Sure, I guess it can be. But everything can be boring if you let it be. When I was a kid growing up, my parents didn’t let me use the word “bored”. I’m not sure why or when that started and I’m pretty sure I was only told that once or twice, but it really stuck with me.
Like oh, yeah. I don’t have to be bored. I’m in control of that.
And that’s it. That was the first and only time I was bored.
Nope. I’m not kidding. In my entire adolescent, teenager years, and now adult years I have not once been bored. And that’s a whole blog post in and of itself but I’ll give you the cliffnotes: I am present.
That’s it. That’s the big secret.
So with that in mind, why is yoga boring?
I’m doing nothing. It’s not interesting like HIIT. It’s the same thing over and over. Just focus on the breath. There’s no music or videos…it’s quiet.I’m just bored.
I’m sure there are a million reasons why yoga could be viewed as boring so if you have anything you want me to address, leave it in the comments! With that, let’s get rolling
First up: I’m doing nothing.
This comes into play right around easy poses or meditative moments and sometimes even shavasana and it comes into play for a bunch of reasons.
With easy poses, sometimes we’re looking for more. We want a challenge and when we don’t get that challenge, we’re bored. So instead of standing in the same old warrior one or easy twist, find something new. Take a variation. Take a bind. Move your arms around into a different position. Take eagle arms. Some days we need the simplicity of the basics. Some days we need a little fun and a little challenge.
With meditation, it’s that we don’t meditate enough so we are not accustomed to inner stillness. When our body and mind are working to calm down and we are wanting to move onto the next thing, that antsy attitude is going to make you feel bored. This is why we need to settle and do the things we don’t like. We need to focus on the present moment and breathe. Live in the now.
This feeds into the common problem with both of these things. We want more bang for our buck. We want go, go, go. 1 month results. Ten pounds of fat lost in a minute. We aren’t interested in the emotional, mental, and physical wellness yoga can bring us.
Next up: It’s not interesting, like HIIT.
Well, we aren’t five anymore so we don’t need something to constantly keep our attention. Training our attention is hard work. It requires a lot of discipline. But why would we want it any other way?
Yoga teaches us to concentrate. It teaches us that it’s important to concentrate. And sometimes concentrating is hard. We’re tired, we’re a little hungry, we’ve got something going on later that we’re thinking about, blah, blah, blah. The thought that we have to do things that keep our attention 100% all of the time is crazy. Even if I love what I do and it’s interesting, there are going to be days that my mind is elsewhere.
But that’s okay.
If I didn’t train my discipline, if I didn’t discipline my mind and flex my willpower, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t be as healthy. I wouldn’t make the hard decisions (like cooking when I’m lazy). I wouldn’t ignore the snooze button. I would trudge around through life not feeling accomplished.
It’s the same thing over and over.
Yes and no. Sure, especially in the beginning we might be practicing the same thing over and over. But when you learned how to read, did you practice reading the same few words over and over? Or did you learn it once then jump right into Crime and Punishment?
It takes time! It takes time to build a solid foundation. So of course in the beginning it’s going to feel like you’re doing the same thing ten million times.
But here’s an idea…you can read those same words a bunch of different ways depending on order, inflection, even pronunciation. That means that you can practice those basic moves and get something different out of them each time. You just have to listen to your body. You have to read the story it’s giving you today. And do you know what? You need one thing to help guide you: your breath.
All right, so I sound like a crazy yogi, right?
But there’s a reason why your breath is so important. For one, it does help movement and it’s important in every sport or activity. One of yoga’s biggest challenges physically is to follow the breath and not feel like you’re dying. It doesn’t mean hold your breath when it’s tough. It doesn’t mean pant like crazy.
And besides that, it gives you a nice backdrop of sound. Which brings me to my final point.
It’s too quiet. There’s no music.
Certainly we can practice with music and if you haven’t, I suggest you do because it can be a real blast. But there’s something to be said for practicing in the quiet. It might feel more boring, right? But there’s a purpose to all of this.
We need the discipline. We need the structure. We need to find freedom in that space before we can find it anywhere else.
With all the different kinds of interesting workout classes we have now like Zumba and HIIT and various fun programs it’s hard to accept doing something that doesn’t promise results, that doesn’t distract you from you, and that seems so boring.
Don’t get me wrong, working out should be fun. But there has to be a level of discipline to it. I love cardio. I love pushing myself and wanting to scream. It’s fun I guess. But that’s what running is for. I love getting physically stronger and being more able. That’s what weights are for. I love turning off my brain and combining those two things and finding big movement. That’s what Aikido is for.
But I love finding stillness. Finding struggle in stillness. I love forcing myself into a form to find freedom in it. That’s what yoga is for.
If you need other workouts, experiment! You can (and probably should) do more than one kind of thing. But don’t throw out yoga because it’s boring to you. Embrace that. Learn to discipline yourself. Learn to focus on the moment. Learn to learn about you.