It's beneficial for babies and toddlers to learn and feel safe.
It can be useful for people who need to feel in control.
It's great to get things done before or after work and in a certain time frame if you have a routine to follow.
It can be beneficial for health to have a workout routine or Skincare routine.
Sometimes I think routine can do more harm than good. Hear me out.
For me, personally I LOVED ROUTINE. I craved it and had done for years
It's my way of being in control. Which for me at least, causes all sorts of other problems.
If my routine gets broken, my anxiety gets worse.
I have been known to absolutely break down if my plan, my routine, my intention gets disrupted. I know I'm not the only one and I don't think this is healthy.
To need to be so in control that of any little bump comes along in the road your mental health takes a swing.
For me. Routine for years also meant never trying anything new. My personal opinion (now at least) is that being stuck in your ways amd never trying anything new isn't good for your soul. Never breaking out of your comfort zone, always doing the same thing at the same time, always using the same product, the same playlists, the same workout routine, the same food.
It gets boring- mind numbingly boring and I think it has contributed in some way towards my depression and anxiety in the past.
When I met my now husband, he was in the Territorial Army. I used to get SO enragingly upset if he didn't get home from a camp, training, or operation on time. I'd say I'd made plans and couldn't get another day off work, I'd be begging people to swap shifts so I could see him and he'd say, its the army you can't tell them what to do.
You have to be fluid not flexible.
He'd beg me not to be so upset. (I'm beyond glad he never went into the regular Army because I don't think we would have got married, I 10000% applaud army wives, some of my best friends are army wives but no thank you!)
Fluid not flexible is a phrase that has stuck with me over the 9 years we have been together. I hated it because I used to need to be in control. Ben helps to bring my fluid side out - he and I are so opposite in this way and he compliments me perfectly!
When I trained to teach yoga, we learned a sequence. It was drilled into us to learn it, the energetics of it, the way it flowed was important, and also it would help us to learn to become good at teaching if we didn't vary from the routine and I am grateful for that.
However almost straight away I landed a teaching gig somewhere that had their own sequence that they wanted us to teach, and I had to learn that one and it was a little more flexible. More options.
I quickly stopped teaching my original sequence altogether and I'd pull from classes I attended, trainings I went to and learned to read the vibe of the room.
I have recently revisted my original sequence and I absolutely love it. I brought it back into my class schedule, but I almost always find a way to tweak and twist it each week.
Now a routine in yoga is important. 100%
Certain postures are near the beginning or end of a practice for a reason. You have to work with the body, warm it up safely, and warm it down safely too.
Muscle memory will help the body adapt to a routine, so that muscles are still working but you aren't getting the after burn (doms) it will help you go deeper into a pose each time you try, gain flexibility and strength the more you do something the better you get at it.
You will find you can flow through a sequence with relative ease once you've done it a few times with with same teacher.
The body adapts so quickly and more easily than you would think. It gets used to what it's doing, so you need to switch up the muscles that are working, the order that you do things in, tweak the posture to engage muscles so that you continue to gain strength and benefit from the practice. Keeping your brain working is important too,
you don't want to just mindlessly flow through a sequence that you are used to without any benefits - especially with yoga which is supposed to be about being mindful of your body!
Feedback I have previously had includes, I'm feeling more confident because we do the same routine each week. I feel like I'm getting stronger at this pose or that pose.
And I love this feedback.
Sometimes I find people will move to the next posture before I have said anything. And after a little while you see people's postures change because they know what's coming and they perhaps become a little lazy with how they are holding their bodies, or they don't really feel that they are getting anything from the routine because it is the same every time, it becomes mindless rather than mindful....and I know I am often absolutely one of these people!
Routine, while it used to serve me now bores me. Routine makes me get distracted and make mistakes because I get comfortable and assume I know what I am doing. Routine makes me feel safe until I get too comfortable. Becoming too comfortable makes me uncomfortable.
My body gets bored too. Too used to what it's doing in yoga practice.
Doing the same routine every time and never switching it up means you are only working certain muscles which means your body isn't in balance.
I have various classes through the week for example but if you only ever attend one of the classes regularly you will only be working working same muscles in each class.
Every now and then I change the routine to keep the classes fresh, to keep everyone's mind and body alert and focused rather than doing the same thing day in day out. But I have to admit I have been a little worried sometimes to change things up. Almost worried what those in class would feel if their routine got switched up, knowing how I sometimes feel when mine does.
However as a yoga teacher it is my job to keep you mindful of your body, mindful of movement and help you to safely move through postures. This also includes making sure you switch it up sometimes and move your body in different ways. Making sure you are fully present in your time on the mat by not letting you flow mindlessly through a class. And perhaps inadvertently helping you to cope with change off the mat as well.