Rust to Flexibility: A Guide to Getting Back into Yoga After a Break
Yoga has been praised for its many physical and mental benefits. Whether you practice it for relaxation, weight loss, or a boost in strength and flexibility, yoga can be life-changing. However, even the most dedicated yoga practitioners can fall off the wagon at times. If you’ve taken a break from your yoga practice for any reason, getting back into the groove can be tough. But don't worry; it's not impossible.
I've had a crazy year, well 18 months. I took a full-time "day job" in the field of research, began volunteering for my town's youth hockey organization AND the school improvement council, and started coaching my daughter's learn to skate class. In the midst of all of these new engagements, my yoga routine has been microscopic. Here are some strategies I plan to use to get back into a routine.
1. Start gradually
It's important to remember that your body may be different after a long break from yoga. You won't be able to jump straight back into a vigorous routine as you risk injury. Begin with simple yoga poses, which will allow your body to ease back into the new routine. Also, try to practice for no more than 30 minutes in a day to avoid overworking yourself. Give your body time to adapt and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the practice.
2. Set achievable goals
Setting goals is important when trying to get back into any routine, including your yoga practice. Start by creating simple targets that are achievable but still challenging. An example is to practice yoga twice a week for the first month then increase the number of daily practices with time. This way, you'll avoid the pressure to pick up where you left off and focus on small progress.
3. Join a yoga class
Join a yoga class around your local community or online. Sometimes it can be challenging to do yoga alone; a class will give you the necessary motivation and accountability. Plus, learning from a yoga instructor can help you perfect your poses and alignment. With personalized feedback, you'll avoid falling back into your old routine and bad habits.
4. Invest in comfortable workout clothes and a mat
The right workout clothes and a yoga mat can help you get back into your yoga routine with ease. You will have the required support and comfort required to get your yoga practice back on track. By investing in high-quality workout clothes that fit well and a durable mat, you will be more inclined to practice more often.
5. Make it part of your daily routine
Life gets busy; we often forget to do things that require consistent effort. Putting your yoga practice as part of your daily routine can help you get back into shape. Create a schedule and decide what time of the day suits you best. Consistency is key, once your body adapts to your yoga practice routine, it'll be as effortless as any other activity you do every day.
6. Find a yoga buddy
Having a friend or partner as a yoga buddy can motivate you to get back into your routine. A partner will not only be accountable, but you can also offer and receive support in your yoga journey. You can compare notes, compete for fun, and motivate each other.
7. Track your progress
Tracking your progress is an effective way of measuring your achievements. You can keep a journal of how many times you practiced, how long you practiced, and a list of the yoga poses you did at each session. You can also use online apps or social media platforms to document your progress. Keeping a record of your progress will help you see how much you've improved and provide the motivation to keep going.
8. Incorporate new poses into your routine
Don't be afraid to mix things up once in a while. Incorporating new yoga poses can help you stay motivated and maintain excitement. You can research new poses on the internet or get inspiration from your yoga instructor or buddies. Just remember not to overdo it, start new poses gradually, and listen to your body.
In conclusion, getting back into the groove after falling off the yoga wagon is doable; it all depends on how motivated you are to get back into a routine. Start by setting small goals, creating a schedule, and tracking your progress.
The key is to believe in your abilities, stay motivated, and enjoy the journey to renewed energy and vitality.