Inspiration can come in any shape or form, at any time. When it comes to yoga, you may feel inspired by your teachers and fellow yogis, your thoughts and feelings, your day-to-day experiences, your personal hopes and dreams, and of course Mother Nature herself.
Despite all the various ways to get inspired in your practice, finding yourself in bit of a yoga rut isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It happens to all yogis, and you may be especially susceptible to it in the summer months if you’re the type of person who put their practice on the back burner in exchange for getting outdoors, traveling, entertaining friends/family, and doing other fun-filled things that put some real excitement and variety into your everyday routine.
To find a renewed sense of summer inspiration for your practice, look no further than the following ideas. By summer’s, end you’ll have grown and progressed at your own pace so that you’re ready to transition into fall.
Get Playful With Your Sequencing
One of the most fun ways to renew your practice is by looking to the activities you already enjoy doing in summer and incorporating elements of them into your practice. Think about how much fun it would be to tailor your practice to sequence styles that resemble swimming at the beach, dancing in the warm rain, and soaking up the sun. You might want to practice vinyasas with shorter holds for a practice that flows like water or consider doing a warming continuous flow with sequences that build you up toward sundial pose.
Focus on the Heart Rather than the Brain
According to Ayurveda, summer is pitta season, which calls for a practice driven by the heart and body rather than the brain. It means focusing on loosening up and having fun rather than taking every pose, every transition, and every breath so seriously. Consider focusing on moving from your back and side body in your practice. You’ll build just enough heat that you can open more deeply, leaving you feeling energized and revitalized for all your summer adventures.
Balance Your Pitta
Speaking of pitta, you may need to look toward something a little cooler if you find that your mind feel like they’re reaching their boiling point. Try sequences that deeply link poses to the breath for a soothing, expansive, and calming effect on excess heat and mental energy. And instead of always sticking to a vinyasa flow, which may be easily overtaxing during the summer months, switch up your practice to incorporate hatha, restorative, or yin yoga for a more pitta pacifying effect.
Take Advantage of Cooler Evenings
If there’s any time of year that requires more of a focus on cooling off, it’s definitely summer. Temperatures typically peak between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. after the sun has reached its highest point in the sky around noon to 1 p.m., giving you a unique opportunity at the end of every summer day to enjoy a cooling yoga practice any time after 5 p.m. or so. Include forward folds, supported poses, and breathing techniques to balance out the fire element in your body, release your day, prepare for tomorrow, and set yourself up for a restful night’s sleep.