The mountain ranges surrounding the Valley of the Sun called to him in the early 80s. Those hills held possibility.

A lifelong hobbiest, Dad spent my tweenish years prospecting for gold in the foothills of Arizona. Trekking to n’er before trampled soils to dig in, exploit, strike it rich. Perhaps this is where my inner explorer got nourished. Building campfires in back country spaces few had ever encountered; this forging of new paths got embedded into my soul.

Human beings are programmed to seek out the novel and new. The psychological term for this – neophilia – is that drive for the unexperienced and the unexplored. It’s what fuels high tech inventions and discoveries, medicines and even social media.  It’s also what gives power to fear.

Fact is though, the present moment is always new. Now = New.

Trying something new is a way to expand you, to grow. I don’t entirely know what this whole existence thing is about here, but I do feel a big part of our game plan is to continue to evolve and grow. One way to continue developing you is through trying something new.

In yoga, that can mean exploring a new class or venue. It can also be where you focus your attention in yoga. However you decide to awaken your pioneering soul — your Daniel or Rebecca Boone — you have options. Here are some:

Easy Ways to Add Some Novelty to Your Yoga Practice

  • Change up the soundtrack, or turn it off
  • Switch out your legs in Sukasana
  • Bind first with your non-dominant hand on top
  • Practice on a paddle board
  • Shift your practice outside
  • Practice at a different time of day than you’re used to
  • Attend a yoga retreat or yoga festival
  • Try out a studio you’ve yet to visit
  • Participate in a partner-based class
  • Try a class format you’ve never tried before (i.e. Jivamukti, Yin, Hot, Blacklight, etc)
  • Place your mat in a different area of your regular studio’s space
  • Attempt to flow with your eyes closed
  • Take the optional posture offered

Whether you’re a person who is more comfortable in a routine and prefer the set sequence classes, your psyche has much to gain from expanding yourself through novelty.

Familiar routines offer an auto-pilot security. The fact is that we live in an enormous universe with seven different continents, nearly 200 different countries, more than 7 billion people, thousands of languages, and hundreds of thousands of unique experiences. So stay stagnant if you must, or reinvigorate your life with energy and excitement through novelty. Try it with your yoga practice. Strike gold there. Let me know how it goes: [email protected].