How to Maintain Your Yoga Motivation - Advice for the Holidays + Beyond

Even the most committed yogis may go through phases where it’s hard to get themselves on the mat to practice. As the honeymoon phase of delighted bliss with your new obsession passes into the work of a long and healthy marriage, there are many things that can come between you and your yoga, particularly at stressful times when you might need it the most.

The holiday season is one of those times when it become tempting to throw your healthy habits out the window and succumb to what I call The Slide. The Slide is the time between Thanksgiving and the new year when you figure, hey, I totally blew my healthy lifestyle at Thanksgiving and pretty soon I'm going to blow it again on Christmas so I might as well just slide on through and change my ways come January 1. And while I'm all for occasional indulgence, don't let your yoga practice fall to The Slide. You are going to need yoga to boost your immune system, reduce holiday stress, and generally get you through the season.

Stick to a Schedule

Yoga teacher and class
Keep Going to Class!. RyanJLane/E+/Getty Images

You know how most kids respond well to a scheduled week? Most adults do too. If you always go to yoga on Tuesdays or spend 10 minutes stretching before bed, let that habit carry you through any rough patches. If you can manage to get yourself onto that mat, the yoga will usually take care of itself, especially in a class setting. It may be tempting to blow off your routine in favor of holiday parties or last-minute shopping, but it's often not worth it. If you do take a few days off, don't best yourself up but do get back to your schedule as soon as you can. The exception to this rule is if you get sick. Take some time to recover so you don't relapse or share your illness with your fellow yogis. 

Or...Change Things Up

Remember what I just said about sticking to your routine? Well, feel free to ignore that advice. If you’d rather die that go to the same-old same-old class again, by all means strike out and try a new kind of yoga. We have a tendency to put things on hold when we’re going through stressful periods. But there’s no reason to wait until January 1 (literately or metaphorically) to try something new. There’s never going to be an ideal time, so why not do it now? If you're not feeling your usual vigorous vinyasa class, try a restorative or yin class for a complete change of pace. 

Get Online for Convenience and to Save Money

If you are traveling a lot for work or to see family, it can really throw off your yoga routine. A subscription to a yoga video website makes good quality yoga classes available where ever you are (provided there is an internet connection, of course). It's a little harder to motivate yourself alone in your hotel room than in a class, but there is such variety available in online classes that it can be a nice chance to check out some of those teachers you see in the magazines but might never otherwise have an opportunity to practice with. If you have a choice about where you stay when traveling, more and more hotels are starting to offer yoga amenities, either in you room or group classes. Online yoga is also a budget friendly option for when you're feeling like all those classes are really adding up.

Phone a Friend

There is strength in numbers. Recruit a friend to do yoga with you. If you can't find a buddy who is already into yoga, try accompanying friend who has always wanted to try yoga to his or her first few classes. A basics class can be a good place to reconnect to your own practice and renew your enthusiasm by sharing the joy of yoga.

And a Happy New Year

Sticking to your yoga routine during the holidays also makes keeping your new year's resolutions a breeze.

Continue Reading