Like everything, life flows and changes constantly. We have periods of busyness and periods of quiet, periods of healthy eating and periods of indulgence, periods of loneliness and periods of connectedness, and periods of yoga and…periods of little or no yoga. Getting back to the mat can be an anxiety-provoking experience if you’ve taken a hiatus.
Maybe it has been weeks, where life has been busy and you haven’t set foot on your mat. And whether it be your body or mind calling, sometimes we go through the same internal dialogue: “You’re not going to be able to do what you used to. Ugh. This is going to be hard." Naturally, these thoughts lead to feelings of dread, and that’s before you even enter the room! With those paralyzing feelings present, no wonder our instincts are to avoid class, rather than attend it. And so the “yogabstinence” continues. So, what to do?
Here are some tips on getting back to the mat after taking a break:
Find the gray! It doesn’t have to be all yoga or no yoga. As humans, thinking in “the gray” is not in our nature. It’s not efficient. We generally see things quite black or white—either “all yoga” or “no yoga.” You might have recently completed the 60 day challenge, or are used to going 3x a week without fail. Then, you took time off (no yoga), and the thought of going back to “all yoga” is overwhelming. Instead of making an intention to attend 3 -7 classes a week, or whatever you used to do, make your intention to attend one class. You can always make a new intention to attend another class that week afterwards.
If you do other things such as bootcamps, crossfit or running .Expanding your exercise horizons beyond yoga is a good idea.All physical disciplines are about doing what is right for your body.One of the best ways to mix up your routine, stay healthy and prevent injury is to cross train with yoga. As a whole-body exercise yoga increases flexibility, strength and balance. Yoga strengthens the body’s stabilizing muscles leading to a stronger core and greater ease .
Be compassionate to yourself. When going back in the room abolish your expectations.
Harbor your inner YES. Let go of striving and expectation, and open up to whatever experience(s) you meet in the room. If you expect yourself to meet a standard or expectation, you’re creating a platform for discouragement and frustration.Be a YES to the moment and whatever that moment presents.
Just show up!! The hardest part is getting there...Your mind and body will thank you.