Best Ways to Stay Inspired On and Off the Mat
It’s easy to fall into the habit of always taking the same yoga classes and teachers, walking or running the same routes. Suddenly, you find yourself uninspired and unmotivated in not just your practice, but also your life. Remember, your yoga practice mirrors your life off the mat. The key is to stay open-minded and curious and always keep learning. We’re here with some tips to help!
1. Venture Out of Your Comfortable Routine
Try a new teacher, new class, or new style of yoga this week. We all know consistency in your yoga practice is crucial, but sometimes we fall into a rut. If you find yourself dragging your feet to get to class, try something outside of your comfort zone. If your go-to practice is Vinyasa or Ashtanga, try a Yin or Iyengar class or vice-versa. Even if the class you choose isn’t one that you’ll return to, it will give you a renewed appreciation for your usual choices. And you may learn something new by slowing down or stepping it up.
2. Take a Workshop or Tutorial
Have you been wary of trying advanced poses or arm balances because you need more personalized attention and instruction? Or are you curious about deepening your knowledge on topics from philosophy to meditation to standing on your head? In a workshop or tutorial, you will focus on a specific topic in much more depth than you would in a regular class. It’s a great way to reinvigorate your motivation.
3. Delve Into the Subtle Body and Chakras
Our physical and subtle bodies are intertwined and learning more about this connection gives added complexity to your practice. The subtle body is like a blueprint of the physical body and contains our emotions and nervous system. Prana or life force flows throughout our body through energy channels called “Nadis.” Three primary nadis, the Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna run along our spine and contain the seven primary Chakras. Emotions greatly affect the subtle body; thus stress and excitement are registered in the physical form, “fraying” the nervous system.
4. Study Yoga Philosophy
Another way to deepen your experience and renew your inspiration is to learn more about the reasons behind why we practice. Ancient wisdom from the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita is just as applicable today in our modern world as it was when first recorded. Studying and applying Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga, for example, is an excellent way to connect on a more profound level to what you’re doing onyour mat and off.
5. Practice More Pranayama and Meditation
According to yogic wisdom, Pranayama or breath control and Meditation are more advanced practices beyond simple Asana. In fact, B.K.S. Iyengar refused to teach students Pranayama until they had mastered the physical postures. Try a Pranayama or Meditation practice instead of your usual physical yoga class and see how you feel.
This week’s classes are all about keeping you inspired in life and on your mat. These diverse practices have an underlying theme to give you perspective on why you show up on your mat and how the practice has the power to help you thrive off of your mat.