By Ntathu Allen
Yoga is a personal journey. Everyone comes to yoga for a different reason. The word “success” means different things to different people. For me it means how calm and peaceful I am when under stress. For you, it may mean losing a couple of pounds or feeling more comfortable in your clothes.
I discovered yoga whilst pregnant with my first daughter. I was stressed, overworked and tired. My mid-wife recommended I take up yoga to relieve some of the pressure I was under – mainly from working in a stressful job as a Probation Officer and driving 30 miles to and from work every day.
That was over 17 years ago.
Can you remember what led you to yoga?
Since then I have practiced yoga on and off for the last ten years. I also teach yoga. So from a personal and professional perspective I am always looking for ways to improve my practice and offer tools and tips to encourage my students to stay with their practice.
Ntathu’s Seven Simple Favourite Ways To Improve Your Yoga Practice.
Here, in no particular order are seven simple habits for you to consider to help you receive more from your yoga practice.
1. Treat Each Day As A New Day
Yoga is not a competitive sport. It is a personal journey and no two days are alike. The minute you start judging, analysing and comparing yourself to others or even how you well you did a pose yesterday, you lose the essence of your practice. One of my yoga teachers taught me to treat each time you come to your mat as if it were the first time.
2. Practice Daily
Regular practice is essential. Try to practice at least once a day, even if its only taking two minutes when you wake and sit in silent meditation.
3. Keep It Real
Yoga is a deeply spiritual practice yet full of practical knowledge. Find out what works for you and keep it real and relevant to your daily life.
4. Honor The Teachings.
Yoga has a rich and long history. Take time to explore the different yoga traditions and philosophy. The Yoga Sutras, will enliven your mind and give you practical tools to ground your practice and keep your mind alive and vital.
5. Be Open and Explore
There are many schools and traditions of yoga. Yet the essence is the same. To unite with the divine. As you journey through your life you will have ample opportunity to dip in and taste other schools of yoga. This adds variety and depth to your personal practice and keeps your body supple and mind active.
6. Meditate, Chant and Breathe
Meditation, chanting and breathing exercises (known as Pranayama) are key ingredients of a well rounded yoga practice.Take time to learn how to chant, to meditate and practice breathing exercises alongside your physical practice.
7. Give Generously of Yourself
Yoga is a self less act of love you gift to yourself. The more you practice and adapt the teachings to your daily life, the easier it becomes for you to see and feel the difference yoga makes to your life.
Success is a very personal term and like good health is a variable which varies from day to day. If yoga is part of your health and wellbeing plan then to improve your practice, regularly practice is important, then take time to study the history and theory of yoga, be open, generous with the time you allow yourself to practice and do not compare yourself to others.
The more you adapt these habits into your daily life the easier it becomes to “feel successful” when you practice yoga.
And now I invite you to find out how easily you can weave core yoga techniques into your busy schedule when you visit http://www.yogainspires.co.uk and sign up for your FREE weekly Ntathu’s 101 Yoga Tips For Self-Care, Less Stress and More Relaxation e-newsletter at http://www.yogainspires.co.uk
Yoga Teacher, Ntathu Allen, teaches busy working women how to release stress and anxiety so you have more time, energy and space to care for yourself, enjoy being with your family and feel creative and productive at work.
Wishing you joy, peace and light.