Have you found yourself in a yoga rut? Here are five ways to shake things up and deepen your experience of yoga on and off the mat.
1.Mix it Up
Sometimes it can feel like we’re going through the motions. It is easy to fall into a yoga rut. We lose sight of how yoga brought us to the present when we first stepped onto the mat and how it shines a light on different parts of our body and mind. If you find yourself practicing the same style on auto pilot, consider mixing it up with different styles or even trying different kinds of movement. You might want to have a go at Barre and Pilates or try a different yoga style. Our Try Your Style course challenges you to try different yoga styles. You might discover a new favourite or approach that you can bring to your favourite yoga classes.
2.Understand your Body
Yoga is a wonderful tool to help us to understand our body better. You might have come to yoga initially because of bodily niggles and as you heal, you might develop a curiosity about how the body works and the impact of different poses on your body. Learn more from our anatomy experts Lucy and Ben Parker and Doctor Yogi himself: Andrew McGonigle. You might also want to check out this chat on our youtube channel with Dr. Yogi.
3.Go Deeper with Philosophy
Yoga philosophy is a brilliant starting place to help deepen your understanding of yoga. Although most of us come to yoga through the physical practice, a connection with the philosophy and deepening our understanding of yoga’s roots, history and applying this to our lives, is what makes us stay. Watch this introduction to Patanjali’s eight limbs from Vidya Heisel.
4.Work with Intention
Setting an intention is a powerful way of reconnecting with what brought you to yoga in the first place. It is intention that will add weight and meaning into your yoga practice and will elevate it beyond the mechanical. Try this class from Mimi Kuo-Deemer and explore how intention can take your yoga straight off the mat and into life. It’s a great class to do if you want to understand more about how what we do on the mat reveals how we approach our lives.
If you want to explore more ways of working with intention try classes which include some qigong. Our teachers, Mimi Kuo-Deemer, Joo Teoh and Rakhee Jasani all fold practices from qigong and yoga together. If you’re intrigued by this, our Cultivating Energy course is a great place to find out more.
5.Take it off the mat and say goodbye to the yoga rut
Sometimes we need to let yoga permeate our lives! It’s not all about stretching, moving and feeling better. Yoga often drives us to question more about how we lead our lives and what we commit to. Yoga can lead us to committing more fully to living in a kinder way and for the benefit of others. For instance, in our course, Small Steps to Change, we explore the tools that can support us to take our yoga off the mat and to lead happier, healthier lives. Watch this discussion between Kat Farrants and Rakhee Jasani about how our yoga can sustain us.