5 Excuses to Skip Yoga (and Reasons to Stop Making Excuses)

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Even the most dedicated yoga students make excuses to skip their practice sessions from time to time. I like to think I’m fairly dedicated, but I have come up with some whopper excuses on those days that inertia sets in and the last thing I want to do is move.

Here are a few of my favorite excuses–and how I manage to get myself on the mat anyway (most of the time).

1. There’s not enough time. Let me let you in on a little secret. There will NEVER be enough time to do all the things you want to do. If you want to reap the benefits of this practice you have to make it a priority. You have to do it–no matter what–even if it’s just sitting in meditation for five minutes on some days.

2. I’m too tired. The next time you feel too tired to practice, try this: Set a timer for five minutes and move, stretch, and breathe until it goes off. If you feel too tired to go on, stop, maybe lay over a bolster for a few minutes–you probably need the rest! (And that totally counts as your yoga practice, by the way!) Most of the time, I get a boost of energy from just 5 minutes of movement and I go on to finish my practice.

3. My family needs me. When I adopted a puppy a little more than a year ago, my yoga practice really suffered. I couldn’t possibly leave her for the 3 hours it would take to go to a yoga class. And I felt too guilty to shut her in so I could unroll my mat in the other room. I tried letting her stay with me, but it didn’t work out so well. (If you don’t believe me, watch this video.) So I neglected my practice–and in essence myself–to care for my new little one. Now that I look back on it, I realize that my puppy would have been fine without me. When I return from a yoga class now, I think she feels calmer, more relaxed, and happier because I do! I know my husband and other members of my family feel the same way!

4. I ate too much. This is my favorite excuse to miss a yoga class. I’d go, but I just ate a bagel and I know the teacher likes to teach twists and it will make me nauseous. I can explain this one: self-sabotage. If you know you’re supposed to go to a yoga class (or have a home practice session) in an hour, skip the bagel! You’ll be glad you did when you’re laying blissfully in Savasana.

5. I have too many other things to do! I think I’ve written this a bazillion times, but my theory on to-do lists is that someone who is fresh from yoga is WAY better at crossing things off the list than someone who is stressed and frazzled.

What’s your favorite excuse for skipping a practice session? How do you overcome it?

Erica Rodefer is a writer and yoga enthusiast in Charleston, SC. Visit her blog,, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.