No matter how much you love yoga, doing the same thing over and over again can start to feel mundane. Also, a huge part of yoga is trying new things and working different parts of your body in various ways! Your yoga routines shouldn’t always be routine. Play is an integral aspect of yoga, so why not switch it up and play with your yoga routine? Your body and mind might just thank you for it.
1. Try Hot Tub Yoga
Treat yourself by giving hot tub yoga a try. The heat is a fantastic way to help your muscles feel relaxed as you stretch and move them. Do your warm-ups first, then hop into the hot tub and give the half boat pose or the wave pose a try. These poses work the abdomen, can stimulate the kidneys and thyroid, and help to relieve stress and digestive issues. You can do regular standing or seated poses in the hot tub as long as you remember to keep your head above the surface of the water. Make sure if you’re using your own hot tub that you have the right balance of spa chemicals to avoid a rash. After you’re done, unwind by allowing yourself some time to soak and take nice, deep, centered breaths.
2. Switch Up Your Location
Do you usually do yoga indoors? Why not pick a nice day to go outside and flatten your yoga mat out in the grass or on a secluded, sandy beach? Allow yourself to experience a change of scenery and center yourself within nature. You can also look up yoga studios and local yoga events held in public locations if you’re feeling brave. If you’re looking for extra inspiration, ask a creative yoga buddy to tag along. It can often be stimulating to change your normally indoor yoga routine to an outdoor one in nature, or vice versa. Even different outdoor locations, such as the beach compared to the park, can offer a new, fresh way to experience yoga.
3. Target Different Muscle Groups
One of the biggest mistakes we all make in sticking to the same old yoga routine is that we don’t work all of the parts of our bodies. If you find yourself doing more upper body poses and lower body or core workouts, try adding in new poses that target muscle groups that you have been ignoring. For example, if you’re mainly focusing on your feet in the Mountain Pose, try focusing instead on the legs and shoulders in something like the Bridge Pose.
You can also try variations on standard yoga poses in order to have more fun and build more tone and strength. If you like the Warrior and Warrior II poses, try the Reverse Warrior. It creates a deep stretch through the thighs and develops length through your upper body. It also opens up the intercostal muscles that exist in between each rib.
4. Do Yoga with Animals
While some might see animals as a distraction, having your pets present while doing yoga can actually make for a fun time! If you’re doing some work on the floor, allow your cat, dog, ferret, bunny, or whatever pet(s) you have in your home to come onto the mat with you. Some dog owners even get their dogs involved, assisting them into downward dogs and having them stretch out on their backs. At the very least, taking a moment to pet your beloved critter(s) can bring a smile to your face, brighten up your routine, and help you deepen that special bond.
5. Go to a Themed Yoga Class
Are you a huge Harry Potter nerd? Is Game of Thrones your favorite show? Look at the different yoga classes that are being offered. Chances are that you will find some themed yoga classes to participate in. If you can’t find one, create one of your own! Gather a few yoga buddies and host your own themed yoga class. Create a new pose and name it after something in your favorite book, TV show, or movie.
Yoga should never get stale and start to feel like an obligation. Yoga is a wonderful way for you to unleash your creative energy and engage all of the different parts of your body that need your attention. Let your imagination soar as you use the above suggestions to add more play into your yoga routine. You can also try simpler changes like changing the type or amount of clothing you wear while performing yoga.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie recommends finding the right balance of spa chemicals when doing hot tub yoga to avoid skin irritation.