New Year, New Yoga: 8 Ways To Mix It Up On Your Mat

Recommit to your practice this year by forgoing the familiar in favor of the fresh. Here are some ideas to get you started.
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Recommit to your practice this year by forgoing the familiar in favor of the fresh. Here are some ideas to get you started.
extended hand to little toe on rock, vacation

Recommit to your practice this year by forgoing the familiar in favor of the fresh. Here are 8 ways to get started. Share your yoga experiments on social with #newyearnewyoga.

Some yogis live for the next big thing, be it Goat or Rage Yoga. Others feel queasy if they can’t snag their favorite patch of hardwood floor in a familiar class. Know where you are on that spectrum and introduce changes to your practice at your own pace. If you tend more toward the rattled-by-change end, try using a mantra like “I am safe” or “this is temporary” as you explore.

Psychotherapist and master teacher Coral Brown says just as we crawl before we walk, the concept of vinyasa krama teaches us to evolve mindfully. Here are some baby steps to get you moving.

See also 7 Ways to Navigate Change Like a Yogi

yoga retreat

1. Move your mat.

If you typically covet the same spot in the same class with the same teacher, consider switching it up for the other side of the room.

2. Play with a new pose.

Add a new asana to your home practice. Practice postures you normally avoid!

3. Make this your year for meditation.

Explore the vast world of meditation or pranayama. Start here: YJ’s Top 10 Meditations of 2016

4. Practice for your dosha.

According to Ayurveda, Vata types thrive with a slower, more grounding practice, Pitta with a moderate but cooling approach, and Kapha with faster, more vigorous vinyasa.

Learn more in Ayurveda 101 with Kripalu’s Larissa Hall Carlson and John Douillard

5. Seek out a new teacher.

Even if it’s the same style, you’ll pick up new tips.

6. Experiment with a different style.

Curious about Kundalini or Acro? Explore that! You can always go back to your favorite practice—with a fresh perspective.

7. Studio hop.

January is a great time to venture out to a different studio for a class or two—and to take advantage of New Year’s special rates.

8. Travel to a yoga workshop or conference.

You’ll get to sample various yoga styles and master teachers and come home flush with inspiration! Meet us in San Francisco January 13–16 for Yoga Journal LIVEGet your ticket today.

About Our Writer
Rebecca Tolin is a San Diego-based writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker.