After a break, I was able to get back into my regular yoga practice and it felt amazing. For the Your Yoga Challenge, I completed 30 classes in just 31 days. I am glad I kept pushing myself to do more. When I have so many classes to teach, it can be difficult to find balance. Sometimes I don’t want to do more yoga after all the teaching. To be a great teacher, you must make time to practice your craft to keep inspired and to avoid burnout. I enjoy taking classes with other teachers and learning new things that I can incorporate into my practice. There are many ways to do simple things like cueing a transition from one pose to another. Every teacher is unique in their approach to sharing yoga. I realized I wasn’t the only one who had lost touch with my yoga practice, so I decided to compile a few tips to help others. I hope you find something that resonates with you and fall in love with yoga again.
For yourself and for your class, let go of all expectations
You may not be as flexible and limber if you’ve taken a break from yoga. It can take time to rebuild strength and stamina. Be patient and take it slow. It is not worth risking injury to force your body into something it is not ready for. So, ease back in. You can’t expect to see a quick improvement in your flexibility and endurance. Be open to the present moment and let go of your expectations. You will be rewarded if you are present with your body, your breath, and your body. It’s not perfect, but a practice.
Find a Yoga Buddy
Yoga friends are the best type of friends. No matter what time or who is teaching, they are always available to meet you at the studio. They can motivate you to do yoga together and can save you a spot if your schedule is slack. An added bonus? Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with your friend before or after class, and catch up.
Join the Studio Regularly
Some people find practicing yoga at home easy. Some people find it easy to practice yoga at home. They have enough space to place their mat and keep their attention on the practice. I am not one among those people. My busy schedule makes it difficult for me to find the time. I live in a small studio apartment with my partner. I’m easily distracted by changing the music or drinking water. I find that taking a class in a group is essential to my personal yoga practice. I appreciate the support of another teacher, new music and the peace and quiet that comes with a group class. Find a teacher or studio that you like and make it a habit to attend at least two classes per week. I find that just being in a studio environment is a great motivator.
Get a daily reminder
You may already be able to focus well during home yoga practice. If so, you might consider adding a reminder to your phone for your daily session. You can make a habit of practicing at the same time every day and create a routine you look forward to. It’s amazing how much stretching can accomplish in just a few minutes. You don’t need to do it long or complicated. Even a 10 minute session of child’s pose, down dog, easy twist, happy baby-savasana can make or break your day.
Do not take it too seriously
You don’t have to know where to begin if you aren’t sure how or feel self-conscious. Have a glass of wine, or whatever you prefer and then get on your mat. You don’t have to be serious! You will feel more relaxed if you play around on the floor and take deep breaths. You don’t have to drink a glass of wine each time you practice yoga, but it can help you relax and get in touch with your body. It’s possible to surprise yourself by learning more yoga poses once you get started.
It’s all about the journey and not the destination
Yoga doesn’t require time; it gives time. I can’t agree with this more. Spend some time with yourself to learn more about your body’s natural movements and breathing patterns. The most important and fulfilling relationship we have with ourselves is the one that we share with our children. Take a step back and enjoy your practice!