A Day in the Life of a Sometimes Lazy Yogi
Many times throughout your yoga journey, you may find that things get in the way of your routine. Work, school, kids, family, even a bout of laziness, can all contribute to a break in your yoga schedule. This is perfectly normal and nothing to get down about. When you’ve taken a break from your practice, it can be a daunting task getting back on the mat. Sometimes it feels more intimidating and troublesome than it actually is. The key is finding a way to get back into your routine with ease and grace. Anytime you step away from a healthy routine, sometimes we trick ourselves into finding any and all reasons NOT to get back into it. It may be out of pure laziness or simply just a fear of facing the decline in our health, our body or our ability to practice.
Here are 7 tips to help you get up and get back on your mat after a yoga hiatus:
- Remove judgment- One of the biggest hindrances to getting back on the mat is the judgement that comes with it. You may have been at a certain level or reached a certain goal in your practice and now you have regressed. Rather than thinking of this as a regression, you have to will yourself to remove judgment- Realize and accept that this is just another step on your yogic journey, and appreciate your yearning or need to get back on the mat. Let that be your focus, not so much on the work you have in front of you. Distractions get in the way sometimes, and it’s okay to step away. When you get back on your mat, use the mantra, “I love myself as I am”, “I accept myself as I am in this moment”, or “I am bettering my mind, body and spirit in this moment and I am grateful”. The key is that you get back in it without being too hard on yourself.
- Take it slow– This tip cannot be stressed enough. You have taken some time off and your body may be on the track to its pre-yoga state. If you have ever taken a yoga hiatus, you know this state- not as flexible, not as balanced, maybe even a little sore from the lack of stretching. This is all OKAY- Just remember that in order to get back into the flow of things, it needs to be a slow and gentle transition, be easy on your body. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and your body to get RIGHT BACK where you were, it is impossible to do this and can be harmful. Take it slow, take it easy, and get back into your routine with ease and grace.
- Schedule your mat time– We all know that getting back into a routine or habit of any kind can be challenging. You have to make a conscious effort to kick start the routine and then maintain it. A good way to get back into the swing of things is to calendar out your mat time. Take a look at your calendar, decide what is realistic for you and your schedule, and start penciling in little mat sessions where you can. The key is to keep it realistic, maybe start with two practices a week, then work your way to 3, then maybe even 5. You are slowly getting back into the yogic swing of things, and with this method, it will make practical sense and will help to maintain the practice in conjunction with your daily obligations.
- Take some group classes. I know that sometimes it can be easier to just opt to do your practice in the privacy of your own home, on a timeline that works best for you. However, getting back into a group yoga class can be very beneficial to someone who has just come off of a hiatus. It provides accountability, support in your progress and can ultimately make the experience more enjoyable. Additionally, keep in mind that your body and mind have some work ahead and working with an instructor can be very beneficial to your progress. Sometimes, without seeing yourself in your poses and having the proper guidance, the work can become more cumbersome. The support of like-minded people and an instructor that has your back will do wonders after your hiatus.
- Props and modifications are your best friends. You are starting out at square one as it pertains to your body, I am sure that you are eager to get right back to the place that you were when you took your hiatus, but we all know that this is not the case. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to welcome any modifications that the instructor offers in your practice, take it easy and take it slow, don’t put too much pressure on your body to get to your goal too quickly. Use blocks and a strap as needed, don’t overextend yourself, this will result in an injury and could set your progress back even more. There is no shame in using props and modifications in your practice to honor the current state of your body. Take it slow, take it easy and honor your body, wherever it may be.
- Learn through the transition– This is a great opportunity to recognize the changes that your mind and body have been introduced to since your hiatus. Notice the differences since you have started your break, and as you get back into your practice be conscious of how you’re feeling and of how your body begins to change, yet again. This can be a very educational experience; you can choose to consciously observe your personal change for the better.
- Enjoy the process– Just ENJOY IT! Enjoy getting back into your practice, feel all of the benefits that is has to offer your mind, body and spirit. Appreciate your ability to get back into it and be grateful for your journey as a yogi, ever-changing and ever-growing.
There is nothing wrong with taking a yoga hiatus, sometimes it may be by choice and other times, unfortunately, it’s an involuntary break. Either way- Use this time to observe the transition back into your practice in a non-judgmental manner, take it easy on your body, use the transition as a learning experience in your yoga journey. And don’t forget to enjoy the process.
Danielle contributed a version of this article with YogiApproved.com