How to get the most our of your yoga practice- tips to help you along the journey
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
The benefits of yoga are priceless yet endless. Yoga is much more than just exercise. Here are some tips on how you can gain more out of your yoga practice. If you have questions about any area of your yoga practice or require extra guidance on something to do with your journey, feel free to contact me or send me a message. I am always here to assist and help any way I can. Even connect with your current yoga teacher for further guidance, as teachers we love to know more about how we can help you gain the most out of this gift we call yoga.
BREATHE- my number 1 tip! always breathe, in yoga we breathe through our nose this can feel strange at first but becomes natural in no time. The timing of when to inhale and exhale for poses and sequences can be a little confusing, however your teacher will guide you on these breaths throughout the class. After a while you will automatically know when to come up on the inhale, go down on the exhale etc. Do not feel rushed in class, take your breaths at your own pace, let your breath lead your movement, find your own rythmn and flow and your body and breath will become in sync.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY- this is essential, listen to your body not your ego. Your body will tell you when you where you are sore or holding stress or feeling tight, is is important to be aware of this before entering your practice. Your body will also give signals during yoga, it is important to read these signals, know limitations, to work within your capacity, ease off if you need to, make modifications or take an easier approach if you need to, with the mindset of knowing you will improve with time. It is good to push yourself in yoga to gain progress however we do not want to cause any harm to our body. Some days on the mat you may feel super strong there may be other days you don't, check in with yourself for a few minutes before jumping into your practice, use this time to check in with how you are feeling in your body, mind this will tell how you approach your practice. If you need to use a block or strap or bolster to help you in your journey the do so, don't let your ego hold you back it will only lead to frustrations.
DROP EXPECTATIONS- this here really comes back to ego. Take each practice session in the present moment, with an open mind and open heart, try not to overthink things. If you approach class or practice with a high demand or expectation of yourself you may reach a point of frustration, I experienced this in my early years. We all have great visions of what we would like to do in yoga, these are wonderful and have a place but do not put too much pressure on yourself, it is essential to enjoy practice not make it something else that you become critical with. So set yourself goals, and approach your practice with a light hearted committed nature, and enjoy the journey.
DROP JUDGEMENT- yoga is not a competition nor a race, yoga is a journey is has it's own elements and things is will teach us. Yoga is not something we do or perform or cross of the list. True yoga is about being present with yourself, showing up for yourself, being honest in the moment, having an open mind to learn more during each session. Do not judge yourself or compare yourself to others, you might always notice always notice the person who is stronger, more graceful or more flexible than you. Every one has a different body therefore we all have our own unique way of yoga our own individual journey. Keep your awareness and observation with yourself. If you are being critical, stop, take a breath and re direct thoughts to "what can I learn from this pose or transition"
CONSISTENCY- dedicating yourself to regular practice is so rewarding in many ways. I remember the year where I decided to start my own home practice along side my weekly class that I was attending, and wow I still remember the day in class where I felt this lightness in my body and my yoga really changed. Small regular sessions are great to set so many of the foundations in yoga. I started with 10mins most nights in font of my TV lol!
Be consistent, even if it it's in small doses, try to do something at home on a regular basis. Show up for yourself even when you don't feel like it, do some home practice, even for 10min at a time, you will find yourself wanting more!
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF- this journey of yoga is endless. Once the candle is lit, the flame is never dim. Yoga is one of the most challenging things I have ever done, it has taught me patience. In life we can all want things on demand, well yoga does't come like that. Be patient with yourself, there is so many layers of yoga and so much to take in, discover and learn, there is no rush. If you are feeling a little impatient or frustrated with yourself, then the best thing to do is practice more! The more you practice the better you become, the impatience and the critic drop off.
YOGA IS ABOUT FEELING GOOD- always enjoy your practice! You should feel good, and having fun while your learning. If you are committing to yoga you are giving yourself a gift. The more you do yoga the more you will glow from the inside out.