How to Get Back Into Doing Yoga

Here’s the situation: you started doing yoga and you loved it. You've experienced all the benefits of a consistent practice. Maybe you felt less stressed and healthier. You slept better and your back didn't hurt anymore. You did yoga regularly for months or maybe even years. You found the classes that you liked or you worked hard to establish a home practice. And then something changed.

Maybe your job got really crazy or you moved or your teacher moved or you went back to school or you had a baby. Maybe it wasn’t anything specific you can point a finger at, but for some reason or no reason, you stopped doing yoga. This happens to even the most committed yogis. But if you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you miss your practice. And the good news is, there’s absolutely no reason why you and yoga shouldn’t be reunited and every reason why you should. Here’s how to get back into yoga, step by step.

Note: If your hiatus was for medical reasons, make sure to get your doctor’s ok before plunging back in. 

Make a Commitment to Restart

Yoga Class in Downward Facing Dog
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Inertia is a powerful force. It keeps us going in the same direction unless something pretty strong comes along to disrupt it. In this case, the strong thing is going to have to be your will. (Unless you have someone who will drag you to a yoga class. If you do, latch onto them.) People are always telling me how much they got out of yoga when they used to do it and how they’d really like to do it again. There’s nothing stopping them except the force that keeps us doing what we’re already doing. You’re going to have to disrupt that force to put yoga back in your life. If you’re deadline oriented, give yourself a deadline. If you like people to hold you accountable, tell someone you respect about your deadline. If you like to get what you pay for, pay for a class or an online subscription upfront. If you’re spontaneous, go right now. 

Start Slow and Simple

If you jump right back into a yoga class at your old level, you may pay a price. At the very least, you’ll probably be pretty sore afterwards. You also run the risk of injury if you’re tempted to do things that you used to do. It takes some time to get back the flexibility and strength you had before, though in most cases not as long as it took you the first time. It really is a bit like riding a bike in that your body has muscle memory and remembers what to do. But you’re not going to jump on a bike with no training and ride in the Tour de France. It may well take some restraint on your part to keep things at a beginning level during your reentry phase. It will be worth it.

Be Ok With Change

Your body may have changed since the last time you did yoga. This is ok. We’re all changing all the time. Yoga may also have changed, depending on how long it’s been. There’s a trend in yoga toward faster, deeper, more athletic, more acrobatic. That may be exciting to you and something you want to explore. It's also possible that your body wants something gentler nowadays. Be open to all possibilities, allowing your body's inner voice to guide you.  

There are also a lot of ways beyond DVDs to practice at home, including websites that are regularly updated with new videos and interactive apps. One of these may be the thing that works for you now.

Give it Time

If your first few sessions back don't thrill you, give your renewed practice  some time to develop. If you like to go to classes, remember that finding a good teacher that you click with is the key to sustaining a practice. Explore the options, just as you may have done when you first started taking yoga.

Home practitioners may also need some patience, time for yoga to become a habit again. Try to make a place for your yoga practice so that it's easy to make it happen. 

Yoga Misses You and Wants You Back

If you did yoga before and enjoyed it, chances are that you will again. Whether you're trying to get back into yoga after a summer or a decade, following these guidelines will help you get to a place where you can again enjoy all that yoga bring to your life.

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