Tips for Breaking out of a Yoga Rut
Everyone, at some point or another, has come to a place where they lose excitement their yoga practice. It’s a place where you stop learning new poses and techniques, where you can predict the class before you take it, or where you have just gotten too comfortable. As a result, you start letting go of the commitments you made to yourself to be present in your yoga classes or practice a certain number of times per week, for example. We’re human, and it’s natural to lose interest in things we pursue, especially those things like yoga that are life-long disciplines.
Staying excited about your yoga practice means breaking out of your comfort zone causing you to be instantly rejuvenated. And, fortunately for us in Atlanta, we have an amazing community of resources to help reignite your yoga practice.
- Try a new style
- Try a new teacher
- Practice at a different time of day
- Hit the Books
- Suggest a pose
- Practice at home
- Cultivate meditation
- Participate in a retreat or workshop
- Try new yoga gear
- Reset or review your intention for practicing, recognize where you can improve
If you take a look at the ATL Yoga Directory, you’ll notice that almost all studios offer multiple styles of yoga. If you’re in a rut or need a kick in the psoas, try something new! If you’re a power yogi, step out of the heat and try a slower-moving Hatha class at Peachtree Yoga Center. If you’re not finding the same passion for each of the 26 postures of the Bikram series, take a heart-opening Anusara class with Gina Minyard. If you like getting out and dancing when you’re not doing yoga, try a music flow class at Exhale Spa
As with styles, most studios have multiple teachers. If there is a class at your studio taught by someone you’ve never met, you should give them a go! You never know what kinds of teachers you will connect with and what teaching styles will most resonate with you until you try.
Changing the time of day you do yoga can show you many new things about your practice. Because the body acts differently in the morning than it does in the evening, based on what you’ve eaten and what activities you’ve engaged in, you’ll likely feel different in all poses from balancing to inversions to forward bends when you switch up your practice time.
If you’re blossoming in to a semi-serious yogi, it might be time to hit the books. Read the classic texts like the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (copies of which can be bought at Peachtree Yoga Center or, the yoga section of your local bookstore or library). Reading up on the yoga can put your practice in context. By enlivening your mind, you can enliven your practice too.
If your yoga teacher is prone to doing the same poses over and over (Bikram as an exception, because that’s the whole point of the practice), and you want to break out of the routine, suggest that he or she incorporate a pose into the class that you’re interested in. Many teachers welcome this challenge because it helps them grow as teachers too. You may not see your pose immediately, but within the next couple of classes, they will likely come through for you.
By taking your practice into your own home, you’re creating something that is distinctly yours. You can learn so much about your body and mind by taking time to be your own teacher. After getting used to practicing solo, you’ll likely understand why the ancient texts and gurus recommend it.
Yoga, is, after all, meditation in motion. Working on meditation when you’re not feeling like doing yoga can be a good mental vacation. And, meditation has been proved to slow the aging of your brain. All the more reason to incorporate it into your practice and life!
Retreats and workshops will likely introduce you to new teachers, teaching styles, exciting topics, poses and more. The long classes and sense of community with other teachers will jump start your passion for practice in no time. I’ll be working on this site to give you info about all the things coming up in Atlanta!
I can’t say what a difference I felt the first time I tried on Lululemon pants. They were such a novelty to me and it excited me to see what they could do for my yoga practice. Trying new products comes with a sensitivity to feeling new things in your awareness and body. Getting a new mat, clothes, band, or block can cultivate that excitement too. Of course, feeling the need to do this all the time will result in a smaller wallet, so be careful with this tip 🙂
We often deny telling ourselves about the things we really need to work on, so meditate on those places in which you can improve, be it an extra inch of stretch, less fidgeting, or consistent meditation throughout your practice. These last nuances are the hardest and can be the personal challenge that keeps you learning!
And if none of that works, take some time off! If you’re anything like me, you will feel the draw back to the mat in a matter of days.
What do you do to keep your practice exciting to you?