We are alive to learn and grow. Stagnation kills creativity and joy and is just plain boring. Your yoga practice should change to reflect where you are in your life today. I invite you take a moment and reflect on your yoga practice over the past year. Signs that your yoga practice might not be serving you include:
- you feel like it’s a BIG effort to get to class
- during class you continuously find yourself daydreaming or on auto-pilot
- you don’t feel physically or mentally challenged
- you think about walking out of class
- in downward dog you look around to see if you can spot a watch to tell how much time has gone by
- you feel exhausted, anxious or even angry after class
Just as you don’t stay in the first grade forever, you also need to advance in your practice. Yoga should nurture your needs at the moment. For example, if you are overwhelmed and crazy busy going to a class that will put stress on your adrenals is probably not wise choice even if it may feel like it. Remember that we may gravitate towards what is familiar but not necessarily healthy. A more grounding class and meditation would help you find more balance.
Factors to consider when reflecting on the quality and needs of your practice are:
The time of year: We are approaching winter which is a time for reflection. Like the bear who hibernates, this season invites us to slow down and maybe use our practice to relax and repair our bodies and minds for the new year ahead.
The state of your health: Feeling amazing? Go ahead do the challenging class. Feeling exhausted or in pain try a more gentle approach. This may mean changing your usual style and trying a different class. You body and mind will thank you!
The need for mental clarity: Feel like you are moving through life on auto-pilot? Cleanse your subconscious mind with meditation. It doesn’t have to be long. You can see benefits in as little as 11 minutes a day.
Your commitments: Whether personal or business related sometimes life happens and we need to give priority to other things. This might be hard if you are attached to your practice but remember that yoga is not just on the mat. Maybe when needed your physical practice is a few sun salutations and some of your favorite poses or a meditation first thing in the morning. Your real yoga then becomes practicing Ahimsa by not harming yourself by taking on too much and compassion by helping others. Or maybe you practice Santosha by being content with where you are. Remember the 8 limbs of yoga include more than Asana.
I hope this has got you thinking. If you have any question about what kind of class would benefit you please don’t hesitate to contact myself or ask your yoga instructor.
Take care of yourself! Seek growth, inspiration and vitality. Happy journey!