Yoga has become the ultimate relaxation exercise that also helps stretch and strengthen the body for more flexibility. The health benefits are enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.
You may be a beginner who has just been introduced to the physical poses in yoga classes. If so, you are still learning to move into your asanas with fluid movements that aren’t jerky or awkward. If you have been taking yoga for many years, you may have reached the point where you wonder what you can do to deepen your yoga practice to make it more fulfilling to your mind, body and spirit to achieve a deeper relaxation.
Whether you are a beginner still going through the poses or an expert who has practised for a long time, you can deepen your yoga practice and eliminate mistakes to gain the full benefits of this wonderful exercise. Try using these 5 steps to help you with your next yoga practice.
Step #1: Remember To Breathe
While you are engaged with a regular yoga practice, sometimes it can become a force of habit for you to hold your breath when moving into your next pose. Don’t stop breathing when moving into those difficult poses as this can be disruptive to your concentration. It can also cause you to become light headed. Keep the mind and body connected through strong, even breathing to help calm yourself during each pose.
Step #2: Holding Stretches for Longer
Now that you have begun to breathe while doing your poses, it’s time to practice holding your stretches longer. Simply doing one pose and then immediately moving onto the next one does not allow you to adequately stretch your muscles. Hold your stretches longer as your body adjusts to the poses and takes in the full benefits of the yoga practice.
Step #3: Relieve The Tension In Those Muscles
As you learn to hold on to your poses longer, you may unintentionally tense muscles throughout your body. Be aware when you are doing this, as overworking your muscles can cause you to become injured and increase the stress that you are trying to release. Search for areas of your body where you are tensing yourself such as your face, toes and shoulders as you work to release the tension in those areas.
Step #4: Cut Out The Extra Movements
Yoga is all about fluid movements of your body that links your mind and spirit into poses that release the stress while adding flexibility to muscles. As you breathe, your body transitions from one pose to the next using the fewest moves possible. Yet sometimes your body makes extra movements in anticipation of the next pose, which can set you off-balance and make your yoga poses feel jerky and clunky. Take note of the extra movements and try to get rid of the fidgeting caused by your anticipation to help your poses feel more fluid and graceful. The aim of yoga is to gain steadiness and balance.
Step #5: Practice More
The best way to deepen your yoga practice is to actually do the poses more. Practice at least twice a week if you can, finding a spare moment where you can go through your routine without being disturbed. Even if you can just get in a few stretches in your office or practice before you fix breakfast in the morning every day will help you and your body reap in the benefits.
Above All Else, Enjoy Your Yoga
If you are not enjoying yourself, it becomes harder to focus your mind to committing to the yoga practice. Always move at your own pace and enjoy the poses you make so you can stick with your yoga routine.