Holiday Mat Slack - Three Ways Back to Your Yoga Mat
Are you slacking on getting on the mat after the holidays? Winter got you down?
Last year at this time I wrote about Mat Slacking (http://bit.ly/2OVR1Q6) being a real thing around the holidays. In that blog, I offered several ways to get grounded. I knew it was worth visiting that topic again this year and to give my own experience getting back to the mat after the Holiday Rush. If you have been off your Yoga Mat for the holidays this year you again are not alone. The holidays are a big-time for folks to stop their routines, shop, wrap (no not rap-although it may be more fun), hit the post office, and schedule safe visits either virtually or otherwise to family and friends in this distanced COVID-19 environment. Some people have claimed to have been even busier because of smaller group sizes and many virtual visits - trying to fit them all in to exchange holiday cheer and gifts safely. If you are like any of these folks or this was your time to take a break from your Yoga Mat for a few weeks it can be really hard to get back to your old schedule.
My typical routine is one to one hour and thirty minutes of Yoga mixed with Pranayama and Meditation. I have broken from my daily routine over the holidays and met my Yoga Mat less than 3 times a week for a few weeks now. I'm not sure I have put my finger on it exactly but getting back to that beautiful practice is challenging. Here are the three things I have tried that really worked for me.
1. Start Small. Instead of jumping into one and one-half hours, I have started at twenty minutes to feel my body again in the postures…slowly! No matter the length of your Yoga routine try cutting the time in half or less your first day back and gradually work your way back to a schedule you are comfortable with. Slow and steady wins the game. Focus on every posture.
2. Slow Down the Flow and use the Floor. I decided to do more postures from the floor instead of standing poses, to begin with. I am focused this first week of January on reestablishing a seat like in Sukhasana and Heros Pose. I spend even more time on Parivrtta Janu Sirasana: Revolved Head to Knee Pose, Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Gomukhasana: Cow Face Pose, Dandasana: Staff Pose, and Sleeping Pigeon. These floor postures allow me to slow down and focus on the intricacies of the poses with the breath and feel the benefits of them. I did myself a huge favor by purchasing a sturdier but soft bolster in case I need it to stay in postures longer. Of course, I finish with Savasana: Corpse.
3. Get a Brand New Routine! Perhaps the break you took was the break you needed to get into a new routine! There are many online teachers that are giving classes for free and online sites where you can sign up for live events and classes. Oh and if you're into that sort of thing there is always Peloton and the Mirror. I currently am in my 200HR YTT and am finding the Asana sections both challenging and vital to my progress…so I have chosen to use my class, of course, as my guide this year. However, I do have Gaia (the channel) and there is so much by way of teaching Yoga on that channel that I could never run out of new and exciting routine ideas. Don't forget about improvisational Yoga as well - do what your body feels!
These three things gave me the boost I needed this year to get past the "I don't want to" phase and each day evolve in that Yoga goodness once again. Just remember all routines have natural ebbs and flows!
Stay Happy and Healthy!
Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ
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