As yogis and yoginis, we all have those moments on the mat that remind us why we make yoga a routine. Maybe it’s a new variation of a pose, perhaps an amazing transition inspired by an instructor. Whatever it is, we’ve all been there, reluctantly rolling up that well-used yoga mat and wishing tomorrow’s class would start now.
Then there are those times when we are not so inspired. Newness feels far away and that Warrior II to Triangle sequence feels stale. You wonder if it’s worth the subway ride across town to the studio, you wonder if the newness you are seeking is somewhere beyond the yoga mat.
Feeling like your yoga practice needs some rejuvenating? Not to worry! Here are five tips to all yogis to keep the yoga funky, fresh:
1. Find a new space
Always in that back left corner of the studio? Try moving to the center of the room to feel the energy of the yogis around you. Still not cutting it? Try a new space altogether. Take a week’s vacation from your home base and try another studio for a change of scenery and yoga. Exploring a different style of practice can compliment what you are already doing and bring a new perspective to your practice. Personally, my favorite way to enliven my practice is to bring my yoga outside. It’s amazing what some fresh air and scenery can do!
2. Music, please
We’ve all been there: that office, radio station, or yoga studio that puts the same playlist on repeat. Take time to create a new playlist for your personal practice. Try out a new class that may offer a different music selection. Better yet, take the music away for a few days and concentrate on the musicality of the breath.
3. Add heat
This one’s especially for those yogis finding their routine less of a challenge than it once was. If you are already practicing in a hot room, find those heaters! If you are not using heat in your practice, try using a space heater at home or exploring yoga at a location that offers heat. You will find yourself craving that well-deserved coconut water at the end of your practice.
4. Strike a (new) pose
Yes, it’s easy to get into a routine of poses that we like. Finding ourselves clinging to our pigeon pose to sink deeply into those hips. Try turning your yoga on its head. Start by making a list of poses you regularly explore. Then make a list of those you avoid or rarely take time for. Create a sequence using this second set of poses. The favorites will always be there, but by mixing things up, you may discover an acquired taste for that Warrior III.
5. Close the eyes
Take things to a new level by bringing your gaze inward. With eyes closed, you’ll move into each pose using the vehicle of the body for direction and assistance of sensation for adjustment. Closing the eyes enables the yoga to come from where the body is rather than an image of where the body should be. Plus, you’ll discover yourself humbly challenged by the balance. The perfect way to sneak in some extra core work.