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Staying Flexible: Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Yoga Practice

by Jackie Waters(more info)

listed in yoga, originally published in issue 295 - June 2024

When practising yoga, you should always look to improve our yoga technique and sometimes that involves changing our equipment, our attire, and mindsets. By staying open to adjustments in your routine, it’s possible to improve your practice and pave the way for a happier, healthier yoga life. Read on for some insights from Positive Health Online.

 

Woman in Blue Sports Bra and White Leggings Doing Yog

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Comparison

One of the obstacles standing in the way of beginner yogis is comparison with others. There are a great many skillful, athletic, and physically fit individuals in the practice and it can often feel demoralizing to compare yourself to them. The trick, then, is to focus your attention inwards. When it comes to this ancient discipline, remember that we’re all on our own individual journeys and there’s no telling where you’ll be on yours in a year’s time.

Have a Workout Buddy

Having a workout buddy offers numerous benefits for anyone seeking to maintain a consistent fitness routine. First and foremost, a workout buddy provides motivation and accountability. Knowing that someone is relying on you to show up at the gym or go for that early morning run can be a powerful incentive to stick to your fitness goals. Additionally, having a partner makes workouts more enjoyable and social, turning exercise into a fun and communal activity.

Goal Setting

For many of us, it helps us to achieve objectives when they’re clearly laid out and listed. Doing this also gives you the ability to look back and mark the progress that you’ve made. If you aren’t already, it’s worth investing in and notching milestones in a notebook. Alternatively, you could try using the notes app on your phone or even downloading a specific program that charts and ticks off goals automatically as you hit them.

Work-Life Balance

Setting and meeting goals is a big part of having a healthy work-life balance, which is especially important if you work from home. The good news is that working from home is actually beneficial in a number of ways, including more opportunities to get in an at-home yoga session. Such meditative exercise goes a long way toward reaching many goals, including increased productivity and efficiency during your work day.

Meditation

One of the fastest ways to improve your yoga skill is to supplement your weekly routine with meditation. This will enhance your breathing and concentration skills, which will in turn provide advantages in yoga. Meditation can also help you to stay generally calmer, aiding with daily tasks and helping you to avoid burnout at work.

If you’re not sure where to start, Mindworks suggests trying ‘breath awareness meditation’ to help you lower your heart rate and focus on controlling your body. Create a meditation space at home. This should be a comfortable space with relaxing decor and paintings of nature to inspire relaxation.

Quiet Space

Having a clean, clutter-free and organized home is imperative. This ensures a positive flow of energy when you're practicing yoga. Look for ways to eliminate anything that could build negative emotions or thoughts. Also consider creating a dedicated space for your yoga and meditation practices.

Scents

For many practitioners, YouAligned points out that aroma is an important part of yoga practice and can profoundly affect the experience. Many studios opt for Japanese or Tibetan-style incense with essential oils that include frankincense, lemon, orange, sandalwood, and lavender (just to name a few). There are no hard and fast rules as to which of these works best and so the best way to discover your perfect scent is with experimentation.

Clothing

Despite current fashions, many of us still turn up to class wearing clothes that hold us back or restrict our movement. You should always wear what makes you feel comfortable but it’s also important to consider the practical side of things. Ideally, you want breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that sweat can pass through and polyester/nylon/spandex blends that help us to contort our bodies without resistance.

Hydration

Staying hydrated during yoga is of paramount importance as it directly impacts the effectiveness and safety of your practice. Yoga involves a combination of physical postures, controlled breathing, and mindfulness, all of which can lead to increased perspiration and fluid loss. Be cognizant of the amount of caffeine you’re consuming, as beverages high in caffeine are diuretics and can lead to dehydration. Opt for other drinks like decaf coffee or water infused with fruits.

Experimentation

If you find that you’re in a bit of a rut with your current yoga practice, one of the best things you can do to mix things up is experiment with a different style (this is especially true for those who are advanced students). If you’ve spent the years until now practicing Vinyasa and want to try Bikram, don’t limit yourself - you may find that a change in routine rekindles your love of the art and opens new opportunities to improve and adapt.

Yoga is best experienced in a state of flow, meaning that the practitioner should be available and willing to change their routine as well as their body posture whenever it suits them. Apply this mindset and you’ll soon be experiencing growth as a yogi and a person.

Further Information

For your 21st century integrated medicine online resource, visit Positive Health Online today!

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About Jackie Waters

Jackie Waters is the mother of four beautiful and energetic boys who live on their  three acre hobby farm in Oregon. Her goals are to feed her family as much fresh and home-grown food as possible, focus on sustainability while doing so, and practice simplicity. She is here to tell you: you can have it all. With diligence and balance, you can achieve a beautiful, clean home. Jackie’s journey has been full of challenges; she has learned so much along the way. She would like to share with you her ideas and tips on how to be...Hyper Tidy. Please contact Jackie via https://hyper-tidy.com/ 

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