As much as we love the yoga practice, there are those days where we simply can’t find motivation to practice. That’s why it is said that maintaining a daily yoga practice requires a lot of tapas … and with that I don’t mean eating a lot of the small Spanish dishes.
Tapas in Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga method is one of the five Niyamas. It means discipline, or the ability to do what you know is best for you even though you don’t feel like it at the moment. In other words, overcoming laziness and inertia. In order to maintain a daily yoga practice we need a lot of tapas, on some days more than others. There will always be days where you find it hard to motivate yourself to step on the mat. Here are three tricks I use regularly to keep myself motivated to practice.
Get inspired by yogis or teachers
This is my number one tip because for me this works every time. When I lack motivation to practice I either watch documentaries about yoga, read books or blogs, watch interviews or demonstrations by inspiring yogis, or look at a photo of my teacher. Just do something that reminds you of the reason why you wanted to practice in the first place. Most likely your teacher impersonates the qualities or energy that you aspire to attain in your yoga practice. So reading or listening to the words of your teacher(s), watching their yoga practice or just looking at a picture, most certainly will put you in the mood to practice.
Put on your favorite yoga clothes
This might seem like a shallow one, but I tell you it works! Put on your very favorite yoga outfit and I guarantee you, you will immediately feel like wanting to jump onto your yoga mat. A very superficial but easy trick to outsmart yourself!
Roll out your mat for only one sun salutation
When you still don’t feel like doing your yoga practice, maybe it’s the idea of doing a whole two-hour yoga practice that sounds absolutely overwhelming on this day. So instead of planning to do your whole practice, just roll out your mat with the only intention to do one single sun salutation. Nothing more. One sun salutation. You might be able to convince yourself of spending just these 2 short minutes on yoga today. And then again, after you put your yoga clothes on, rolled out your mat moved and breathed through your one sun salutation, you might not want to leave it at that, because it simply feels good. If so, just feel free to continue your practice.
And there you have it, you might find yourself practicing yoga even though you didn’t feel like it AT ALL before you started. Believe me, I’ve been there many times. But in the end, I always feel so much better after I practiced. That’s why I really hope these tipps help you too on these low-motivation days and that way help you live a healthy, happy and more peaceful life by maintaining your daily yoga practice.