Boasting numerous health benefits, it’s no surprise that yoga is popular in the West. When you first start, though, the practice can seem daunting – especially if you’re attending a local class. Many newbies leave feeling disheartened, believing that everybody in the class knows what they’re doing. However, it’s important to remember that everyone was a beginner once. While your fellow classmates may seem like experts now, they were in your shoes not too long ago. Thankfully, there are ways to improve your yoga routine to help you achieve your goal. All you need is patience, dedication, and a cozy yoga top.
If you want to get better at yoga, regular practice is essential. For many people, fitting yoga into their busy schedule can feel like a challenge; however, many people find it helpful to set a designated time aside to practice, instead of just trying to fit in wherever they have the time. Although we all intend to get around to exercising, it can be easy to put it off if other things get in the way. If we keep pushing it back a day, it’s easy to get to the end of the week and realize you haven’t gotten around to it. If you set a designated time aside each week for your practice, you’re more likely to stick to it. This is why many people prefer to attend a weekly class rather than practice independently. Most classes involve paying per month or term, so if you miss a session you’re essentially losing money.
To enjoy yoga, it’s important to find a teacher you love. Sometimes, it can take a while to find an instructor you really click with. This doesn’t necessarily mean the instructors are bad, it just means that their teaching methods don’t suit you. Taking time to visit a number of different studios and classes will allow you to find one you truly love. Try to attend at least a few sessions at each place, as it may just take you a while to settle in. After a few sessions, if you’re still not enjoying it then move onto the next studio on your list.
As well as finding a teacher you love, it’s important to find a style that you get on with. Today, there are a wide variety of different yoga styles available ranging from cardio-based workouts to restorative classes. To find a style that suits you, it’s worth thinking about your long-term goals. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to tone up? Or maybe you’re just interested in relaxing your mind. Whatever your reason for practicing, there is a style out there to suit you. If you’re interested in burning calories, try a Vinyasa flow class. Dynamic and intensive, this class is practiced in a heated studio for maximum effect. Not only will the heat contribute to your weight loss, it will also detoxify your body by inducing a sweat.
If you really want to improve your yoga routine, try to practice at home a couple of times a week in addition to your weekly class. Home practice is a great way to build upon what you’ve learnt in class and return the next week for a new challenge. If your home life is busy, practicing for just 10 minutes a day will still be beneficial. Restorative postures can help to calm the body and mind; because of this, many yogis like to practice before they head off to bed. Asanas like Bridge Pose, on the other hand, are designed to energize the body. This makes them perfect to practice before a busy day at work.
If you find practicing at home tricky, try creating a designated yoga space in your home. If you’ve got the space, you can turn a spare room into the ultimate yoga sanctuary by filling it with scented candles and cozy blankets. If space is limited, using one end of your bedroom will work just as well. For maximum relaxation, listen to a calming playlist via your phone or speakers and feel the stress and tension seep away.
To take your routine to the next level, really pay attention to your body. Although this may be difficult at first, with regular practice it will become second nature. During each posture, focus on the sensations of your body. Is the asana comfortable or are you stretching a little too far? Take note of these details and adjust your body accordingly. As well as physical feelings, it’s important to recognize emotional sensations, too. Notice whether the posture makes you feel happy, relaxed, or anxious. Over time, you will learn which asanas suit your body the best and which ones to avoid.
It’s important to remember that physical form isn’t everything. Understanding the importance of breath during your practice will drastically improve your routine. Correct breathing will connect the mind, body, and soul, and teach them how to work together in harmony. During a yoga class, you should learn a number of different breathing techniques. If you’re unsure of which one to use, just stick to deep, steady breathing throughout each pose.
Above all else, remember to have fun. While yoga has numerous physical benefits, none of those compare to your happiness. Additionally, if you make your routine fun, you’re more likely to practice. Take time to find the techniques that you enjoy and that make your body feel good. If possible, get together with a friend to practice. This way, you can both motivate each other and have a catch up at the same time.
Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you can always improve your yoga routine. Taking note of the tips above will not only improve your routine, but it will also make it more enjoyable. Thankfully, you can practice yoga with minimal equipment. All you need to get started is a short-sleeved T-shirt and a yoga pants.