By Ntathu Allen
Are you interested in yoga? Has your partner recently started yoga lessons? Maybe your doctor has suggested you take up yoga as a form of stress management.
Yoga, is a holistic health care system. It consists of a series of yoga stretches, known as asanas or poses, meditation techniques, breathing exercises and relaxation. Together, these techniques give your body a complete overhaul and calms and clears your mind. At the end of a yoga lesson you are blissed out, chilled and relaxed.
Yoga clients love the post yogic glow. Because of this I am often asked for tips and advise to improve their yoga experience.
Here are seven key things you can do, which will help to deepen your yoga experience.
Enhance Your Yoga Experience With These Tips
1. Relax. Take two-five cycles of deep breathing between poses. This allows your body to fully absorb the benefits of each pose and prepares you for the next pose.
2. Practice. Practice makes perfect. When you get home, make a note of any tips or techniques you learned in your lesson. Maybe your yoga teacher reminded you to lengthen up through your spine before twisting in the Spinal Twist. Little pointers like this help you to get the maximum benefit from your lesson.
3. Conscious Breathing. Stay focused on your breathing as your body moves and stretches into the poses. Deep breathing helps to keep you focused during your lessons; relieves tension in your body, and brings calmness to your mind.
4. Wear clean light colored clothes. If possible, set aside a few light colored outfits to wear when you practice or attend lessons. Everything in life is energy. The clothes you wear for practice will, over time, become energized and attuned to your body ‘s subtle energetic qualities. When you put on your “yoga clothes” your mind becomes attuned and prepared for practice.
5. Give Thanks. The art of appreciation and gratitude underpins all yoga practices. During your yoga lesson spend a few minutes in silence to give thanks for the teachings, your body, your health and well being. This opens and deepens your connection to spirit.
6. Listen to your Body. During your practice take time to listen to the sensations and movements you can feel in your body. Yoga encourages body awareness and alignment. During the course of your day you may not be aware of your posture, aches and pains. When you become more aware of what is going on inside your body, it is easier for you to adapt and adjust to the poses.
7. Look back and remember how far you have come. Yoga is a journey. Each time you practice, your body and mind becomes stronger and more flexible. Take time every now and then to reflect and look back on how far you have come. Do you remember how stiff or inflexible your hips and shoulders were when you first started, or how you struggled to get into the Tree pose? It is easy to forget just how well you are doing and how far you have come.
Learning yoga is a lifetime journey. Whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned yogi, the seven tips above – relax, breathe, practice, wear light colored clothing, give thanks, listen to your body and remember to acknowledge how far you have come, are useful strategies to adopt to help you enhance and deepen your yoga experience.
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From Ntathu Allen, The Yoga For Stress Management Consultant