Exercise plateau


I got interested in how to learn asanas effectively. The traditional method is last century. One can do better than breathing 5 times when exercising an asana and believing in miracles.

Yesterday I stood in front of my book shelf and found a book on Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds. I opened it and found the following paragraph on page 318:

No matter how good the exercise routine, you can’t repeat it day after day and continue to get the same results. Your body adapts to the demands made upon it. A well-worn routine ceases to be a healthy challenge and loses its ability to stimulate you to higher levels of fitness. Progress levels off in a phenomenon called exercise plateau. As a once-cherished routine goes stale, it becomes hard to keep your mind focused and engaged. When boredom sets in, your love affair with yoga can start to feel like a rut. This is shy experts recommend that you alter an exercise regimen every six weeks, the approximate time it takes the body to adapt to a new routine. The key to skillfully working with exercise plateau is simple: mix it up! Learn new postures that work different parts of the body. Hold the postures you already know a little longer to ramp up your intensity. Vary the order and manner in which you do things to open doorways into greater spontaneity and self-expression.

My home practice allows to practice like this. I hold asanas longer, I add asanas, sometimes easier ones, sometimes more challenging ones. Sometimes I omit asanas, because I need more time for those asanas that are my focus.

One cannot expect to get better every day a tiny bit, also not if one practices every day. A practice is characterized by ups and downs. Sometimes one flows through a series, the next day it’s difficult. It makes no sense to find reasons for this. Observing it and moving on is the best approach. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Perhaps one leaps ahead, perhaps one experiences a plateau, perhaps one has to schlepp oneself to the mat and just sitting there is all what is possible.

Nothing is forever.

Exercise tableaus come and go. There are ideas to get through them more quickly. Nevertheless patience is needed.