The days are getting shorter, darker, and colder, at least in the Northern hemisphere. Leaving the soft warm duvet in the morning nearly brings about separation anxiety. You decide you’ll exercise later in the day or tomorrow. But the day goes by and time flies. Next morning, the duvet is even more attractive… and the next day too.
Or it might be that you had to stop due to injury, family issues or a bout of fatigue. But the longer you stay away from the yoga mat, the harder it is to get back on it. Little by little, you’ve lost your mojo. Here are 5 ways to get it back.
1. Don’t blame yourself
Although not blaming yourself will not be enough to get your mojo back, it’s a prerequisite. Let’s be honest: we all lose our enthusiasm for yoga at one stage or another. As mentioned above, there are various reasons why we might feel like skipping yoga. A few years ago, I even stopped practising for a few weeks because I wanted to see how bad I would get if I stopped. I know this sounds quite perverse but there you go: we are not always rational.
So let’s stop the self-flagellation – that is unless you enjoy it.
2. Go back to the WHY!
A few weeks ago, I was chatting after class with the amazing Ann from http://nuakombucha.com/ and we were talking about why we do what we do. She recommended Simon Sinek’s book called Start with Why. I think this approach helps a lot when it comes to rekindling one’s enthusiasm for yoga too.
Why did you start yoga? Is it to stay healthy? But why do you want to stay healthy? Maybe to enjoy your life or to be there for your friends and family or to have a successful career? Don’t stop. Keep digging until you find the core why.
Then focus on your core why.
3. Turn challenges into opportunities to learn
This might be where you start hating me as it’s always so much easier to say than to do. But I do believe it is possible. In fact, there are two ways to approach this.
First, you can focus on the purely physical level. Let’s say you hurt your ankle, or you feel very dizzy at the moment. Why not investigate which poses or breathing exercise work best for you? Which one feels better? Is it helping or should you avoid moving your ankle at all? The answer is in you. And remember: even if you cannot move at all, as long as you can breathe, you can do yoga!
Second, you can focus on the emotional and mental levels, and turn your practice into a meditation. Sitting still, just observe. There is so much to observe: the body, the sensations, the (monkey) mind, the thoughts… This is the opportunity to learn more about who you are.
4. Start with one small win
You don’t have to do 108 sun salutations. Just take your mat out, lie down and give yourself a nice long stretch. Draw your knees to your chest… or sit cross-legged, relaxing your shoulders down, and focus on your breath before starting to gently stretch your body. Just do 5 minutes, and be proud of yourself for taking these 5 minutes to do yoga. Tomorrow you might do another 5 minutes. Keep going and in no time, you’ll have your mojo back.
You’ll have your mojo back because yoga makes us all feel better!
5. Find your tribe
The best way to keep your mojo is to stay in touch with like-minded people. It is much easier to stay motivated when you’re not alone. Ask a friend or a colleague to join you when you practice – on zoom if you live far apart. If you attend online classes, try to connect with the other students in the group. As a teacher, I love seeing the participants interact and get to know each other. Even though the class is online, you can still feel the group dynamic.
If you are on Facebook, why not join this brand new Facebook group created by my yoga teacher friend Isadora who also lives with MS: Yoga for MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
The idea is to share with you all our yogic tips so you can learn how to improve your health with yogic tools. There’ll be tips on poses, breathing exercises, relaxation, meditation etc and group members will also be encouraged to share their own experience and tips. Let’s create a Yoga for MS community!
Don’t forget to share too if you think it’s a good idea.
To finish, I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes, from Brian Work who is an Operations Manager for a big American company: ‘Obstacles don’t block the path. They are the path’.
Don’t hesitate to comment and/or share if you know someone who lost their mojo!