As the weather got colder and the threat of an evacuation loomed because of the fires in Southern California, I found myself missing a few days of practice. I went from five times a week, to three, and then one.
Bad patches happen. It helps to develop ways that kickstart your yoga (or any exercise) and get your groove back quicker. These are my go-to when I fall off my regular yoga practice at home, from weather changes to life events.
Finding the Right Temperature
- Hot Tea: heating up the body internally gets me moving. Although I’m careful not to drink too much or risk having a yoga session interrupted by bathroom breaks.
- Space Heater: I don’t practice with it on, but I find that if I turn it on either next to me or my yoga spot, I get energized.
- Hot Shower: it might seem counterintuitive, but taking a hot shower before and wearing my yoga clothes right after gets me to unroll my mat and practice.
- Small Goals: I aim for a really short yoga session, usually 15 minutes. Most of the time though, I end up doing more than 30 minutes and a full practice. The initial hurdle gets lifted and the flow happens.
- Start Slowly and with the Tightest Spots: my wrists and shoulders are usually my tightest areas, so I start with simple shoulder openers and warming up my wrists. This helps me settle in and I start feeling good right away, since they are so tight to begin with. These are similar to movements I would do if arriving early to a yoga class.
- Have a Reward Ready: whether it’s food or something to pamper yourself, give yourself a reward. Every time I do yoga, I actually reward myself. I only use my favorite Saje lotion whenever I do yoga. I stick to this rule and I just feel accomplished and good about myself every time I use it, knowing I earned it.
Create a Mood
- Wear Your Yoga Clothes: Just wear them, even if today might not be the day you kickstart your practice.
- Music: If you’re working from home or doing chores, play music that moves you. You’ll soon realize you’re doing some simple stretches, and pretty soon, you’re in a forward fold.
- Videos: play a yoga class on YouTube or if you have a subscription, have it on. Here’s a confession. I have subscriptions to workout apps, and I don’ just use them to workout, but as motivation. I have videos playing in the background sometimes when I’m folding clothes and doing housework or working.
- Roll Out Your Mat: if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated yoga space, just put your mat down, sit, and see what happens.