Optimize your yoga practice with these 8 tips.
Yoga has amazing benefits. But, it is possible to go to yoga on a regular basis and miss out on some of these. Make sure you optimize your yoga practice and get the most from your practice.
Create a plan
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t plan “me time” ahead of time, it doesn’t happen. I usually plan when I am going to do yoga on Sunday evenings. That way it is on the schedule and I am way more likely to do it. You can read more about planning your yoga in my increasing your practice post.
Leave your worries at the door
We all have a million and one things going on in a day. If you want to feel the full benefit of yoga, leave the to-do list, the I should have’s, and the major stressors of your life at the door. See the door as a boundary, when you walk through it, all those worries get blocked and have to wait outside. Hopefully, when you leave some of them have dissipated and you can walk away feeling much lighter.
Focus on your breath
This really goes along with leaving your worries at the door. If you are in an hour class, chances are that worries will try to creep back into your mind. The best way to deal with this is by acknowledging the thought, letting it pass by without engaging with it, and go back to focusing on your breath. This can be tricky at first. But, the more you practice, the easier it will get.
Don’t look around the room
When you look around the room during a yoga class you are most likely comparing yourself to others. Don’t do it. Just don’t. More than likely, you will have a range of 10+ years of experience practicing together. There are different body types, different genetics, etc. There will be people who had a great day with an awesome night of sleep and also those who are new moms and haven’t sleep for 3 hours straight in months. Yoga is not about being better than your neighbor or being hard on yourself because the person next to you seemingly knows what they are doing.
Instead of looking around and focusing on others, turn your focus inward. How are you feeling, can you go deeper into a pose, or do you need to let off.
Acknowledge your improvements
When I started getting serious about my yoga, I couldn’t do one chaturanga without putting my knees to the floor. Now, I can do a whole vinyasa or Ashtanga class without using my knees to lower myself down. It happened slowly, though. Starting with one time, then two, then maybe five times in a class. Working on the side plank? Maybe this time, you can hold it for 5 seconds instead of 3. Make sure that you are recognizing and celebrating the little steps. Always remember that you can learn and grow at any age.
Be patient with yourself
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect perfection, expect progress. Sometimes the progress will seem slow, but don’t get discouraged. If you keep practicing, over time, you will notice more and more improvements.
Soak up Savasana
It is easier for me to start thinking about that to do list once savasana starts. But, I would highly recommend putting off those thoughts until you have left class. Keep that time sacred. Use savasana for complete relaxation of the body and mind. If you can’t completely relax the mind, use the time for gratitude. Thank yourself for coming to the class, for giving yourself time to focus on you, for pushing yourself physically and mentally, and so on.
If you put these 8 tips into your practice, you will optimize your yoga practice. Trust me, when I do these things I leave my class feeling refreshed, calm, and powerful. Try them, you won’t regret it!
What do you do to optimize your yoga practice? Comment below!