Addicted to that post-yoga practice feeling of Zen? Looking to deepen your practice and get more of it? Improving your yoga practice takes time and patience, but there are some tools and tips you can use to enhance your routine, as well as those relaxing feelings, along the way. Here are a few simple ways you can modify your practice and become an improved yogi.
Invest in Tech That Makes Yoga More Accessible
If making it to class is your most pressing obstacle to deepening your yoga practice, think about looking for simple ways to bring the studio to you. For example, you can use a streaming device to follow along with your fave yoga instructor right from the comfort of your home. Find a player that works with your TV and budget, load up some apps and you'll be ready to go.
Another practical way to make yoga more accessible, as well as to look for new routines that challenge you to try new poses, is to follow along with yoga classes and routines using your smartphone. If you need some additional encouragement to break out of your comfort zone, research yoga apps that include helpful reminders and tips for yogis of all levels. Some apps are completely free, while many such as Yoga At Home offer free trial periods that will allow you to sample different features and classes before you commit to a final purchase.
Enhance Your Yoga Practice with Lifestyle Modifications
Yoga isn’t just about what you do on the mat. To experience all of the calming health benefits of yoga, you also need to be mindful of the choices you make before and after you step on your mat. For instance, some yogis find that an empty stomach helps them deepen their focus get the most benefits out of their practice, but that doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself if you can’t get to class or your mat until later in the day. Just try to eat healthy foods, such as a smoothie or pieces of fruit, at least four hours before class or snack on small portions of these nutritious options if you need a boost closer to class.
Another crucial element for any beneficial yoga practice is daily meditation. Establishing a meditation routine can be more challenging for some than establishing a physical practice, but doing so is essential if you are interested in attaining a deeper connection with your practice. Need more motivation? Think of that feeling during savasana and know that meditation can replicate that relaxation and extend those feelings of calm into other areas of your life.
Improve Your Morning Routine with a Home Yoga Practice
Does waking up and going to a yoga class before coffee sound like torture to you? Well, you could always opt for a convenient morning practice in a home yoga space — you really just need a mat, some easy to handle equipment and a calm space to set up an effective yoga and meditation area in your home. However, you can add some calming touches, like simple decor and soothing scents, if those elements will make your practice more relaxing.
Once you have your home space set up, aim to practice yoga at least three times per week to start. Practicing a little bit of yoga each day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time, is ideal but gradually easing yourself into a steady routine is always best for establishing habits that stick, and drawing maximum benefits from your practice. Don’t be surprised if you experience glowing skin and better sleep, as well as even more pronounced changes (such as enhanced balance and confidence), after committing to a steady yoga routine for an extended period of time.
As with any healthy habit, practice is the key to improving your understanding of yoga and your ability to adjust your body to physical poses. So, make a commitment to that regular practice but be willing to challenge and support yourself with helpful tools and tips as well.