Yoga is, today, generally seen as a trendy way of working out and maintaining your physical and mental health. It’s advertised as a unique experience of mind and body, and while that’s definitely true, there are plenty of people who struggle to find enjoyment in yoga. There are also people who have been doing yoga for a long time, and are suddenly finding themselves bored by their usual classes.
While yoga might not be for everyone, before giving up on it entirely, you should explore your options in terms of why, where, and how you’re doing yoga. To bring interest back, you can try looking at your motivation, breaking up your routine, finding a new instructor or setting, or changing the kind of yoga you do.
Here are a few ways to change the way you do yoga so that you can get your interest in it back.
Try Looking at Your Motivation
One reason you might be finding yourself bored with yoga is that you can’t identify your reasoning for participating. It might be worth reconsidering how you’re using it by looking at its history and the different reasons people do yoga in the first place.
Yoga has been used in many ways by practitioners from wildly different backgrounds and belief systems. Some people still conform to its original use as a spiritual tool, focusing on its mindfulness aspects and connecting it with their personal belief system.
However, for many others, it is just a part of a healthy and active lifestyle. There’s nothing wrong with this view of yoga, as it’s definitely come into trend recently as a less physically intense and extreme form of exercise, as well as a more relaxing outlet for energy and stress.
Why Did You Start Yoga?
A good starting point for solving your boredom can be to ask yourself what your motivation is for doing yoga. Are you doing it for a physical or a spiritual reason? Are you using it as a tool or enjoying the act itself?
Even if you knew when you started doing yoga why you were doing it, your reasoning could change overtime. This can cause some contrast between what you want from your experience and the routine you have established, which might be causing you to find less enjoyment than you did when you started out.
Once you identify why you’re doing yoga, you can look at your current class or routine and identify the ways that it differs from what you need.
Try a Break from Your Routine
If you can’t identify why you’re participating in yoga, it might be good to take a break from it for a while. Finding that you miss an aspect of your class can help you identify your motivation for it, which will make the whole experience more interesting and meaningful to you.
During this break from your yoga routine, if you want to maintain the spiritual aspect of it, you can try meditation. There are plenty of guided meditations available online, each with different goals and lengths depending on how much time you want to dedicate to involving them in your day. Meditation can be an excellent way to practice mindfulness and keep stress and anxiety under control. Another wonderful aspect of meditation is that it can be incorporated into your yoga practice when you go back to it, adding another layer to the benefits of yoga.
You can also try a different workout during that break, giving your body a chance to reset and move in a completely different way for a while. Go hiking, take a spin class, or try out Zumba. Taking on a different activity at the same intensity level as your usual yoga class keeps your workouts just as effective while spicing up your day. Breaking the routine can be an excellent way to make your days more interesting overall.
If you find you’re not missing it at all, it might be time to reconsider different aspects of your yoga routine and try to find out what’s causing the lack of interest.
Try a New Yoga Instructor
Maybe your issue is with your instructor. All yoga instructors have their own approaches to their classes. Some are very hands on, making sure that their students are posed properly by closely inspecting them throughout the class, while others might be more focused on leading their groups through the meditative aspects of a certain form of yoga.
If you find that one instructor’s methods don’t compliment your learning style, or that they aren’t teaching you what you want to learn, then it might be time to switch instructors.
Your ideal yogi or yogini should be approachable, knowledgeable, and qualified. You should feel that you are able to ask them questions about your form or sequence without feeling dismissed or ridiculed, and they should be confident in their critiques without being discouraging or too dismissive or mistakes. You should feel that you’re learning from them and benefitting from their training, which should be openly available for you to verify so that you can trust that they’re giving you correct information.
You should also never feel that you are disappointing or offending your instructor by switching to a different one. Your instructors want you to succeed, and will understand if their teaching methods aren’t what you need to get the most out of your experience. Consider talking directly to them about the issues you have with their teaching style. They might be able to adjust certain things about their class, or even recommend a new one for you.
Try a New Yoga Setting
Perhaps the reason you’re feeling bored with yoga is because you’re not experiencing it in the right setting. Choosing where you practice yoga can go a long way to making it a more engaging and worthwhile part of your routine. You can either do yoga in your own home, following a set sequence from a virtual instructor or putting together your own routine, or in a professional yoga studio, which offer more structure and in-person instruction.
Doing Yoga at Home
You can do yoga in the comfort of your own home, where you will not have to worry about feeling judged or falling behind. You could try following along to YouTube tutorials for your preferred intensity level and focus. This article by Vogue has excellent advice on what kinds of equipment you will need and where to get it, as well as when and how you can do yoga from home to get the best results for your needs.
They recommend a clean, open space free of clutter to practice in, without much if any technology to distract you. They also say that although you don’t necessarily need them to begin practicing yoga at home, some useful equipment can be a yoga mat, a bolster, blocks, straps, a speaker, and an alarm clock.
You can also look into downloading apps for your local gym, as they’ll sometimes offer online yoga instruction. You can either follow these classes directly if you need a bit more structure, or if you were feeling stifled by in-person classes’ rigid instructions, you can find ways to adapt them to your needs. Doing yoga at home gives you the option to change your routine day-to-day to suit your needs in the moment.
Doing yoga in your own home comes with the added benefit that you can listen to your own music, meditations, or audiobooks. You can even create a playlist that runs for the length of your sequence instead of having a timer, letting yourself focus more on the moments and your breathing than on the amount of time you have left. You can also adjust the lighting to suit your needs, keeping the room bright if it helps you stay alert and darker if that helps you focus, or even introducing natural lighting to add to the serenity of your session.
Doing Yoga in a Studio
You can also go to a yoga studio for more structure and a sense of community. To pick a new studio, you should first look into their instructors’ certifications and experience, as well as what kinds of classes they offer and when. Once you find a place that suits your schedule and has decent teachers, you should visit it in person for a sense of the general feel of the studio. Meet the teacher, take a tour if you can, and ask questions. If you think you’ve found a good fit, the only thing left to do is take a class!
You can and should shop around and explore your options before signing on to anything long term. There’s no shame in wanting to find the best fit for yourself, and no one will be offended if you decide that a certain place is not a good fit for you. Your experience with yoga should be a fun and comfortable one. If you’re looking for a rubric to help you decide which studio to go with, Dawn Yager wrote a checklist for choosing new yoga studios for Yogi Approved.
Try a Different Kind of Yoga
If you’re really finding your current class boring and nothing else seems to be working, you might consider trying out a different form of yoga.
There are thirteen individual kinds of yoga. While this might seem overwhelming at first, it really is just a matter of matching what you want from your workout with the kind of workout you choose. Each one has its own benefits and is tailored toward a different experience.
Yoga Classes for Beginners
- Hatha Yoga is perfect for beginners, as if focuses on teaching form, positions, and proper technique, laying the groundwork for more difficult practices later on.
- Vinyasa Yoga is incredibly common and adaptable, making it another good place for beginners. Its focus is on linking breathing with posing, and finding a solid balance between them.
- Yin Yoga is rooted in martial arts, but focuses on the slow sustaining of poses, aiming for stillness. It’s an excellent form for someone who likes intense workouts and needs a good, calming way to recover from them. It’s also a good place for someone who doesn’t like fast-paced workouts in the first place, and would rather do more endurance-based sessions.
- Iyengar Yoga is a more classical form, which relies on lots of props to help you achieve a more accurate pose. It’s a good form for people who prefer to have more detailed instructions to follow. It’s also a lower-intensity kind of yoga, making it excellent for people with physical limitations or older people.
Yoga Classes with Spiritual Experiences
- Ashtanga Yoga follows a specific sequence of six poses. Each pose is taught individually, when the instructor (a yogi if they’re a man and a yogini if they’re a woman) deems you “ready.” This kind of yoga is focused on the flow from one movement to another and the mastery of the movements alone and in sequence.
- Sivananda yoga is related to Hatha yoga in that it is good for beginners. It focuses on the spiritual aspect of yoga, and is considered a more gentle and relaxing form than most. This kind of yoga is also good for those who suffer from stress and anxiety issues.
- Kundalini Yoga is based in meditation, chants, and combinations of these and poses called kriyas. Participants in a Kundalini class are encouraged to wear white, as it’s supposed to increase your aura by deflecting negative energies. This kind of yoga is for those who are looking for a spiritual experience.
- Restorative Yoga might be good for those who need to set aside time to completely relax and unwind. It focuses on using props to maintain poses with no effort in order to obtain maximum relaxation. Some classes even follow guided meditations that hover somewhere just above sleeping. It’s another good type for those with anxiety and stress issues.
Yoga Classes at Higher Intensities
- Bikram Yoga is another specifically structured format, with 90-minute classes in rooms heated to at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit. There are 26 poses and two breathing exercises, done in a sequence. This kind is good for those who need a routine to follow and aren’t afraid to work up a sweat. It’s important to note, though, that not all “hot yoga” classes are Bikram, and some studios simply borrow some of the concepts from Bikram without adhering to all of the strict rules.
- Power Yoga, as the name implies, is a higher-intensity format. It’s more varied than many other kinds, tending not to stick to one format between studios, and can include variations with dancing and lots of core work. Power yoga is an excellent form for someone who is not looking for a spiritual experience, just a fun, fast-paced workout.
- Aerial Yoga is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Restorative yoga, and is in fact a higher-intensity format.These classes take place in hammocks that hang off of the ground, and can involve a number of more challenging poses. These classes might be perfect for someone looking for a challenge or a more fun workout.
- Acro Yoga is yoga with partners! One partner forms the base of the pose, usually lying on the ground, while the other is a “flyer,” balancing on the base’s feet. These classes can be fun for friends, and make for an excellent afternoon of hanging out. They’re also excellent date ideas, and are great bonding experiences for new and established couples alike, helping you to trust each other more fully.
- Prenatal Yoga is, as the name implies, designed for expectant mothers. It focuses on relaxing the hips and back, as well as offering poses and breathing exercises designed to assist in labor and delivery. It’s also a good experience for new mothers who want to ease their way back into exercising.
There are also themed kinds of yoga offered by special studios. One of the more popular ones right now is goat yoga, which is exactly what it sounds like. You do simple Hatha yoga workouts, but with baby goats running around (and over) you! These kinds of classes can be fun if you want a one-off experience rather than a completely different format to stick to.
Yoga is a Personal Experience
Yoga is designed to be a calming, centering practice that allows you to connect more with your body and spirit. It shouldn’t be a source of stress in your life, and finding that you’re bored by it but feeling obligated to keep going can add unnecessary conflict to the process. Remember that it is perfectly fine to decide that yoga is not for you, and that you need to find a different way to work out and relieve stress.
However, yoga is extremely adaptable and should be accessible to anyone who wants to take part. Hopefully, these methods of evaluating your routine and changing it can help you to identify a way to practice yoga that works for your individual needs.
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