5 ways to get in the mood for yoga practice
Struggling to get started on the mat at home? Sian Siekierski is here to help with these top five tips!
Whether you’re new to yoga at home, or you’re a longer term practitioner seeking some inspiration to bring you back to your self-practice, here are five tips for getting you in the mood:
1. Start warm and comfy
Begin in comfortable layers of clothing, that you can peel off as you warm up, including socks to start with. This feels nurturing for your body, especially on colder days or if you’re practicing in the morning when your body feels stiff after sleeping. As you begin to move through your practice, your joints and muscles will release, your body temperature will rise and you can remove the extra clothing.
2. Let music inspire you
Some yogis prefer practicing (and teaching) in silence to just hear the sound of the breath, but personally I turn to music to inspire me. Spotify is a great way to build your own personal playlist as once you find a track you like, it connects you to others that are similar. Energising tracks can be motivating, while emotive music can inspire new creative sequences, and relaxation is wonderful with a soothing melody in Savasana.
3. Check in with yourself
Bring your awareness to your breathing and your body, and notice how you’re feeling that particular day. What niggles or tension are you looking to release? Do you need to burn off nervous energy (Rajas) or lift stagnant energy (Tamas)?
4. Keep it simple to start
Begin with simple, familiar movements that connect you to the breath. Flowing through a few rounds of Cat/Cow is always a good gateway for this. Repetition embeds your practice and you will discover a routine, or particular postures, that suit your physical and emotional needs.
5. Be selective
Have a particular focus for something you are working on and practice that. There is a discipline to doing something regularly and consistently, and it is rewarding to notice improvement. Perhaps, for example, it’s building strength in side plank, improving your coordination in sun salutations or progressing a particular arm balance.
If you're unsure where to start with your own self-led yoga practice or are just feeling a little stuck, a guided online class is a great option. You don’t have to think about what to do next, and different teachers are a wonderful source of inspiration.
As with many things in life, the hardest part is usually getting started. So take to your mat without expectation, other than the commitment to showing up and tuning in. However long you spend there, it’s guaranteed that it will be time well spent.