I fell victim to it. I can't hide it. I fell into a rut.
I discovered yoga in 2011...About the same year I wanted to transition out of what I like to call a gym rat phase...yoga just offered so much more to me than any gym ever could. The mental awareness. The physical strength. Rather than just going into a gym with my headphones on, lifting blindly to a certain number and constantly obsessing about gains or reps, I turned to yoga as a way to free my mind, yet still stay physically active.
And thats all she wrote folks. For 4 straight years. Yoga. Every. Damn. Day. It began with a 108 day program, and once I finished that, I simply did it again and again until I was soon addicted to the physical and mental high yoga left me with. Is that such a bad thing?
Years later, I had to come to terms with myself and admit I was falling into a rut. Doing the same 6 or 7 online yoga classes a week, one hour a day, every morning. I was getting good at them. Damn good at them. But is that the point? Not even close.
What I realized I was craving was change in how I moved my body. I absolutely think yoga is a lifelong practice, and one of the best types of physical and mental workouts available in the world today. For me, what I was craving were those running shoes. Those dumbbells lying in my closet. That feeling of fresh, crisp air during a 6am jog.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.”
How do you get yourself out of a rut? It starts small folks. For me, my morning yoga practice was becoming a “chore” to get through each day. A mere obstacle in my daily grind. I changed things up by creating workouts I would look forward to, rather than a chore to get past. Try getting out of bed 20 minutes early, drinking a glass of water, and then go for a short jog or bike ride to get those muscles going. Afterwards, you’ll be prepped and primed for that yoga practice, or whatever else you may want to try. This is all about simplicity and creating new habits to move your body in more ways.
Your mind won’t be the only thing thanking you for that change in routine. Remember those muscle groups, cemented in place, completing the same tasks over and over again? Your muscles are going to start speaking up! Heres a hint: If you’re feelin’ the burn in areas never before set ablaze, you’re doing it right.
And if you’re still wanting to stay in that comfort zone, let me take a moment to remind you that no matter what type of exercise you do, changing things up when you’re in a rut or plateau is simply the best way to go. Take a bodybuilder for example: When a bodybuilder finds themselves at a plateau, there are several ways they change their routine to shock their mind and their muscles. Supersets, training to failure, picking a new rep range to fall into, and making small modifications to how you grip or move different weights all have an impact on different muscles. This ultimately puts your mind and body on a roller coaster of surprise.
What I've realized after adding in other types of fitness is that now yoga isn't so much of a physically focused workout for me. It has now become a mental break. Isn't that how it all started in the first place?
Image via: @yureym_