Ways You Can Improve Your Yoga Practice
Yoga is a great way to strengthen both your body and mind. While yoga can be done nearly anywhere, practicing in less-than-ideal conditions can hinder your progress and prevent you from relaxing. If you are looking to take your practice to the next level, use these tips to get started.
Create the Perfect Atmosphere
If you typically do yoga at a formal studio, you might not have control over all aspects of your surroundings. If you are setting up at home, however, there are certain things you can do to improve your experience. Yoga Times suggests first choosing the right space. Make sure it is large enough to accommodate your mat, plus a little extra room so you are not afraid of knocking anything over. Decide what level of light you would like to experience during your practice as well. If you are doing yoga to wake up, consider filling the room with natural light. If the goal is relaxation, try dimming your lamps. Try simply burning candles if all you want is a subtle, warm glow.
Many people like to practice yoga in hot and humid environments to help them sweat and release more toxins. If you like this type of practice, bring space heaters and humidifiers into your room and adjust them to your desired levels. As an added bonus, humidifiers allow you to breathe easier, which can help you better focus on the goals of your practice.
Focus on yourself
Remember, your yoga practice is a personal experience, so it is important to pay attention to your own needs and feelings. If you are in a class or practicing at home with friends, avoid looking around the room to see how strong the other yogis are. Not only will this take valuable time out of your practice, but it may hurt your confidence and dissuade you from trying new things and making constructive mistakes. Try not to let your surroundings get to you, recommends Women’s Health magazine. Instead, place all your attention on your own body.
Try to align your breath and your physical movements to create fluid motions. Observe how different poses feel and let these feelings inform future movements. If you are having a hard time drawing your attention inward, try closing your eyes.
Respect Your Limits
No matter how ambitious your goals are, it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. It is going to take some time for your body to build up the strength it needs to accomplish harder movements like handstands, so be patient with yourself. The Art of Living notes that if it hurts, you probably should not be doing it, so make sure you are paying attention to any signs that you may be taking it too far.
Comparatively, do not underestimate your own abilities. No matter how weak or inflexible you think you might be, do not allow these to become excuses for why you are not progressing. Be sure to step outside your comfort zone at least once during your exercise – after all, if you do not go after challenges, you will not grow in your practice. If something proves impossible at the beginning of your routine, try coming back to it at the end when you have loosened up more. Believe in your abilities and you will be able to accomplish your goals.
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