Spicing Up Your Yoga Routines:
I promised you some tips this month to help you revive and rejuvenate your yoga routines.
If you’re like most of us, it’s likely at some point that you start to feel a sense of boredom or apathy about your yoga practice. That not really a big surprise. However, it’s precisely at this time where we must always remember the great value of what we have gained so far and the importance of not losing it!
Resist the urge to simply “take some time off,” even if only for a few days or a week or two. We all know what modern life is like and all the distractions that are eager to grab our attention if we let them.
I have seen a ‘yoga break’ of one or two weeks turn into several months with some students. Before you know it, time has simply flown by and you’ll find yourself facing a mountain of effort to simply climb back to where you were when you stopped practising yoga.
Don’t let yourself fall into this trap!
Just as a productive change is better than a rest in our work life, sometimes a change is helpful in our spiritual life too. This can be as simple as varying the duration and types of physical practices like yoga asanas, kriyas and pranayamas.
Sometimes it also can make a big difference just changing our physical environment, moving out-doors or to a different place infused with new, fresh, and powerful natural energy. A weekend of camping and yoga sadhana in the mountains, for instance, can be just the thing to get you “spiritually pumped up” again!
Changing Your Yoga Perspective
As many paths do lead to the same goal, in the realm of yoga we understand that many approaches have a common foundation. So bringing new practices into your spiritual lifestyle, such as mantra chanting, bhajans, seva and karma yoga, whether on a short-term or permanent basis, can refresh and renew the spiritual drive.
It’s also fine to allow yourself to engage in other activities such as lectures from masters or teachers of different traditions, reading books of philosophy or spirituality, or attending from time to time different types of classes in meditation, exercises, etc.
Rev up Your Yoga Routines, But Don’t Get Distracted
Be careful about “jumping all over the spiritual map” so to speak. This is an all-to-common habit of the modern, undisciplined and unfocused mind. Remember that it is essential to maintain a constant and focused spiritual course in life if you truly wish to make lasting progress.
A focused spiritual direction, and not scattered spiritual wandering is the real foundation of success.
The Best Piece of Advice?
… If you really want to reap the fruits of your evolutionary efforts, then don’t become a spiritual tourist! The modern dictum of “more is better” is not the path to genuine growth and understanding.
You have no excuse for getting bored with yoga. The degree to which you can mix up your yoga routines and find new things to re-charge yourself is only limited by your own creativity. Creativity, though, doesn’t mean simply endulging every whim and fancy.
So I’ll qualify that by calling it “intelligent creativity.” Whatever you engage in should be in line with the proper teachings and methodology of yoga. If you are still not confident that your understanding of yoga is great enough to be able to adapt and adjust your practices wisely and properly, then you should seek advice from those who have the experience to help.
Just trying out this or that practice, or picking up ideas from various books or magazines, videos or yoga websites and throwing them into your yoga routines is a big mistake. Do this an you can quickly find yourself fluttering all over the yoga map with no sense of direction and ending up gaining little except perhaps more confusion or misunderstanding.
So Be Smart About It
Use your breaks from sadhana wisely and be ever-mindful of the tendency to let things slide too much and for laziness to creep in, or else you might quickly find yourself becoming scattered and unfocused, and struggling to regain the level of discipline and understanding that you once possessed.
The nature of life is change. It’s up to us to keep moving forward in this ever-changing world while at the same time being diligent in maintaining a yoga sadhana that is both stimulating and nurturing.
That means that whatever short term alterations you make in your yoga routines along the way, NEVER leave your evolutionary yogic spirit behind.