Nothing in life is a constant, including your relationship with yoga. Holidays, injuries, work, etc all happen. Life happens, and it is completely normal to fall in and out of yoga practice. We’ve all been there, students and teachers. The sooner you come to peace with this, the sooner we can move on, no matter what the reason for the break was or how long it lasted. There is no reason for guilt or being hard on ourselves. Here are some things to consider:
REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED
Why did you start practicing yoga in the first place? Make a quick list of benefits and things you felt when you were practicing regularly. Was your mind calmer? Did your overall mood improve? Do you remember the feeling of happiness and elation after a good sweaty class? How did your body feel? Cast your mind back and drop back into those positive sensations and feelings.
There is no need to start with a 5 or 7 days a week practice. If you have a busy life and work schedule at the moment, try not to load on even more stress by creating tough targets and then feeling bad when you don’t meet them. Start with one class per week. One hour dedicated just to yourself, where you can simply be, breathe and experience yourself and your body with a different kind of awareness. See how that spills over into the rest of your life and when you feel ready build up from there. Aim for at least 2 or 3 classes per week to get the maximum benefits.
Stop by your local studio, even if just for a quick hello! Re-connect to the students and teachers you met there. The community is important and it is there there to exchange experiences, guide and provide support.
APPROACH IT AS A BORN AGAIN BEGINNER
The re-start can be hard when you are reaching for those toes that are now far further away than you remember. Don’t beat yourself up for all the flexibility and strength you have lost. It will come back. Your body is eager to go there again. Practice patience with yourself and view it as a blessing in disguise. When we practice regularly and over long periods of time it is easy to fall into into habits, plateau and get set in patterns. You are back, and now you have a chance to re-explore and build on what you already know by adding on things you might have missed the last time round. Keep going and you might just find you discover new aspects of self and your whole practice takes new shape and meaning.