By Faye Martins
Repeating a favorite series of asanas can really ground a practice and help focus, but sometimes Yoga training sessions can feel stale. Trying some new tricks can help even the most advanced Yoga practitioner see himself in a new light and make him look forward to his time on the mat.
1) Try a different time of day. If practice is typically done first thing in the morning, try taking some time at midday, or do a long, slow evening practice, ending with several restorative poses. Each asana has a different energy, and one’s own energy level varies throughout the day; a new peak time may be found. A midday practice is also an excellent way to beat the mid-afternoon “slump.”
2) Try partner Yoga with a friend. Challenge the comfort level, as most people are accustomed to solo practice and feel that it is the “real Yoga.” Performing favorite asanas back to back with a partner can make them feel unfamiliar. Adapting practice to accommodate another person’s skill level is also an opportunity to reflect on how the asanas are experienced.
3) Find a new focus. Some find themselves setting similar intentions during every practice. If intentions usually focus on the self, such as finding more openness, or greater energy, try focusing on others. Dedicating a practice to a friend in need can make it feel entirely different. If practices are usually concentrated outward, try shining a spotlight internally: What kind of thought patterns exist and how could they be changed to allow new ideas?
4) Change external stimulus. Move outdoors if the weather is right, and enjoy the extra vitality of the fresh air. Which movements seem to flow more naturally outdoors and which indoors? Try practicing to music, and choose restful or energetic playlists alternately.
5) Consider some of the decks of cards available with different mantras, hand mudras or sacred path cards. Meant to provide you with different inspirations, these cards are a handy way to break outside the box and consider something totally different for a practice.
6) Read about someone else’s journey. This could mean reading a blog, forum, or a book by an admired Yoga teacher. Even an article can inspire a new outlook on one’s own practice.
7) Take a Yoga certification course to expand your mind, heal for body, and expand your opportunities.
Remember, the stillness of the body exposes the restlessness of the mind. If you feel bored, it could be the call of a restless mind accustomed to constant stimulation. Like the ache that comes when an injury heals, it may be a sign that you are headed in the right direction.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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