As yoga teachers, even the best of us fall into creative ruts—sequences begin to feel stale and unexciting, and home practices become rote and repetitive. So what can you do when you find yourself repeating the same tired sequence? LA-based yoga teacher, life coach and writer Mary Beth LaRue shares her secrets to inspired sequencing. (For more creative inspiration, sign up to be the first to know when Mary Beth’s upcoming Yoga for Creativity online course launches.) It’s important to be aware of stagnancy and falling into habitual routines. After all, if your class isn’t inspiring to you, it’s probably not going to really resonate with your students. Here are my go-to tips for breathing new life into your practice and teaching when you need it most.
Look beyond yoga for inspiration.
Don’t limit yoga to what happens on the mat. You can find inspiration for teachings, themes and asanas in all areas of life -- whether it’s going to an art museum, taking a Pilates class or reading a spiritual book. I’m always looking for inspiration from other sources and tying themes into my class that aren’t from yoga philosophy. Being open to seeing everything in life as a practice and yoga as a part of everything else I’m doing helps me to create powerful sequences that students really connect with.
Let go of the rules.
There are certain rules that we follow in yoga (always ending with Savasana, neutralizing the spine between forward and backward bends, and so on) but there’s also room to break these rules. When I’m really stuck, I take away all the rules and do things my own way. It’s about inviting in a sense of playfulness and experimentation. This can help us to reclaim our own space and remind us that we’re actively creating this practice for ourselves.
Come back to basics.
We always want to push ourselves to do more, better, faster—in yoga and in life. But sometimes, not going 100 percent into every asana can teach us things that we never knew about the pose and inspire new ways of seeing the familiar. Try poses at 60 or 80 percent—you’ll learn to see the asanas that you’ve done a million times in a new light, and inspiration will flow from there.
ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Mary Beth LaRue is a Los Angeles–based yoga instructor and life-design coach. She loves riding her bike, scribbling ideas over coffee, and taking long road trips with her family (including her English bulldog, Rosy). Inspired by her teachers Schuyler Grant, Elena Brower, and Kia Miller, LaRue has been teaching yoga for more than eight years, helping others connect to their inner bliss. She co-founded Rock Your Bliss, a yoga-inspired coaching company that helps clients “make shift happen.” Learn more at marybethlarue.com.