How to get the most out of your yoga class and home practice

When practicing yoga there are some important things to be aware of. Yoga will teach you so much about yourself and with regular practice the rewards are endless. You can achieve a much greater sense of balance, flexibility, strength, stamina, clarity and a deeper self awareness. Tips for improving your yoga practice

Do yoga on an empty stomach, wait 2 hours if you have had a meal or 1 hour after a small snack. Lemon in water is ok before yoga.

Before commencing postures spend a few minutes sitting in a comfortable position on your mat, close eyes, breathe through nostrils, use this time to connect with your breathing, centre self and slow down thoughts. After a while deepen breath to the belly.

Keep your focus with yourself, do not be distracted by others and what they can do. Focus on yourself your body, do not compare yourself to others there will always be someone who can do something better than you, some people are more flexible or strong or have ease in certain movements. Be aware of what is happening with your body and what you would like to achieve or work on.

Breathing is the most important aspect of yoga. Spend time practicing breathing through your nose. Breathing through the nose creates a sense of calm and is not tiring for the body. Always breathe when holding postures, never hold your breath. Smooth flowing breaths calms the mind, energises the body and helps to reduce tension in muscle. When holding postures take your thoughts and awareness to your breathing, it will distract the thoughts from wandering or complaining about the stretching muscles! Also listen to the sound of your breathing.

Relax your face and jaw when holding postures, listen to the sound of your breathing

Always do you best for how you are feeling. Not every yoga session will be your best so take each session as it is, some days you may feel stronger than others, you may need to adapt your practice according to what is going on, example, new ache or pain, menstrual period, head cold etc

Let go of Ego, the mind can be very critical when it comes to yoga, tell the ego to be quiet and take break, if you listen to your ego you will never be good enough. Take your focus back to connecting with breathing and  what really is going on. Take time to acknowledge your progress in yoga, what you have achieved and where you have gained improvement.

Observe your body and notice the changes, with regular practice you will see physical changes in your body, more tone!! Observing your body responses during yoga, in time you will notice when changes occur and things become easier.

Be committed, the time and energy you put into yoga you will be rewarded. Yoga is not something to stop start, its something to do on a regular basis to gain the most benefit.

Communicate with your teacher,  remember your teacher is there for you! Inform your instructor if you have any injuries, limitations, also what your goals are. I love connecting with my students to know what is happening with each individual.

Yoga Mats-  My Abundant Health Yoga mats are  a must have if you are into yoga. these are the most practical mats, the unique design will help you with placement of you body giving correct alignment. All of my students say how helpful my mats are for checking alignment and knowing the posture will be held correctly.

Listen to you body, this is really important to know how far you can stretch. Say ‘hello’ to the stretch and hold to the level for you that there is no bad pain. To gain the most benefit listen to what your body is telling you, if you need to come out of a posture earlier than others, do so with the correct breathing. If you wish to hold posture a bit longer, do. If something is not feeling right ease off the stretch.

Feeling good??? I hope so, you should always feel good after yoga!

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