I live in the Midwest and this time of year, with the sun shining and the chill of winter (finally!!!) fading, the lure to be outside is pretty much unstoppable. The activities that were difficult or, at times, impossible during the winter months are now available to us. I know from experience that it’s easy to let your yoga practice slip from a four to five times a week thing to a one to two times a week thing or even into a no times a week thing.
I already have heard from over five students in the past two weeks that said they miss their practice, but want to be outside. We’re just at the start of the good weather season. So, what to do? How do you clean off the cobwebs of your yoga practice and still make it a priority as the warmer weather sets in?
Here are few ideas that will take your practice all the way into the fall months and beyond:
- Make a commitment to keep showing up on your mat whether the sun is shining or there is two feet of snow outside.Yoga doesn’t have seasons and neither should you. You might not be able to get to the yoga studio as much during the summer months as schedules change and children are at home all day instead of at school. Make a commitment to show up as much as you can. You won’t regret keeping your practice up. I always hear at the end of the summer from returning students that they wish they hadn’t let three months pass by without time in the hot room. You can push through the summer months. Continue to make your practice a priority.
- Set a new goal.Sometimes spring and summer are just an excuse to let our practice go. Maybe your practice feels static or redundant and you are starting to get bored with it. If this is you, find a new goal to reach for. It could be a new posture or a concept you haven’t quite grasped yet. Maybe you want to be able to do more advanced postures. Find out how to go about working towards these goals. New goals invigorate your practice and shake the dust off of the regular routine.
- Attend a workshop, posture clinic, or book a private lesson. Maybe even book a yoga retreat where you can truly go deep within your practice. These things are there for you to rethink the way you work when on the mat and get questions answered when it comes to your body and your practice. Every time I attend a yoga event I cannot wait to get back to my mat and try out what I learned. It will be worth time and the money. You might even meet new yogi friends that will inspire you.
- Buy a new “this is my summer” yoga outfit.When you invest in your interests you will spend more time doing them. I know a new yoga outfit seems like a silly suggestion, but it works.
- Get a yoga buddy.Or five yoga buddies. Start talking to the people you practice with. A simple, “How was your day?” is enough to spark a friendship and bond with another yogi. For me, I show up to the studio not just for my practice, but for the incredible friends I get to share my practice with. I like to know about their families, careers, and life away from the studio. My yoga friends are eclectic and cool and also the most accepting people I know.
- Up those electrolytes.Often, I hear that students just feel too depleted during the warmer months to practice hot yoga, as a summer in the Midwest is pretty hot and humid already. Learn to take care of yourself. There are so many products out there now that make replenishing your electrolytes easy, making you invicible in the heat.
- Make a date after class with the sun. Most studios have some place to escape outside, such as bench, lawn, or even a river/pond/ocean. During the spring and summer, I head directly outside after class. Nothing feels as refreshing as a coconut water in the sun while your body catches a summer breeze. It’s the best.
- Read a yoga book. Get inspired by other yogis and their journey within their practice to help spur your practice on. Don’t just read my book. These are some great summer yoga reads, too!
- The Mighty Cobra and the Pink Rabbit by Miss Pink
- The Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf
- The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer
- Do an Instagram yoga challenge.Get on Instagram, find a yogi you like, and take their challenge. New yoga challenges pop up every day. This helps to take you out of your comfort zone and try some new poses you might not be practicing at the moment. Strike your version of the pose after class each day. Have fun with it. Remember, yoga is supposed to fun!
- Mix it up to keep it fresh.There are very few studios out there anymore that only have one type of class. Now you can take a variety of classes in the same space. Keep up your 90-minute original hot yoga class, but maybe also try the Intermediate, Yin, 60-minute, Vinyasa, or IHP classes that are available at your studio. You might not think you are ready for some of these more advanced classes, but you might also surprise yourself at what you are capable of and be inspired to work in a new way when you hit your mat day after day. If a class sounds interesting to you then try it out. What do you have to lose? Nothing. You have everything to gain from the experience.
Hope these tips help yogis! For me, practicing during the summer helps me to grow in my practice. I am already warm and ready to take it a little further when I hit the hot room. I hope I see you on the mat next to me all summer long.
Love the blog? You will love the book! Follow my yoga journey and the accomplishments of five of my students, as well as, recount some of the most popular blog posts in my first book: Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi.