BY: TRISHA CURLING

The idea of getting on your mat sometimes can feel less than thrilling. You might feel like your practice is a little stale or you might be less than enthusiastic after the holidays when you may have indulged a little bit more than you usually do day to day. Chances are, you’re feeling a little bit more sluggish and less motivated. On the other hand, you might have set some intentions for the new year, some which might include improving your health.

If you’re feeling stuck, or unsure about what to get back to in your yoga practice, I’ve laid out three points for you to consider in order to invigorate your time on the mat, which will have a direct impact on your life off the mat.

1. Try a different type of yoga

If you are used to one way of practicing, it might be nice to explore something new.For example, if you are used to a more vigorous style, try a restorative yoga class, where you will make connections to your breath and relaxation response in a new way.Restorative yoga helps to reduce the stress response and it also turns on the digestive system. This may help to create a deeper sense of balance in your nervous system, therefore reduced stress.

2. Set a goal of achieving a new pose

This is something that can help you to gain an increased amount of confidence and discipline. The prep work on the journey to this new pose will keep you focused on small, yet achievable goals. You will be so caught up in the enjoyment of the journey that it will bring arguably more fulfillment than achieving the pose itself. The gradual changes you see will keep you motivated to do more.

3. Refine your transitions

It’s easy to get caught up in the alignment of each singular pose (not that this is not important), but the way in which you transition between poses is crucial as well. It means that you are moving with more awareness and intention. It means that you are moving safely to connect each pose. Refining transitions can help to strengthen your balance, it can help you to move better with your breathing. It can also help you to connect more deeply with the parts of your body that are working. When you connect with the various parts of the body in this way, you will have a better impact on achieving some of the benefits that are available to you, like increased flexibility, strength, stability, and mobility.

These three points alone will allow you to get so much more out of your practice. You will gain more discipline and a sense of accomplishment. Not only will this make you feel good about how you show up on the mat, but you can take these same ideas into other areas of your life. Imagine trying a new activity completely unrelated to yoga or setting a new goal of what you would like to achieve with your career. Work on the steps and transitions of what it takes to achieve these things and you are set on a path to achieve all that you desire. Invigorate your practice…invigorate your life.

Story first appeared at torontocaribbean.com

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