I’ve been practicing yoga since I was 18 years old. I’ve practiced in different cities, studios, and homes. I’ve had times where I practiced 2 classes a day and never lost my enthusiasm. And I’ve also had times where it seems like a chore to roll out my yoga mat.
So how can you keep that fire and spark alive? Here are some of the ways I continue to stay inspired:
- Try something new. We can all get stuck in a rut from time to time. We go to the same class, same teacher, same studio. While there are huge benefits to this routine, it’s nice to shake things up sometimes. Check out a different teacher or style of class. If you usually take a Vinyasa Flow class, try an Iyengar or Restorative class. Or try the same style of yoga with a new teacher. Each teacher brings their own unique voice to their class. You might learn something new!
- Do some reading. There are so many fantastic yoga books out there, which is where I get so much of my inspiration. There’s so much to learn about this practice. A few of my favorites are: The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit by Donna Farhi, and Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar.
- Do a workshop or training. Workshops and trainings are incredible sources of inspiration. You get to spend a longer period of time with a teacher working on a variety of subjects – specific poses, meditation, anatomy, or learning how to teach. You can find a workshop or training that really speaks to you on a personal level. Find a workshop here.
- Dedicate your practice to someone. We often think that our practice is all about us. However, there are huge benefits to dedicating your practice to someone else. You can offer your efforts and light to that person. Also, remember that what you learn about yourself on the mat can ripple through to your life off the mat. When you learn to be more patient, calm, and peaceful, it can affect everyone around you in a really beautiful way. So try dedicating your practice to those you love.
- Take some time off. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder! Sometimes when we feel like we are dragging ourselves to class, it’s because we really need to take a break. A day or two of rest can make a huge difference. During your time off, use that hour and a half that you would normally practice to do something that helps you relax. Maybe it’s a massage, a long bath, a nap, snuggling with your dog or cat…really whatever you want! When you get back to class, you will feel energized and refreshed.
Hayleigh Zachary is a yoga teacher and teacher trainer in Los Angeles. She teaches classes with a strong foundation in alignment and breath. She loves teaching how you can take your yoga practice off the mat and in to all aspects of your life! You can find out more about Hayleigh at her website: www.hayleighzachary.com