Okay, I know some exceptional people who manage to stay focused on yoga during the short and glorious weeks of summer.
The rest of us, however, find it a little (or a lot) more difficult to hit that mat with vigour and regularity.
The yoga studio I go to has a summer sizzler pass, which keeps people practicing at least once a week until just before the next session starts in September.
But a lot of people (myself included) opt out, even if we’re going to be in town most of the summer.
It’s easy to get out of yoga form as we indulge in many a barbeque, beach party, road trip, and general summer frolic. If you don’t do at least a little regular yoga, though, you’re in for a rude awakening come September when your body snaps abruptly back to its old routine and you’re off your game.
Those first few classes always feel so hard to me and I start questioning why the heck I signed up for this torture session. Then I start kicking myself for taking it way too easy for the previous couple of months.
So, how the heck are you going to avoid the September reckoning?
Here are a few ideas:
1) Enlist your friends. Take a 10-, 20-, 30- (or more) day challenge with one or more of them. You don’t have to commit to a lot. Even 5 or 10 minutes of yoga daily will help you keep a little form. Perk: you get to call and check-up on your friends to see if they pulled their weight and you can brag about keeping your end of the deal.
2) Make a yoga date with a friend. You can meet in class, or practice at each other’s homes. Even if you hit the beach, if you both agree to incorporate some yoga in your plans, you’re more likely to follow through. (Hint: make sure your friend has a decent amount of resolve so your “yoga date” doesn’t mysteriously devolve into an ice cream lounge fest!)
3) Take a drop-in class. Consider a gentle or restorative class if a more energetic class feels like too much — you don’t want to put yourself through hell, you want to re-ignite your engine. Or try a different kind of yoga than usual. Shake it up.
4) Read some inspiring yoga articles or books…it just might motivate you to pull out the mat.
5) Listen to uplifting music. Same reason as above.
6) Agree to do even just five minutes of yoga today. Once you’re on the mat, you may feel like doing more. Or maybe not. But you’ll probably feel a little better, especially if you do some chest and armpit openers.
7) Ask committed yogis you know how they keep up their routines.
Che Nolan is a propologist with a major in bolsterology and an Iyengar yoga practitioner with a daily meditation practice. He’s also a writer and a regular Halfmoon contributor.