What to Do When You Just Don’t Feel Like Practicing Yoga

Woman practicing Yoga pose at a retreat with text overlay Close up of woman rolling up a Yoga mat with text overlay

There are days I’m raring to go and can’t wait to get my Yoga on, but conversely, we all have days where it’s all too much and you just CBF to do anything, let alone going to a Yoga class and stepping on a mat. All you want to do is stay home and eat doritos (Cool Ranch for life) and get an early night – we’ve all been there. I’ve written about how accepting that I can take it easy occasionally has made me look forward to practice Yoga more regularly, but here are some of the other things I find myself thinking about or doing when one of those days strike.

Guess what? Practicing physical Yoga poses are not the only way to practice Yoga! Click here for 20 easy ways to incorporate Yoga into your travels.

1. Go to a yin or restorative yoga class instead

I have a love-hate relationship with yin, and to be very frank I haven’t decided 100% whether or not this style of practice is for me. However, it is a much gentler class with a handful of poses that are mostly done sitting or lying down, and poses are held for minutes at a time, sometimes even up to ten minutes or longer. I’ve found that when I’m in the mood for it, yin has been a great way to calm the mind and chill out, while reaping the benefits of a yoga practice.

Restorative yoga is even less intense and often uses props to support a pose. The focus is less on getting into the connective tissue (like yin), and focuses more on achieving a sense of conscious relaxation and awareness. Like yin, poses are held for extended periods of time.

2. Do a few poses at home

If you have a mat at home, do a couple of your favorite poses and call it a day. I like gomukhasana with eagle arms (pictured above), seated twist with a full bind, seated forward bend, upward plank, sphinx pose, upward lotus pose, and of course there’s always the good ol’ downward-facing dog.

Here are some simple but underrated poses that you can incorporate into your Yoga practice

3. Book a class for tomorrow

Or even later on in the week, so you know that there will be a set time for you to step back on the mat. I’ve found that it is a little easier to give myself a break when I know I have a class coming up. Want to make sure you make it to class? Book one that you can’t cancel!

4. Watch Yoga videos, browse Instagram, read a Yoga book

Get inspired seeing what the human body is capable of and get excited for your next practice. A few good yoga-focused Instagram accounts that I follow are: Yoga Journal, Yogi Memes and Pure Yoga. Yoga With Dogs is a fun one too if your dogs are like mine and want to join in every time you practice yoga at home.

Evolution Asia Yoga Conference 2018 Hong Kong

If you’re looking for some interesting Yoga reads check out Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar, Yoga Mala by K. Pattabhi Jois, the Bhagavad Gita translated by Juan Mascaro and The Heart of Yoga by T. K. V Desikachar to delve a little deeper into Yoga philosophy and history.

5. Go with a friend

Asia Yoga Conference in Hong Kong

Everything in life is better with friends, and yoga is no exception. Find a friend to go to class with you for additional motivation and maybe even a post-yoga cocktail session (oh so good, but oh so bad).

6. Do “nothing”

Hammock between coconut trees in Sri Lanka

Last but definitely not least, don’t feel guilty if you don’t do anything, and be comfortable with giving yourself some time away from the mat if that’s what your body and mind wants. Tomorrow is a new day and the mat is always going to be there when you’re ready. Remember that yoga is more than asanas! #yogaismorethanasanas

What are some of your tips for what to do when you don’t feel like getting on the mat?

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  1. Why not eat Doritos and yoga at the same damn time? What are your thoughts on abstaining from yoga altogether in favor of getting fat and inflexible at the same damn time? Thanks.

    1. On yoga + Doritos: depends. What flavor are we talking about?

      On no yoga at all: I’m not sure how Melanie would feel about you getting fat and inflexible. Tell you what – next time I’m in Hong Kong we’ll go to a class together, the 3 of us.

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