How To Get On The Yoga Mat When You Don’t Feel Like It

Ali Washington
How To Get On The Yoga Mat When You Don’t Feel Like It

There are going to be days where your yoga practice feels like flying. Where you are chomping at the bit to get on your mat all day at work, or where you arise from your slumber and immediately make your way to your mat for some sacred breath and movement.

There are also going to be days when the last thing you want to do is get on your mat and move. It could be that you are feeling a little tired. Maybe you feel stressed and taxed for time.

For me, the days when I don’t want to get on the mat are usually the days when I am feeling a little sore, or when I have some mental or emotional turmoil going on that I don’t want to face up to.

Why You Should Practice Even When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing

Unless you are ill or dealing with an injury that you cannot work around, chances are, the days you do not want to practice will end up being the days where your practice is super rich. It tends to work that way—yoga may offer you the most when you want it the least.

So here are my top five motivational techniques that get my booty on the mat on the days when I would rather look at Instagram photos all day. In bed. In my pajamas.

1. Promise Yourself You Only Have To Do 15 Minutes

This little trick always works for me. I tend to get caught up in an ‘all or nothing’ attitude which leads me to think that if I am not motivated to spend an hour and a half on my mat I may as well not do anything.

Telling myself I only have to practice for 15 minutes generally allows my resistance to melt away. Who knows, after a few sun salutations you may be done and ready for you savasana, or you may get fired up and want to do a whole practice.

Either way, something is almost always better than nothing.

2. Throw On Some Wicked Tunes

Music is a universal motivator. If you are not feeling the indie vibe, or don’t want to listen to spiritual chants, thrown on some R & B or hip hop. There are no rules here.

Choose some music that really makes you want to move to set the stage for an awesome practice. My secret practice playlist always includes some Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

Try not to feel like you have to play the “right” music for yoga. Play what makes you feel good because when you feel good, your energy is lifted and you will be more connected with yourself, and is that not one of the main points of the practice?

3. Put On Your Spunkiest Outfit

Thrown on your favorite tank top and your bright pink leggings or shorts and see how you can transform your mood.

This may seem silly, to think that what you wear could motivate or demotivate you, but when you are in an outfit that makes you feel rockin’, there is a good chance that you will be lifted out of your funky mood and to a place where you mat seems like a haven again.

My pink tights paired with my leg warmers have fueled many of my practices.

4. Change Location

If you always practice in the same room of your home, try a different space. If you always go to the same studio with the same teacher, try a different studio or a different instructor.

Go outside. You don’t even have to bring your mat - a nice green field, a beach, a forest, a big rock—all of these places are awesome areas to get your asana on.

Breathe in your new environment along with some fresh inspiration.

5. Watch Someone Who Inspires You On YouTube

It can be easy to get in a ‘yoga rut,’ especially if you have a home practice.

I love watching videos from Kino MacGregor and Tara Stiles. They both have very distinct styles that are so warm and welcoming as well as being totally motivating.

Try following one of their flows, or find one of their posture lab videos where they teach you how to get into a posture you have been wanting to try. Let the light and passion of others get you moving. :)

How do you get motivated to move on the days you don’t want to?