Deepening your yoga practice takes time and, well, practice. If you’re looking for some suggestions for enhancing your practice along the way, however, you should know that making simple tweaks can make a major difference. So, whether you’re a new yogi or a dedicated mat warrior, here are some things you can try to enhance your practice and continue to reap the benefits:
Get a Major Mood Boost With Hot Yoga
If you’re looking for more of that post-practice high you experience with a regular yoga class, you should try a hot yoga class. Research shows that simply spending time in a heated room, like a sauna, can create feelings of euphoria, so coupling that heat with the mood-boosting powers of yoga can really help you feel relaxed and recharged. Before you try it, though, you will want to take some precautions to keep your heated practice safe, such as drinking plenty of water before, during and after.
If you plan on bringing your phone into the studio, you should use a waterproof and shockproof case, so your phone will be protected from sweat, water and drops. Lifeproof, for example, makes waterproof cases that easily protect smartphones from moisture damage, all without limiting your ability to use buttons, controls, and ports. This can come in handy if you have to take an unexpected call or answer an important text in the studio.
@anastasiayigi wearing Lotus Leggings
Create a Home Practice and Yoga Space
Yoga seems to be more popular than ever, and that rise in popularity may be due in part to all of the benefits that a regular yoga practice can offer. Yoga can boost mood and mental health, as well as improve back pain, cardiovascular health and stress management. Plus, yoga can be accessible for anyone, especially since you can practice from the comfort of your home! In fact, a home yoga practice is one of the best ways to deepen your connection to yoga and enhance the benefits to your mental and physical health. Staying committed to home practice is just like staying committed to any new habit, so ease into it by sticking to the same flow and practicing for at least 15 minutes each day. You can practice just about anywhere in your home, but creating a dedicated relaxation space will make it easier to absorb the calming effects of your home yoga practice. In addition to working on physical postures in your new yoga space, consider adding in a daily meditation as well. Many people find that using a meditation app is beneficial for building a comfortable meditation routine.
Find Ways to Make Yoga More Challenging
Want to challenge your body during practice? You can do so by working on your practice as a whole or on a single element, like enhancing flexibility. Increasing your flexibility, or improving any other aspect of your yoga practice, can take time, but know that the time needed can be different for everyone. So, depending on your fitness level, body type and other factors, you may feel more flexible in one week, or it could take months to see any gains. The important thing is to stick with your dedicated practice and to make small modifications that will keep it challenging. For example, if you usually practice in yogi socks, try hitting the mat barefoot to see if that enhances your ability to get into goal postures. Going barefoot during yoga is a good method for strengthening your feet and aligning your body, but some research also suggests that kicking off those shoes and socks for yoga may also strengthen your brain.
To really deepen your understanding of yoga, and your practice, you have to practice patience. It takes time to truly develop all of the beneficial habits involved with a dedicated yoga practice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make small modifications in the meantime. After all, yoga is also about adapting to change, so challenge yourself with changes to your practice.
About the author
Full-time life coach. Left the corporate world to help promote the simple notion of self-care. He is helping people find ways to put their wellness above all else.