I get into this situation I ask myself how I'm feeling about my practice. Once I assess it, I can move forward with a plan.
Whether your strictly a home practitioner or sometimes practice at a yoga studio, you may need to explore other ways of practicing. You may need to revisit group classes if you practice solo at home. It may be time to venture out to a yoga conference or enroll in a yoga intensive to learn new skills and hone others.
Whatever you need to do to bring flavor back to a bland practice or get over a learning plateau, do it. You might need to make some hard choices. No matter what your situation is do something to keep your practice flourishing and growing.
Shaking Things up at Your Yoga Studio
Say, for instance, you start your yoga journey at a studio (This was me.) or supplement your home practice with studio classes.One day something doesn't feel right at your existing studio.
You feel that you're not getting the most out of your practice. This is the best way I can describe the feeling. When I hit a brick wall in my yoga practice, it was hard to explain to my teachers at the time. Now I know what the feeling means and how best to resolve it.
Don't be afraid to discuss your plateau or feelings with your yoga studio manager. They can steer you toward other yoga class options, teachers, or even styles to give your practice the lift it needs. If you need help with a learning plateau, look into taking a workshop offered by your studio where there's time to break down a category of poses like backbends or arm balances. Consider a private session with your favorite yoga instructor. If you normally attend fast-paced vinyasa classes, change up and take a few Yin classes.
If your studio is not meeting your needs, shop around or visit other studios. In an area where competition is fierce for yoga students, you likely will have your pick of free trial offers and membership specials. There also is nothing wrong with visiting other studios to work with a special instructor or experience another environment. (I did this.) You also may need to visit other studios or work from a home base if your existing studio offers a limited menu of styles.
Bringing Life Back to Your Home Yoga Practice
Off and on I've experienced frustration and dissatisfaction with my personal practice. When I no longer felt joy in my practice or hit a brick wall with my asana practice, I analyzed why my practice was not all it could be to me.
To enliven your practice and bring back the fun, you may need to take a different approach. Take me for example. I typically use chill, soothing yoga tunes in my practice when I use music. Recently, I brought back upbeat, uptempo music to accompany my personal practice. The results were very positive, sparking my creativity.
For the home yoga practitioner, maybe it's time to seek help from outside. You can do this without leaving the comfort of your home sanctuary. Practicing with a partner occasionally or following an online class from home works wonders for inspiring your practice. For me, online classes allow you to discover a potpourri of new faces and voices in instruction. I always learn something new--whether it's a fresh variation of a pose or a new sequence.
Maybe you need to get out of your home studio for the comararidie of a group environment. Taking a group class is a quick fix when you need the energy of other yogis next to you on the mat. I recently booked my first group class of the new year after going to my mat and feeling lonely. The vibe of a full yoga class was an effective remedy for what I was feeling. Several days taking group classes at a high-energy event like a yoga conference or yoga festival also can bring life back into a stale practice.
Taking Action to Spark Your Yoga Practice
Listen to yourself and take action to keep growing in your practice. Don't be satisfied with where you are. The uneasiness I felt when I hit my first yoga learning plateau kept nagging me until I made a move. When I'm bored with my practice, I try something new. In the past, I've tried these strategies with success.
Yoga Partner. Use yoga as a way of building a community of yogis. Enlist a partner or partners for a weekly practice, such as Wednesday Partner Yoga. You can keep an eye on each other's form as well as build new sequences together. Learn from each other. It's likely your partners can introduce you to new ways of doing things and different techniques to enrich your practice.
Yoga Challenges. These are all the rage on social media sites like Instagram. Many of the top names and sites in yoga have regular challenges you can follow. If you are not a social butterfly, then visit a subscription site. They typically offer free challenges up to 30 days, where you focus on some aspect of asana, yoga philosophy, yoga culture, or yoga lifestyle. Take advantage of these free offers to learn something new about yourself and the world of yoga.
Group Classes. Home practitioners can start attending some group classes with teachers they know and respect. In group class, you'll receive hands-on assists and adjustments. Another pair of eyes can catch issues with alignment and coach you through working on challenging poses. Visit different studios to discover new yoga teachers and yoga styles.
Private Sessions. Try a one-on-one session, where you'll get personal attention and a customized plan for what you want to work on in your practice. Beware. This can be a pricey option depending on whether you go to the instructor or they come to you.
Workshops. Attend one about the area you feel needs attention. For instance, if you want to improve your inversions, look for a local workshop on the topic. These usually run two to three hours in a group setting, where the teacher does a lot of demonstration and provides one-on-one coaching. Many studios offer workshops. Check out your favorite or search local online yoga event calendars.
Conferences and Festivals. Book a trip to a yoga festival or attend a local or destination conference. Yoga's top brands offer these events year-round and in many different locations. These events give attendees the opportunity to meet yogis from around the world and attend sessions led by top yoga names. You can explore the whole world of yoga at these events.
Retreats and Intensives. These are plentiful and may be what you need to deepen and rejuvenate your practice. For example, look for a retreat where your favorite handstand guru is the headliner. You can find intensives and retreats close to home or use them as an opportunity to explore another country and culture. Again, look for events offered by respected, experienced practitioners with expertise in your area of focus.
Whatever action you take, remember to do your research and wisely spend your money. Putting yourself out there may be the catalyst to putting a spark back in your practice.
What action are you taking to keep growing in your practice and to make it exciting?