Sometimes, the most difficult thing about yoga is just showing up on the mat. It’s so easy to make excuses not to practice—not enough energy, not enough time, too many things to do… So you skip a yoga session here and there, and all of a sudden, your mind is scattered, your body feels stiff, and it’s just that much harder to get back into the flow.
Like any other habit, yoga practice benefits from consistency. It doesn’t always have to be complicated or time consuming– sometimes it’s as simple as rolling out your mat, tuning in to your breath, and moving mindfully for a few minutes.
Attending a class on a regular basis is a wonderful way to make sure that your practice is benefitting you as much as possible, since your teacher can help you make any adjustments or modifications that you may find helpful, and also because you’ll learn something new every time you step onto your mat. Explore a variety of classes and styles to find one you love, and show up to it as often as possible.
What about in between classes? Whether you go to the studio every day, every week, or every once in a while, a home practice ritual can help to support your yoga journey. Find a time of day that seems right for practicing yoga. Maybe it’s early in the morning, or right before you go to bed, or as a time of pause and reflection in the middle of a busy day. Try making a yoga playlist with music that feels right for your practice. Light a candle. Burn some special incense, or use an essential oil blend that helps you connect with your practice time. Create space for your practice that feels like a sanctuary for your body and your spirit, and it’s that much easier to keep showing up on the mat.
And if you do get out of the habit, don’t worry! Just show up when you’re ready, and meet yourself where you are in that moment. One of the many beautiful things about yoga is that no matter where you are in your journey, you can find a style that you connect with, and build a practice that aligns with your needs. If you’ve been off the mat for a while, try easing back in with a gentle, meditative class that helps you to reconnect with your body and your breath. Try to let go of ego, self-judgment, and comparison to others. Close your eyes if you need to, and tune in to what your own individual body needs.
Gentle Yoga, offered at Keene Yoga Center many times throughout the week, including morning and evening classes, and Serene Sunday Flow, on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11, are both wonderful, soothing options that are perfect if you are looking for a gentle space to reconnect, or connect more deeply, with yourself and with your practice.