Let’s talk about how to overcome the loss of yoga inspiration…
I’m a big believer that if you can make your yoga practice work for your real life, you’ll be able to practice for a lifetime. This is why I love to disrupt that whole conversation of “look at me on social media: I’m perfect, everything is great,” – because that’s not real life.
What to Do When You've Lost Your Inspiration
Losing your inspiration can happen if you’re practicing in the studio all the time, even with a teacher, but can especially happen when you’re practicing yoga at home. There will always be times where you’re feeling lost and like you’re not getting what you need.
Focus your mind
First take a look at how you’re showing up for what you’re doing.
Sometimes it can be as simple as ‘we’re getting to our mat, we’re going through the motions,’ but we’re not really applying ourselves.
When that happens, one of the most powerful things you can do is to reconnect to three things right away: your breath, your pelvic floor and naval locks, and your drishti (your focal point).
If you’re truly staying connected and mindful of these three things during your asana practice, you shouldn’t have the mental space to go anywhere.
Your mind should be fully occupied from start to finish.
This might be why you’re not feeling so inspired: if you’ve let your mind go out to lunch a little bit – if you’re on your mat with your physical body, but your mind has gone someplace else.
It might be enough to simply bring your attention back to those internal parts of your practice; those things people don’t talk about a lot, those things which are hard to measure and those things which are definitely not glamorous enough to post about on social media.
Focusing on this may be enough to cultivate that deeper sense of aliveness and passion with a connection to what you’re doing in the present moment.
Give that a try the next time you practice: if it makes a difference then great. Worst case scenario, you’ll do it and you’ll see some benefits anyway. That’s not a bad thing.
Of course there are other times where we’re already doing that and we’re diligent, but it’s still not enough. What do we do then?
Make time for you
I am someone who has practiced yoga at home for the better part of the last 15 years – with the exception of my once weekly trips to see my teacher.
Unfortunately, this year, I won’t be having my annual trip to India to see my guru, Sharath Jois – it’s a two month commitment and I can’t yet leave my kids for so long at Christmastime.
This means, however, that I’ll be doubling down on things which bring inspiration into my practice. I know how hard it is, when you’re alone especially, and just feeling as if something isn’t connected – something isn’t dialed in, the magic isn’t there.
When that happens, I think one of the most powerful things you can do in the moment is to intentionally schedule something in your calendar which allows you to make your practice a priority. Maybe you’ll have to block off a calendar day where everything you do is going to revolve around your practice.
If you’ve ever been on a yoga retreat with me or anyone else, you’ll know that everything you’re doing – eating, sleeping or anything else will be centered around your practice.
You’ll be having yoga philosophy classes, and on my retreats yoga sutras are not an optional activity. You’ll be meditating, doing your daily asana practice, eating things to help sustain your practice and sleeping well.
Sectioning off time purely for your practice at home is similar to doing it at a retreat – you’ll be able to see what it feels like when you’re able to tune out the extra noise and put more into your practice. That’s when you’ll see more of your potential.
If you’re blocking out time to immerse yourself, whether it’s one day or one month, you could really do with an inspirational place and teacher to guide you.
We try to lead ourselves and we can do that well for a while. But if then we lose our inspiration – it’s like the blind leading the blind. We need someone who’s walked in our shoes to pull us out of our rut, or at least show us the way.
‘Why am I doing this?’
Often we will start to lose inspiration for our practice when we start to feel like it’s just something else on our to-do li
st. It can be a slippery slope – first it starts with waning enthusiasm, and gets worse and worse.
If you have a family or a career, you’ll also have to deal with interruptions all the time, making it even harder to try and squeeze in your self-care.
But then when you do, you have so much more to give back to other people, and so much more that has been replenished in you.
As a result you’re a better everything: practitioner, spouse, worker, boss.
Pulling yourself out of a rut
Yoga is also meant to create relationships and connections and if we approach it like a ball and chain… that’s what we’re gonna get.
This is something that every practitioner goes through and it’s something that you (yes, you!) have the power to pull yourself out of.
It might take some work. Maybe even attend a practice intensive, a retreat or a month at the KPJAYI, like I do.
But to have more gas in the tank when you come home, you need to find something that is going to allow you to strengthen your physical and mental self. You can keep going on your spiritual path knowing it’s going to help in the long-term.
I also want to mention about a yoga retreat I’m leading in November (5th-9th) in Sedona, Arizona.
Not just because it’s beautiful, not just because we are staying in a gorgeous place with wonderful food, but because there’s such a natural vibration of healing energy there. It’s home to an energy vortex (or vortices, several) and so much Native American healing energy and history.
To be able to do our practice and our spiritual work in this place, which is already so rich and supportive of our inner journey, is a really powerful experience.
I see this too, when I go to India every year, which is an amazingly spiritual place. I saw it when I went to Peru last May, where I’ll be returning next year.
It’s so powerful to be there in that energy, where there’s such a connection with nature and with your inner self. It almost feels like your time spent there is doubled. You start to manifest things and you heal so quickly. I always feel so invigorated when I go home that I’m like a different person.
That’s my goal: to create a space for home practitioners who don’t have access to a studio every day, or can’t be in a class setting, to find a way to invigorate themselves.
Nobody is an island; we all need support on our journey. I am honored to support people however I can, in the same way that being with my guru supports me.
If you have any questions, get in touch!
Please also share this to those friends of yours who need inspiration in their lives, so we can all get through this with the support of one another.
Have a beautiful day.