Has it been a while since you’ve been to yoga?

You don’t need to make excuses — work, babysitters, overscheduling, children, pets. It doesn’t matter. There’s no need to apologize, or to feel embarrassed.

All you have to do is come back.

It happens to most of us at some point. We practice regularly, and we feel great, and then something happens to derail us. Maybe it was a vacation, a crisis, illness or injury, a change in our daily schedule, or maybe we feel frustrated because the results we expected didn’t come as quickly as we’d hoped. One missed class becomes two. That turns into a week, a month, maybe more before we realize that yoga has fallen by the wayside, and we don’t feel so great anymore.

When this happens, a lot of people feel ashamed, and guilty. They start to experience resistance when they think about returning. The mind will begin to make up stories that simply aren’t true, although they will seem as if they are.

“I’m too heavy to go to yoga.”

“I’m not as flexible as I was.”

“Maybe I don’t belong there. If I were a serious yogi, I wouldn’t have quit.”

“Everyone’s going to be mad at me because I stopped coming to class.”

“They’re going to laugh at me, or judge me, and think I’m lazy.”

Don’t listen. None of this garbage talk is even remotely true, and the greatest irony here is that the times we begin to convince ourselves not to practice yoga are when we need it the most.

When we find ourselves too busy, and too hassled, when we have too many, overwhelming things to do and people to take care of, we need to stop, take five deep breaths, and realize that yoga is essential to our well-being right now.

Take an hour, or seventy-five minutes and just go.

If the monkeys in your mind are jumping around and screaming, trying to convince you that you can’t go to yoga, that means you need to go to yoga even more.

Take baby steps. First find your favorite yoga clothes, and then put your mat in the trunk. Get in the car and drive. Play some empowering music on the way. Be proud of your accomplishment before you even arrive.

Coming back to the studio after you’ve been away for a while feels like coming home. Your body will remember the poses. You’ll feel welcome, calmed, and at peace again. You won’t feel scared once you begin.

There is nothing to fear if you haven’t been to yoga in a while. Don’t be ashamed or guilty. You haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings, and no one is judging you, because we understand. It has happened to most of us before, and it’s easy to fix. Just come back!

Everyone is waiting for you, and we miss you!