There's no shortage of yoga success stories touting the benefits of yoga and how profoundly impactful it's been on people's lives. But what about when it just leaves you feeling kind of, "meh?" Is it you, or is it yoga? Here are a few reasons why your practice in yoga isn't working like you thought it would (and what to do about it).
1. You're not carving out enough time.
A 10 to 15-minute daily session is far better (and easier) to maintain than trying to force yourself into a 90-minute class once a week which you can never seem to make.
I know this because I've been there. When I worked full-time in a corporate job, I used to swear up and down that NOTHING will keep me from that 90-minute weekend class which I'd anxiously await from Monday to Friday. Yet, somehow “something” always came up.
Usually it was just my lack of interest in taking precious time from my one free day to fulfill another obligation, even if it was to better myself.
Instead of all this waiting and all this pressure, keep it simple. Do a few of your favorite poses at home every day and take a few deep breaths to round it all out.
2. You just don't like it.
If you really don't like coming to your mat every day and it doesn't feel great, it's not going to do you any good—no matter how much you try to force it. Find an alternative that does make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and don't feel guilty about breaking it off with yoga.
Teachers and enthusiasts will swear yoga is for everyone, but some people either need more time to be convinced, or just need to revisit it at a different time in their life to really connect with it. And that's totally OK. But before you give it up altogether, consider the fact that...
3. You might have the wrong teacher.
Not everybody will vibe with your personality, and that's ok. Explore other names in the industry and see who seems like a natural fit. It sounds a little bizarre, but we all have a favorite boss, manager, dentist, doctor, bartender, restaurant server, cashier at your local supermarket...
Personalities matter in every industry, and yoga is no different. You have the power of choice, so don't be afraid to shop around.
4. Or maybe you chose the wrong yoga style.
Similar to that last point, not all yoga is created equal. Find a style that compliments and balances your personality. If you feel antsy and absolutely need to move, going to a yoga nidra class might feel awkward and unfulfilling, especially at first.
But if the heavens part and angels sing when you finish a Vinyasa or Ashtanga class, DO THAT! Stick with what you enjoy and you'll eventually find yourself branching out as your practice evolves. Just lose the pressure to be something you're not.
5. The expense is just too high.
If you're stressing about the cost of your monthly membership so much that it makes you cringe every time you walk into the studio, you're not getting as much from this as you could be.
A $100+ a month membership isn't chump change! Don't hesitate on pulling the plug, just ditch the costly fee and find some free classes online or pick up a few less expensive ones instead. You'll keep your good-for-you habit without breaking the bank. Win-win.
For all the reasons yoga can be tricky to adopt, it also has tons of benefits and is well worth the effort of working out the kinks. Don't give up on your visions of yoga grandeur until you've explored all your options. Remember that every experience is different, and your practice ultimately needs to fit you; you don't have to change a thing to participate.