HOW TO: Get Back To Your Yoga Mat After A Break
Let’s face it. You’re tired. You’ve been at work all day. The kids are running around the house and dinner needs to get started. And the last thing you want to do is roll out your yoga mat. Bed looks enticing. A cup of tea would be nice…
We’ve all been there. It starts with one day, then the next day… before you know it, weeks or months have passed and you haven’t got onto your yoga mat for longer than five minutes, or for any time at all. I’m guilty of it, and I’m a yoga teacher! With kids, work, life, there is always something that seems to get in the way, but read on for my tips on how to get out of a rut and get back on your yoga mat!
Set your intention & show up
If you’re the kind of person that needs instruction to get things done, head to a yoga class, or book a private yoga session, for personalised guidance. If you prefer the quiet satisfaction of a solo practice, roll out the mat wherever you can to get that slice of time to yourself. The very act of showing up, be it in a group setting or on your own, can be enough to get you back on your yogic path. Taking the time to roll out your mat, stand on your mat with both feet supporting your tired, stressed and overstimulated body, even if for a moment, can be enough to strike that chord within you that sets you back onto your spiritual path. Now, yoga is not just asana, or physical poses, but a lifestyle. Your intention may be to live in accordance with yogic values such as observing satya, or truthfulness in all things that you do. Your truth might not necessarily involve asana practice at this point in your life, but finding your metaphorical mat, that space where you can delve into your practice, whatever that may mean for you, and showing up to that space, is the beginning of reconnection with your true self.
Practice more than just asana
As I have mentioned, yoga is more than just an asana practice. Breathing exercises, pranayama, are a great way ease back into your practice, as are short meditations and guided visualisation. Most importantly, practising self-love is what will steer you in the right direction. Practicing intuitively and really listening to your body and your spirit will allow you to see what it is you truly need in the moment, and make reuniting with your yoga practice a pleasure rather than a chore.
Focus on your body
When I say focus on your body, I mean focus on your CURRENT body, the body you have right now. Let go of the idea that you need to get into postures that you used to be able to before your yoga hiatus. For me, it was letting go of the notion that I had to be as flexible or as strong as I was pre-baby. I had to face facts. My body wasn’t exactly the same shape. I was out of practice. I hadn’t been able to do backbends or twists for 10 months, and then after the labour and delivery I experienced (more on that another day), there was no way I was going to be back to my pre-baby yoga body (or mind) straight away. I am still not there, and it has been almost 14 months post-birth. It’s acknowledging who you are, both physically and mentally, at this point in time and honouring that within your practice. Even if you haven’t had an extensive break from yoga, your body changes day-to-day, and being aware of how you feel within yourself is essential to developing a sustainable and achievable practice.
If this post resonates with you, give these tips a go, and come back and tell us about your journey back to the mat! Enjoy xx