Your Yoga practice is your time to turn inward and build a loving relationship with yourself. And as with every relationship, after an initial time of rainbows and unicorns, and feeling amazingly motivated and uplifted - you hit a plateau. That’s just the way it is and it’s gonna happen sooner or later, usually some time between two and four months after you begin your yoga journey.
Especially if you start yoga after the Summer, you might feel a bit less excited to come to class as the days get shorter, rainy and cold. You don’t even want to intentionally stop doing yoga, it just feels less and less like it’s a priority. And so you start skipping a practice or two, and then 2 weeks pass without practicing and then it’s over. At least until you realize that you actually felt so much better while you were practicing yoga regularly!
To help you with this very unfortunate situation, here are our four tips to bring to your mind when you first realize that the initial motivation is slowly fading:
Look back how yoga has already had an impact on your life since you started practicing: Do you feel stronger and more free to move as you like? Do you feel like you are more connected to your body? Do you notice the daily benefits of a calmer mind? Are you less reactive and more conscious in the way you handle your daily obligations and interactions?
Yoga practice has somehow made your back pain disappear, but also made your realize that your core is weak and that your shoulders are stiffer than you thought? Maybe pick a new area to „work on“, some smaller or bigger projects that each motivate you for a couple of weeks. If you are unsure what to pick or what you could work on, ask your teacher for help.
It’s ok to want to do acrobatic or fun stuff. That’s part of the ride. Picking an inspiring and positive goal, and then working towards achieving it can unleash powers inside of you that you didn’t even know you had! And while yoga is all about letting go of attachment, it’s also about finding the hidden strength within you to do and be anything you want to be. So have some fun while working towards a new ability. You will realize that being able to do any of those fun things doesn’t make you a better or happier person, but working towards them will make you more confident, energized and disciplined. Overcoming the little fears on the mat can make you realize that you overcame some bigger fears in your mind! And from that you will benefit in all parts of your life.
The purpose of Yoga practice is to support you in your life by making you stronger, more resilient, focused and calm. If your life changes, the way you practice yoga might need to change too. So each 2-3 of months, you got to ask youself if the current way of practicing yoga is ideal for your current lifestyle. Things to consider might be:
how much time you have (time per day, number of practices per week)
what time of the day suits you best? - maybe a different class timing might suit you better
what’s the main purpose of your yoga practice - building strength and flexibility? relaxation? or mediation? releasing stress? Maybe a different class - Ashtanga, Mindful Vinyasa, Gentle flow, Yin Yoga - might be just a better option for you right now.
Again, if you are not sure what to do, consider asking your Gaia teacher for support. Maybe s/he can recommend a different level of class that is more appropriate, a combination of classes that work better in your favour, or give some individual recommendations what to focus on in your practice.