A mindful yoga practice asks us to move with intention while maintaining proper alignment in (and between) body and breath. No big deal, right? You got this.
All joking aside, many yogis (myself included) often take the practice of yoga all-too-seriously. There are many times I’ve found myself struggling until that coveted post-savasana glow hits. It’s not that the results aren’t potent or worth the effort but let’s be honest here: yoga can be hard. It asks us to feel, move energy with intention, and begs one to find alignment where alignment doesn’t always feel available.
Have you ever felt pre-practice dread to the point that practice might not happen? This article is for you. Here are 5 simple ways to assure your movement practice feels like more of a blessing than a burden.
- Lean into the support around you. Props can be transformational for your practice. While you might be able to access a pose without extra support, you might actually benefit from from not having to work so hard. Use the tools you have at your disposal to make the “job” of yoga more accessible. More support in movement means more space for growth and exploration, which in turn may lead to more joy!
- Set a sacred space. Comfort is an essential part of joy. With so many distractions (be it kids, pets, or other household members), it’s not always possible to have full privacy in a well-organized space. Whether you practice at home or not, we often have to make do with what we have so take the time to clear out a sacred space. Set up candles, arrange flowers, display pictures those you love… or not. It’s entirely up to you. Make the time and space yours by pay attention to whatever brings you joy.
- Dress to impress yourself. What do you enjoy moving in? Still rocking those PJs at 3pm? Great! Feeling a little cosplay these days? Dress as your favorite character (who or whatever that may be) to invite more playful energy into your practice. Who said yoga was only for stretchy pants? With so many folks practicing at home our outfits can be more of a choose your own adventure.
- Less plan, more play. What are you needing today? I bet if you moved your body without expectation, you might be surprised by what you already know! This one is for all the type-A planners who focus on the same movements each and every time. Allow yourself more wiggle room in your practice and let go of any expectation for “right” or “wrong” movement. There is always a need to fine-tune our postures and practice, so be sure to allow for more curiosity and freedom to find clarity in flow.
- Why so serious? Don’t take yourself or your practice so seriously. Period, end of sentence. Try to let your practice be a little less precious. Could you allow yourself freedom to play and laugh when you fall? Focused movement is already a profoundly precious act. Start your practice with a smile, invite in your cheeky pieces and let ‘er rip. Yoga isn’t solely for the serious and stoic. Your practice is a space for all those fancy, wild pieces to come together… including the messy bits! Celebrate it all as you move.
Now it’s time to put these principles into practice! Grab your favorite props and goodies, find that perfect playlist, and prep a space that feels yummy and inviting. Adorn yourself in those feel-good items before you start to move your body without any set plan.
What happens next? Only time will tell. Leave a comment below and let the world know how much you enjoyed the ride!