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6 tips on getting the most out of your yoga practice

April 10, 2012

Your yoga practice is called that because – duh – it requires practice! It also takes work, commitment and dedication. You will be elated by your good days and you will have to persevere through your bad days. You will learn and re-learn things. You will discover truths about yourself.

Each time you step on your mat will be a complete and unique experience. Your yoga teacher plays a role in what happens during class but, more importantly, YOU play a role in your yoga experience.

Think about it – after a particularly heinous day, you get on your mat thinking you’re going to “yoga this day right out of your hair” but then you hold on to your unpleasant thoughts… Does your practice then feel a little lacking? Do you feel as frustrated as when you started? Do you feel like you just wasted your time?

Below are some tips on how you can make the most of yoga each and every time you step on your mat:

  • Be patient. Strong poses take time. It will come.
  • Stay present. Mindfulness increases awareness of your body. It will not only help you fly in your poses but also prevent injuries.
  • Release your expectations. Don’t start with the goal of successfully holding a difficult pose. Allow your body to guide you and don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Do not multi-task. Set aside your to-do list or what lies ahead of you. Focus on the one thing that you are doing. You will be better at listening to the needs of your body.
  • Ignore your peers. You are on a different point in your yoga journey than your fellow yogis. Turn your blinders on and focus.
  • Breathe. When you are straining, you tend to hold your breath. When you hold your breath, your muscles tighten up instead of expanding and this will hamper your flexibility.

I know… You’re thinking… It can’t be that easy?!? Trust me. It isn’t. In an age where multi-tasking is king not letting our mind go “SQUIRREL!” is a hard task. Rather than talking to yourself as you flow from one pose to the next let your mind go blank. Then come back here and tell me how it went.

Good luck!

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From → Yoga

8 Comments
  1. ❤ great recommendations for those stepping onto the mat. I've been practicing for a number of years and many times I need to be reminded of all of these aspects of the practice.

    • As do I! That is, when I get to practice on my own… ::sigh:: Hubs also pointed out that the tips are a good idea across the board. Maybe I’ll start there and eventually get to apply it to my own practice. 🙂

  2. Love it! Totally needed the read today. Yesterday’s practice was an epic failure, but tis ok bc I shall get on that damn mat today & rock it (clearly I’m violating one of your points on this, but it’ll atleast get me started lol)

    • I think it would be IDEAL if we could all follow the tips ALL the time but I’ll settle for 2 or 3 of them at a time. 😉 Sometimes that happens while I’m teaching and then I feel bad not just for myself but for my students, too. ::sigh::

  3. I love that you used the word heinous! Am such a word nerd. Great advice, too. I think people need to be reminded over and over that a little is enough. And to do what’s right for THEM.

    • I use it whenever I can. Heinous is a good word. I feel like my theme seems to be “TAKE CARE OF YOU!” I’m hoping people are starting to listen and figure out what that means for them.

  4. I’m used to be guilty of trying of points 3 and 5. Realize now that it is okay that I am not yet ready to turn on my head and do a headstand even if the person next to me is. Great recommendations! Wish I could actually attend one of your classes.

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