Yoga is one of the most calming and peaceful techniques people turn to when looking for creative ways to incorporate exercise whilst practising mindfulness. It is a great way to explore your own body’s capabilities, whilst strengthening your body’s mind-to-muscle connection.
Perhaps you are someone who is early on in their yoga journey, or maybe you have mastered all of the components of yoga and are simply looking for small ways to make a big difference in your daily practice. Yoga can do a lot more than just increase flexibility, but getting it right is crucial for injury prevention and overall consistency with the practice. Here we have compiled a list of 6 ways to improve your yoga practice just to highlight some tips and tricks you may not have considered before.
Practice breathing exercises
One of the main components of Yoga is your breath work. Breathing into the movements will give you the best results from a yoga session and allow you a complete relaxation feeling. The best way we could describe first breathing into your movements is a satisfying pain, feeling your muscles slowly and deeply stretch across each region of your body. If you are using techniques such as ujjayi breaths, they may help you achieve this feeling. Ujjayi breathing is a technique that requires you to solely focus on your breath and the movement of the air in and out of your body. Not only is this great for the overall practice, but calming your mind from anything that might distract you from the yoga will massively help with focus and concentration during the sessions.
Following up on the breathing techniques, practising meditation alongside your yoga exercise will greatly impact any yoga practice. Whilst yoga incorporates meditative states, it can seem harder to slip into this calm state when focusing on the various yoga movements. Also, if you have never tried meditation we would advise you to do so. It can be as simple as listening to a 5-minute guided-meditation video before your yoga session. Peacefully listen to the video in a space with no distractions and let your mind drift into the meditative state the video will encourage.
All yoga positions have similar benefits, but some require more balance than others. If you feel like you are constantly failing at your yoga practices for your balance, you are not the only person. Once you have mastered balance, however, it can make you feel like the master of yoga. A great tip for balancing is making sure your gaze is fixed. If you find a point to focus your eyes on whilst trying to stay in the position it can be a great way to find balance. Your breath as mentioned will also help with practising balance, and also allowing yourself the time it gets right is essential. There is no point trying to rush to yoga perfection, simply take your time and enjoy the journey.
Gather the correct tools
If you are hoping to become an expert, you have to first appear as an expert. One of the ways you can achieve this is with the correct yoga props and clothing. Firstly, props such as yoga straps, blocks, and a good quality mat can enhance your experience. Your outfit may also contribute to better practice. Sports clothing that is too bulky and restrictive just won’t cut it. Opt for some seamless leggings and a loose fitted t-shirt, or even shorts and a sports bra for the ultimate freeing feeling.
Consistency is vital, and getting into a routine of slowly perfecting your yoga practice will show you better results than trying to become a master in one day and then giving up. Allow yourself a designated part of the day where you spare time for your yoga practice. This might be in the morning just as you wake up to lose your muscles for the day or at night when you are loosened up after a hot bath. Whatever time you choose, just make sure you keep showing up.
Find a comfortable place
Finding the environment for your yoga practice can also make a huge difference in how you perform. For example, if you are doing at-home yoga where there is a lot of noise and distraction, you probably aren’t getting the most out of your practice. Allowing yourself to have a peaceful place to work out and make the most of each movement. Perhaps even if you go to the gym if they have a quiet studio space, you might do your yoga practice after completing your gym routine for better strength.