Yoga Practice When You Feel Like Not Practicing

It’s a common experience, and it can be especially frustrating when you suffer from “morning-brain”. My morning brain, while not enthusiastic, is clever and will come up with sophisticated ways to avoid doing something.

This can be due to a lack of motivation or energy, especially when you’re down or have been ill. These times can throw us off our routines and flow, and it can be difficult to get back into the activities that make us happy.

We need to be armed with strategies for any trend. Here are some of my tried and tested tactics to help you get started when your motivation is low.

Take a creative approach and start from where you are… even if that’s in bed.

We are creative beings, and we can find out what works best for us by tuning into our bodies and letting go of dogma. Bed yoga is my favorite. Morning stretches are so relaxing, so allow your body to do a few extra as you slowly work up to getting out of bed.

Try hugging your legs into your chest and then gently twisting your body. Sit on the edge of your bed, inhale with your arms raised above your head, and exhale as you fold your legs forward. As you leave the bed, your yoga mat may be unrolled.

Do less, but do it with a feeling

You can also practice yoga by taking mini-hits throughout the day. It can be more beneficial to practice one pose with attention and awareness than to slog through a long yoga session.

You can also tune in to what your body needs most at that time by choosing only one pose.

While you’re waiting for your kettle to boil, try doing a chair pose or standing in Eagle as the water warms up. The chair is great for boosting my energy, while Eagle helps me to balance my mind and stretch my hips and shoulders.

These effects are even stronger when the pose is isolated.

Engage your heart and mind.

Many of us are led by our hearts and minds. Our bodies can be good at making polite requests, but our minds and hearts will always take the initiative.

Use this to your advantage. You can read a few chapters of a book on yoga to get yourself motivated if you are not feeling like practicing.

When I say “a book of yoga,” it’s probably not time to read the sutras. You will be more engaged by reading the accounts of contemporary yoga practitioners such as Matthew Sandford and Donna Farhi.

You could also watch a video tutorial to learn something about a particular pose. Then, you will be eager to try it yourself. You’ll be on your mat in no time, and your body will breathe a sigh of relief.

Ignore your mind

This is the exact opposite of the previous advice, and you can use it if your mental strength has grown enough to allow you to completely ignore your brain. This is mainly about the morning brain, which can’t make good decisions. It should be ignored.

It is better to do than to resist, so don’t waste time arguing with yourself about whether or not it is a great idea. Just get on your mat.

Listen to your body and get there. You’ll thank your brain later.

Fake it and take the pressure off yourself.

Yoga for 60 minutes can seem daunting, especially if you lack energy or enthusiasm.

It can be not easy to start. It’s the difficulty of switching from one gear to another. You can make the transition easier by telling yourself that you will only do two or three Sun Salutations. You can do more if you want.

This is a win-win situation. You can be so proud of yourself if you only do three Sun Salutations or two poses. The positive reinforcement will encourage you to practice the next day.

It is my experience that when you are not under pressure, it’s easier to enjoy the practice and want to continue. You enjoy that the “extended practice,” which is a “bonus,” feels more like something you choose to do and not something you think “should” do.

your practice

It might be worthwhile to try a new style of yoga or even a different instructor if you find that your motivation issues are more than just a passing blip. Maybe you’re still figuring out what works best for you, or you need to make a change.

I am more interested in the workings of the mind than in the workings of the body. Therefore, I naturally gravitate towards meditation and practices that encourage contemplation and insights. You might find that class mind-numbingly dull, but the physical challenges and dynamic mastery that come with a style such as Ashtanga might keep you interested.

You may need to spend some time on the yoga playground to find out what suits you. You have to realize that different people need different things, and sometimes it’s best to change it up.

The People’s Power

If you find it difficult to motivate yourself, you can get other people involved in your efforts to be more committed. Feeling like you are part of a community or group is a powerful motivator. Everyone can rally together to keep energy and enthusiasm up.

Signing up for a series of yoga classes at your local school is a simple way to get started. Once you’ve committed, all you have to do is show up. You don’t have to debate “should I or shouldn’t I?” every week.

You could also try an online challenge such as the¬†Power Yoga 14-Day Challenge. It is important to have a goal and treat it like a project. You’ll find that your confidence and sense of accomplishment grow, and you will soon be hooked on yoga.

These ideas will hopefully help you to get motivated when you’re feeling low. Share your strategies in the comments section!

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