Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stuck in a Rut

 Photo by Jobi Otso. 

Sometimes my asana practice falls into a rut.

It’s been so long since I rolled out my mat. I’ll just take one more day off, and then I’ll get back at it. I’m too tired for yoga.

Have you ever experienced this feeling of being stuck?

Photo by Justin Kral.
Here are some tips for getting back to your mat, and being gentle with yourself about the process.

1. Roll your mat out. Leave your mat unrolled before you go to bed, or before you leave for work in the morning. Let it be the first thing you see when you wake up, or walk through the door when you get home. While you’re at it, leave your yoga clothes out too, so it’s convenient to get changed and get into ‘yoga mode.’

Photo by Cait Loper.

2. Start small. Do five to ten minutes of yoga. A little bit is better than none at all. If I’m practicing for a short period like this, I usually do this routine:
- 3 rounds of cat/cow
- 3-4 sun salutations
- tree pose
- bridge pose
- reclined twist
- savasana

3. Try something new. Sometimes I lose interest in practicing yoga because I’m bored of the sequence I’ve been doing for ages. Try a drop-in at a studio you’ve never been to, or a class with a teacher you’ve never tried.

Photo by Justin Kral.

4. Get online. There are so many great yoga videos out there! I highly recommend videos by Rachel Brathen, Sadie Nardini and KathrynBudig.

5. Ask for support. Make a pact with your yoga friends to hold each other accountable. Celebrate your successes, and encourage each other.

6. Aim for progress, not perfection. Making a new habit is hard and it helps to be kind to yourself while you’re in transition. You’ve got this!

7. Do something besides yoga. Yes, you read that correctly ;) If you’re a little sick of asana, try moving in a different way: qi gong, martial arts, bike riding, walking, swimming, hula hooping, salsa lessons… find a way to connect with your body that feels good right now. Yoga will always be a part of your life, and your mat isn’t going anywhere. Mix it up!

Photo by Justin Kral.

8. Acknowledge when you need to take a break. Sometimes what I need is rest, not a vigorous practice. My yoga practice changes over time, depending on the season, what I have going on in my life, and my energy level on any given day. Continuously honoring where I am in the present moment – that is truly the practice of yoga! 

What helps you get motivated?

PS Instead of saying, “I don’t feel like it,” try these ideas.


  1. Great post! I've been stuck for a month and having poor class after poor class. I have actually looked at other local yoga studios/forms as well as meditation. For the moment though, I go to Bikram as often as I can, trying to work through it. Namaste.

    1. Mark, as always it's so lovely to know you're following along! I'm glad the post resonated. I wrote it as much for me as anyone :) Great to hear that you are trying new studios and pushing through. You rock!