You want to improve your yoga practice? Good on you! You’re already doing yoga, so you’ve committed to doing something great for your mind, body and soul. Now, you just want to learn how to optimize your practice to maximize your gains, and this is a commendable aim.
Of course, you can have a goal and still not know exactly how to reach it. Wonder no more. Here are a few simple strategies to help you make the most of your time on the mat.
How to Easily Improve Your Yoga Practice
Step One: Get the Gear
Your yoga session begins before you ease into your first pose. It begins with what you choose to wear. Anyone who’s ever had their shirt flip up in their face in downward dog can tell you how frustrating (and embarrassing) it can be to be suffocated by your own shirt mid-breath. The best yoga gear has been designed specifically to accommodate the moves and demands of the practice. It will flow with you, and leave you cool, comfortable and confident.
Sartorial suggestions for your yoga session:
Layer up! Yoga usually starts off pretty slowly, but as you get moving, you can really heat up. Wear a training top over a training tank so you can strip down if you get too warm.
Step Two: Be Hydrated
You don’t want to be so hydrated that water is sloshing around in your gut (and coming out your nose) in inverted postures, but you do need to be hydrated to ensure optimal muscle performance. A little H2O can go a long way to nourish and replenish every cell in your body.
How much to drink: Aim for 8 ounces 30 minutes prior to class, and then 16 ounces within an hour after.
Step Three: Disconnect
It may seem obvious, but judging by the amount of beeping and buzzing in the studio, it obviously bears repeating: leave your tech behind while you flow! Your cell phone has no place in your yoga practice. Most classes will ban cells, but not all. And if you train at home, you’re really going to have to exercise restraint. Leave your cell in another room, muted.
Your yoga time is your YOU time. Shut down and dig deep to get the most restful, focussed and rejuvenating workout.
Step Four: Try Something New
It’s great that you’ve been going to the same yoga class for years now, but growth happens through change. This is why you should consider dabbling in the varied waters of the yoga practice. If you’ve been doing more high-intensity, body sculpting Bikram Yoga, try the more mind-blowing style of Yin Yoga. This practice will help hone your mediation skills.
Likewise, if you’ve been doing Yin Yoga, try a more physically challenging kind of yoga, like Hatha, which isn’t as demanding as Bikram, but will help you build a little more strength and stamina. Just try a different type of yoga, and you’ll see your practice as a whole will improve.
That’s it! These four simple steps can help you enhance your yoga practice so you enjoy more of the incredible holistic benefits of this centuries old form of exercise. Namaste!