Guest post by Yogasteya blogger Kathrine Conroy
The yoga mat is a microcosm for life.
While we may all be attempting the same posture, our individual personalities inevitably find a way to manifest themselves. For example, I often recognize the same fear preventing me from trying new things in my life off the mat, making its way into my yoga practice as I shy away from attempting new postures for fear of looking foolish or falling. Similarly, life – both on and off the mat – can get a little stagnant, predictable and yes… even a little boring.
Here are 3 tips you can use to keep your yoga practice, as well as your daily life, more interesting and exciting!
- Break the Pattern: Going to the same studio to see your favorite teacher for your usual class, week after week in the same predictable routine can easily lead to feelings of comfort and complacency. In much the same way, it can be comforting to return to the same, familiar restaurant ,where they know your favorite appetizer by heart, or returning to the same bar where they know you by name. While routine and familiarity can be nice, safe, and enjoyable – going outside your comfort zone and trying new things can be both exciting and exhilarating. Variety is the spice of life, they say.To break the pattern on your yoga mat, try checking out a new studio, a new teacher or a new class on the schedule. Maybe even attempt a different style of yoga all together. If you usually pick a hot power yoga class, try a yin class – or vice versa. As for taking this concept off the mat, why not go ahead and try that new restaurant getting rave reviews! If you’re not feeling that adventurous, just try ordering a new appetizer or a cocktail other than your “usual.”
- Challenge Yourself: Challenging yourself both mentally and/or physically is a great way to break up the monotony when life becomes too repetitive.To keep your yoga practice more interesting, try working with a particularly challenging posture or attempting another other goal all together. Try starting a meditation practice or deepen your current practice to challenge yourself mentally. When it comes to life off the mat, try learning something new, crossing something off your “bucket list” (or writing one if you don’t already have one!) or taking up a new hobby.
- Take a Step Back: Sometimes, freshening up our lives requires us to simply take a break, honour our experiences and return to life with a renewed sense of purpose and vigour!Try taking a week or two away from your yoga mat and then take it up again when you’ve had enough time to miss it. Or, instead of going home every night, try joining your coworkers for that after work get-together you don’t usually attend, your grabbing a couple friends for happy hour. A little time apart to “miss” each other can work wonders when your relationships start to feel a bit stale.
As a yoga teacher, I like to tell my students that the yoga practice mirrors life. The people we are remain the same both on and off the mat, and therefore, we can begin to recognize deeper patterns within ourselves as we explore our mind-body connection on the mat. Keeping our experiences fresh and renewing our sense of awe and wonder are just as important on the mat as it is in our everyday life.
Kathrine turned to yoga to deal with the stress related to higher education and completed her 200 hour training during her last year of law school. She is a firm believer in the healing power of yoga, having experienced it for herself…now if only she could convince her husband! Kathrine and her amazing husband live in Orlando, Florida. Connect with Kathrine on Facebook to learn more about her yoga journey!