It happens all the time. As if by fate, a new student wanders into a yoga class and then leaves with that starry-eyed, high-on-life, post-yoga glow. Her heart is beating, face flushed, and she wonders exactly what just hit her. She develops a serious crush on yoga. Suddenly, she can’t get enough. She evangelizes to all of her friends, buys a new mat, and hums kirtan in the shower. The stars have aligned and all the signs point to the fact that this crush is transforming into L-O-V-E, and then… she ghosts. Sound familiar?
To all my commitment-phobe friends, I have a secret… Yoga, unlike that dude you intensely dated for awhile and then got bored with, is still there waiting for you with open arms. Yoga can be an ever-evolving, ever-deepening, life-long commitment. Til death do we part. As a married woman, I can’t help but draw parallels between my commitment to yoga and my devotion to my marriage. I believe that similar strategies can be used to keep the magic alive.
Crushing hard? Here are five ways to make yoga your bae:
1. Communication is KEY.
Be honest with yourself. What brings you to your mat and what keeps you from your mat? Are there feelings that arise that you don’t want to confront? Would you rather bingewatch Netflix than spend quiet time with yourself? Are you substituting healthy habits and coping mechanisms with unhealthy ones? Are you not seeking the support you need to to carve the space and time to prioritize YOU? Get it all out in the open with yourself and then explore what you can do to initiate positive change.
2. Never take it for granted.
The benefits of yoga are immense. It helps you feel more free in body, mind, emotion, and spirit. You feel more calm, more energized, and more centered. In the beginning of your yoga fling these advantages are so obvious. It’s like Dorothy crashing into Oz and suddenly everything is in color. But when yoga starts becoming a regular fixture in your life, and zenned-out is your new normal, it can be easy to start taking it for granted and forget you were once trapped in a black and white world. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Mix it up.
Maybe it’s time you and yoga became a little more adventurous together. Feeling stagnant in your vinyasa practice? Go to kundalini! Need to flip your perspective? Learn to invert! Feeling restless in meditation? Why not try kirtan? There are seemingly infinite paths of yoga available to you in this miracle of a modern world. How can you be bored when there are so many new things to try?
4. Roll with it.
Like any long-term relationship, you and yoga will have your ups and downs. There will be days, weeks, or months where you’re high, committed, and feeling that ever elusive “progress”. There will be times of stagnation and there will be downright lows. This, you cannot change… but you can change your mindset. What if through every victory, every breakthrough, every injury, and every lull, you remained curious, disciplined, compassionate, and non-attached? What if, instead of swimming against the current and giving up, you learned how to ride the waves?
5. Go Deep.
On a surface-level relationship with yoga? Maybe it’s time to go deeper. Did you know that yoga isn’t just posing on a mat but an entire system of ethics, practices, and an actual path to freaking enlightenment? It goes DEEP. There is always more to learn and explore. The information is out there. You just have to be brave enough and curious enough to shed whatever is keeping you from being truly vulnerable, connected, and willing to bear your soul.
Long-term relationships are an opportunity to grow in ways you never would have imagined. A true commitment from a supportive partner or practice can reveal, reflect, and cultivate the beauty and light that truly shines inside of you. Namaste, my friends… I now pronounce you yoga-married!
More ideas on how to keep the magic alive? Comment below!