Coming back to yoga after taking time off

Getting motivated to start again . . .

Right now I have the clothes washer going because I wanted to put off writing this. I’d rather do laundry than this right now. I’ve been meaning to get around to writing this for about 3 months. 

First I excused myself because I was in school, then I had finals and felt like I was drowning trying to memorizing Chinese. After those were over I lamented my situation on the couch rewatching GoT season 7. 

I was a consumer. 

Even now the laundry is on the fill cycle and I can’t get past the third paragraph.

Does this sound familiar?

Have you ever put off doing something because; you were in pain, depressed, bored, tired, uninterested, etc? 

Yeah, me too…

How do you get started again? How do you find the motivation to get back on the ‘horse’ and ride it out?

For me it is writing this article. For you it could be your yoga practice, preparing meals for the week on Sunday, going for a weekly run, or even reading a book before going to sleep. They seem so daunting.


The blank page. The blinking cursor. The curled up yoga mat in the trunk of the car that rolls around like garbha pindasana on your commute to work. The fact that it is easier to order food from postmates than; look up a recipe for chili, find the ingredients in the market, come home and begin sautéing an Ancho chili. 

I understand being in pain and not wanting to practice. (Read about that here)

I also know that moving around unblocks pain from accumulating. Moving relieves joint stiffness, strengthens muscles, increases bone density, and improves cardio health.* 

You probably know this too. You believe it. You have heard it again and again. From friends, doctors, health coaches, crystal believing shaman standing at the wisdom tree at sunrise, they all say the same thing. M O V E

But a voice nags at you in the back of your mind . . . I’m not going to be as good as I used to be.

That voice says, I’ll start my diet tomorrow, after this episode I’ll read a book, I’m going to yoga tomorrow before work. And another tomorrow passes, and another show comes on.

I get it.

Most overweight individuals don’t want to be overweight or obese. They are aware of healthy options but they feel crippled by their situation and unable to change. 

Individuals who do not smoke, exercise modestly, eat moderately well, and drink a glass or less of wine or spirits daily reduce their risk of coronary artery disease by 82%. However, fewer than 3% of the surveyed population of 116,000 people met this criteria.**

Why is it so difficult to change our circumstances?

That voice is right. You are not going to be as good, smart, or pretty as you were before. It is going to take some time, about a quarter of the time that you took off. So if you have taken a break form your practice for a month, give yourself about a week to come back.

The excuse about starting tomorrow, begins today. 

It begins when we recognize that it is a voice in our head that says thing we would never say to someone else. Things we wouldn’t be friends with if someone said to us.

Over the past 3 months I started to write about a few different topics and each time I talked myself out it. I allowed things to come up and distract me. I got away from my practice of writing and let myself down. 

I find it incredibly hard to start again. I’m unsure of my voice. I’m uncomfortable. Nervous about hitting the ‘publish’ button, but the wash cycle has ended. The worst thing that can happen is people will unfollow, and my ego will take a bit of a blow. Necessary for growth.

What are you avoiding?

Ashtanga Nurse Rx:

Figure out what you keep pushing further down on your list and either erase it from. Your list of things to do, or make a move on it. Either way you will be better off.





** Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, Manson JE, Rimm EB, Willett WC.. Primary prevention of coronary heart disease in women through diet and lifestyle. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:16–22