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What To Do When You Don't Feel Like Doing Yoga (Don't Make THIS Mistake!)

Laura Finch on May 19, 2020
Laura is a yoga teacher who completed 200 hours of training.

We've all had them. Days when the couch is so inviting, and you're too wrecked to do anything, let alone do yoga.

You can be a committed practitioner, building a yoga habit for years. Yet, the length of your yoga experience doesn't automatically mean you have greater motivation and eagerness to step on your mat every single time. (Oh, and how I wish it would!)

The first thing you can do when these days strike is to look for yoga inspiration. Different people need different things. Reading motivational quotes, watching others doing yoga, walking past the unrolled mat waiting for the remorse to haunt you until you finally do a short practice. For example, here are the eight tricks I personally use as a motivation to get myself practice every day.

But what if there's nothing in the whole world that inspires you at that moment? What if you're genuinely not "feeling up to it"?

Here are seven ideas of what you can do instead of your regular daily yoga routine.

Take A Restorative Yoga Class

You don't have to sweat it out every time to call it yoga. Stock up on yoga props, pillows, and blankets and let yourself catch some nirvana.

Restorative yoga is a fantastic way to slow down, rejuvenate your body and mind, relax, and alleviate stress and anxiety. Try it before going to bed, and you'll sleep like a baby.

Ask Your Significant One To Join In

Couples yoga is a thing. Not only it's something fresh and exciting, doing yoga with a friend or your closed one can strengthen your relationship, reduce stress, and build a new level of intimacy.

Though you probably won't feel like working out in the first place, your body and mind will 100% feel better afterward.

Incorporate Yoga Poses Into Your Daily Activities

That's my favorite way to squeeze a bit of postural yoga into those crazy hectic days.

Do Chair pose for 5 breaths every time you go to the bathroom. Take a minute to do some neck and shoulder rolls at your desk. Sit in Hero's pose or Wide-Legged position while you're playing with your kid. Catch some balance in Tree pose while cooking.

The options are endless!

When you're partying late after work, yet striving to stay consistent with your yoga practice.

Practice Breathing & Meditation

Asana or physical posture is only a part of the practice. So if you decide to sit on your yoga mat just to watch your breath, it still counts as yoga.

In fact, when you're experiencing physical and mental exhaustion, controlled breathing and meditation can become more helpful remedies than active movement.

As short as 5 minutes of breathing and meditation can significantly lower anxiety, decrease blood pressure, and leave you with a clear mind and fresh ideas.

Go For A Walk In The Park

Walking is so underrated. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can improve your overall fitness, boost the mood, reduce stress, and calm down "the monkey mind."

Leave your phone and headphones at home, slow down and turn walking into a moving meditation, bringing full awareness to your breath and physical sensations of your body.

Listen To A Yoga Podcast

If you can't keep your body active today, at least keep your brain in shape. Learn new things about yoga, explore new ideas, ask controversial questions, laugh, and have fun.

There are so many podcasts dedicated to yoga nowadays that everyone can find something to their taste.

Just Stew And Don't Take It Too Hard

Sometimes you just need to acknowledge that "doing nothing" might be exactly what your body and mind are asking for today.

Don't feel bad about yourself! Let it serve you as a reminder of how differently your body feels after actually doing something.

Restorative yoga is where you can bring all the props you have! Straps, bolsters, blankets, eye pillows... - check out this ultimate guide to yoga gear to make an informed decision about your next yoga purchase!

DON'T Make This Mistake!

The biggest mistake most people are making is letting the lazy day turn into a lazy week/month. Say, you're doing a 30-day yoga challenge. Many will break a streak and feel discouraged from finishing the challenge in the first place. Cause what's the point if you already skipped a day?

This is the most illogical thing ever!

You're not doing the challenge just to cross out 30 days in the row and make the perfect streak to please your ego every time you look at it. Remember the larger picture.

You're doing the challenge to get stronger, increase mobility, feel better, form a habitโ€“ whatever it is. Missing a day doesn't make your previous achievements null and void. Breaking a streak doesn't mean you have to start all over again.

So the most important rule is to ALWAYS get back on track.

Stew, do nothing, binge-watch TV shows, etc., but be sure to always return to working on your goals. Remember that, though sometimes necessary, stewing this is not a good way to deal with your stress and exhaustion no matter how much more comfortable it is.

What do you do on days when you don't want to do yoga? Share your tips in the comments!

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