Reconnecting to Yoga Practice – for those that need a little help getting back.
How is your Yoga practice going? In my experience, the summer months can be a particularly disruptive time for practice. In the northern hemisphere our summers are short and we often take the opportunity to top up on some much needed vitamin D by spending more time in nature and socialising with friends. In theory, the days are longer but often the demands on our time are greater, particularly if you are juggling work and childcare over the school holidays. Without a steady routine to fall back on it can be difficult to keep connected to your practice (especially if your yoga class stops for the summer, sorry guys!)
If this pattern is familiar, it might be helpful to know that this is normal. It can take many years before yoga practice becomes established as a consistent tool in one’s life. It is not a linear process. However, recognising that you want to re-connect and bringing some energy to the process will set you on the path back to your practice.
For all of the above reasons, autumn is considered an important time in the yoga calendar for reconnecting to your practice. It is a time to re-establish your goals and build up some resilience in preparation for the demands of the winter months. And now is a good time to prepare the ground for your autumn practice.
When thinking about re-igniting your practice you might want to consider -
1. What are the benefits you feel you gain from your yoga practice?
I would encourage you to close your eyes for a moment and try to remember the ‘feeling’ you experience after practice. Yoga is a ‘felt-experience’ so when considering the benefits it can be useful to tune into the memory experience. This makes it more likely that you will revisit the experience (by staying in touch with the state it creates).
If this proves difficult or if it has been a very long time since you took any practice, perhaps set aside 10mins in a quiet space where you can settle and connect to your breath. Setting a timer may prove helpful. Adding some simple arm raises if this helps to establish the breath. And notice how it feels after 10mins of practice.
2. What aspects of practice would you like to give time to in the coming months?
Is there a particular aspect of practice you would like to focus on and develop? Perhaps it is just a commitment to a regular weekly class. Or maybe you would like to give time to developing a home practice? Try and visualise what your practice will look like over the coming weeks and months.
3. And most importantly, how will you support this intention?
What steps can you put in place to maintain enthusiasm for and commitment to your practice so that you reap the benefits? Perhaps it is the support of a class environment, the support of a teacher to help establish a home practice or attendance at workshops to develop your understanding of certain aspects of practice. Perhaps you will find support through reading books on yoga , carrying quotes with you throughout the day to keep you connected to living your yoga or maybe listening to a regular yoga podcast to stay inspired. There are many ways to keep your enthusiasm but it will require some discipline. Again, it can be useful to take a moment to visualise or write down how you will maintain this commitment.
I hope these tips prove useful and I wish you luck in re-connecting to your yoga,