As much as we all love yoga, sometimes the motivation to get on our mats is slim to none. Even the yoga teachers amongst us sometimes think, “if I hear one more ‘take a vinyasa here,’ I’m gonna get very un-yogic.”
And you know what? That’s ok! We don’t all have to be perfect practitioners every second of the day. It’s ok to not feel like practicing yoga sometimes.
But let’s say you’ve been going to class every day for the last three weeks, and you’ve been feeling really good. Then all of a sudden, on a rainy Wednesday night, you come home from work and all you want to do is binge watch Netflix from the comfort of your couch with a chocolate bar.
If that sounds familiar (it certainly is for me), here are some tips to practice yoga without even trying, so you can keep your practice going strong.
1. Practice Yoga on Your Couch
Couch yoga! It’s going to be the big trend of the year, I can feel it. Or at least it will in my house. If that Netflix temptation is just too strong, don’t resist it. Yoga is all about balance, anyway.
Try a few seated postures on your couch, like Lotus Pose, or Cow Face Pose. They’ll open your hips, which can get tight from sitting.
Also, try opening your hips this way. Bring your left leg up towards your chest, with your left knee in the crease of your left elbow, and your left foot in the crease of your right elbow. Hug your leg into your chest, gently rock your leg from side to side, and switch sides whenever you feel ready. Bonus points: this helps you prep for Eight Angle Pose!
Voila; you're doing yoga. That wasn't so hard, was it?
2. Do Yoga in Your Jeans
While yoga pants are awesome, they’re not necessary to practice yoga. And sometimes the hardest part of your asana practice is getting up, getting changed, and getting started. So take something out of the equation, and try practicing in your street clothes!
One of the best things about yoga is that it isn’t necessary to look a certain way or dress a certain way in order to practice. So take full advantage of that, and practice however, wherever, and wearing whatever you want.
Start out with just a Downward Dog, and see where it goes from there. Maybe that’s it for the day. Or maybe getting your Down Dog on will lead you into a few Sun Salutations, or even a full practice. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've tricked myself into a full practice by doing just a Downward Facing Dog, no matter what I was wearing at the time. And then it felt like I wasn't even "trying" to do yoga!
3. Practice the Eight Limbs
Yoga isn’t just about asana practice, but with all the Insta-yogis and cool poses out there, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the physical aspect.
Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga lay out a groundwork for a yogic lifestyle, so when you practice the Eight Limbs, you’re practicing yoga. If you’re kind to everyone you encounter, truthful, and conscious of what you’re taking from others (whether it be time or physical objects), you’re practicing Ahimsa, Satya, and Asteya, the first three Yamas.
Working these ideas of morality into our lives means you’ll be practicing yoga, and what’s more, is that you’re probably already doing it! How’s that for practicing yoga without even trying?
How do you practice yoga in your everyday life? Do you have any tips for getting on your mat when you don’t feel like it? Share with us in the comments below!