Is your yoga practice getting a little stale? Maybe you’ve been going to the same class at the same time each week for the past year. Or perhaps you use a video — the same video — every day. If you’re finding yourself a tad uninspired to get on your mat, you might be suffering from yoga block. And I don’t mean a yoga block “prop,” although if you’re really in a rut then your practice may need a little propping up!
Invite the muse to visit you to regain your inspiration. Your practice may need a little injection of prana to get you psyched to practice again. As Willy Wonka says, “There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.”
The biological basis for the rut
Our minds and our bodies actually require novelty in order to continue to grow and remain stimulated. One of the reasons that cross-training is so effective for athletes is that it constantly re-challenges their body’s tissues to negotiate the different stresses from different types of exercises. Your mind and body may literally be deepening into an asana rut that is no longer helping you to remodel neurons, connective tissues, muscles and bones in a way that keeps your interest. It’s possible that your cells have grown “bored” because they are no longer being challenged.
But how can you ignite your creativity when so much of asana is repetitive in its form? Repetition is the nuts and bolts behind asana. You actually do have to keep doing the same poses in order to master them. But many yogis can get stuck in a rut, gravitating toward one approach or one set of poses or a sequence that permits no deviation.
A new approach to asana
So why not cross-train your yoga? This is actually why I created my own two-year video journey in my Yoga Tune Up® At-Home Program. I wanted to create a series that keeps your body guessing every day. I encourage you to pull yourself out of your rut by alternating a totally different approach on different days of the week. Here are some ideas for how to do it.
Video variety. If you do yoga primarily at home, one of the easiest ways to change up your practice is to shuffle around your yoga DVD collection. Don’t just use your newest videos — dust off some old covers and go for variety! One day be a power yoga “flow-ter” with Kathryn Budig, the next day try restorative poses with Barbara Benagh, follow that with a day of only Iyengar standing poses with Gabriella, then take a day to focus exclusively on your knees! How about a morning of Rodney Yee’s core work, followed the next day with an afternoon of pelvic priming hip-centric poses? That’s six days right there! Then take a day off to rest and recover. Whew!
Stay tuned – more tips to come on Friday!
Read about making your posture perfect.
Learn about Yoga Tune Up at home.
[Reprinted with permission from GaiamLife.]