Practicing yoga is giving you more than just some stretching and releasing exercises to do in your free time-it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s making a huge difference in the lives of many people. With more and more people around the world getting interested in yoga, it’s good to know how to use it more effectively so you can get the most benefit from it.
Yoga, after all, is different from other exercises in that it’s meant to promote relaxation and mental clarity. As you spend more time on your yoga mat, you may notice that you need some tips on how to get the most out of your yoga experience.
Find a yoga style and teacher that resonates with you.
With so many different styles of yoga available, it’s important to find one that feels right for you. If you’re not sure where to start, ask friends or family members for recommendations, or try out a few different classes or teachers until you find a good fit. Attend each new class with an open mind.
If you’re looking for a physical workout, consider a more active style of yoga such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa. If you’re more interested in relaxation and stress relief, try a gentler style such as Hatha or Yin.
Your goal should be to find a yoga instructor that not only excites you about practicing yoga, but also shares their best tips on how to become better at yoga every day!
Set realistic goals free of expectations.
If you’re new to yoga, it’s important to set realistic goals for your practice. Don’t expect to be able to do complex poses or flows right away – focus on gradually building your strength, flexibility, and stamina over time.
Set up your space and get on your mat.
If you’re not in a class with other yoga students make sure you have a comfortable, quiet space to practice yoga. If possible, find a space that has good ventilation and natural light for your yoga session.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
One of the most important things to remember when practicing yoga is to not compare yourself to others. Everyone is at a different place in their practice, so it’s important to focus on your own progress and not worry about what anyone else is doing.
If you have some anxiety about this, you can always start doing yoga at home which can help you get comfortable with the poses without the self-conscious sensation of stress from being new and in a class.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Before starting a yoga class, choose clothing that is comfortable and breathable. Avoid clothing that is tight or restrictive. Yoga is typically done in bare feet, so there is no need to wear shoes.
Breathe and relax.
One of the most important aspects of yoga is the breath. Inhaling and exhaling deeply can help you focus and relax your mind and body. If you find yourself getting stressed or tense during your practice, take a few deep breaths and try to let go of any negative thoughts or feelings.
Take your time and be patient.
Like with anything else in life, yoga takes time and patience. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately – the important thing is to stick with it and enjoy the journey.
Yoga is a great way to improve your physical and mental health. There are many different types of yoga, so you can find a style that suits your needs and interests.
Things to know about your yoga practice beyond asana
Yoga originated in the spiritual tradition of Hindu India over 3000 years ago. Its origins are very humble and it was a spiritual practice that aimed to connect one’s body and mind together. The physical postures (asana) were not the end goal; they were developed as preparation for even more advanced meditation techniques, with the ultimate aim being enlightenment through learning self-discipline, patience, and compassion (the “yoga” part).
Serious practitioners of yoga are more likely to enjoy a more robust yoga practice than just casual exercise. Studying and practicing other components of yoga, like meditation, breathwork (pranayama), chanting, and yamas/niyamas – will introduce you to the vast world of yoga beyond asana. And understanding poses as they relate to the higher purpose of yoga will only enhance your physical practice.”
The more we understand how poses relate to serving the higher purpose of yoga, the easier it is to appreciate the individual nuances that make up the bigger picture in terms of physical postures!
Learning about yoga comes from more than your yoga teacher
There are thousands of years of documentation on yoga that go way beyond the downward dog pose. Learning more about the roots of the practice can enrich your connection to the practice!
Read more about yoga
The Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika are known as philosophical and religious texts that encompass the knowledge and understanding of yoga. Of course, some of these texts tend to get long and incredibly dense for many people – but even reading about or learning excerpts from them can help introduce students to the history behind yoga.
These books are very long but they provide some interesting insights into yoga, its roots, and how it’s been adapted over the years.
Find yoga workshops and seminars near you
While learning from teachers is an excellent way to deepen your practice, it’s also a good idea to tune into other types of classes like special workshops or seminars. Many studios provide a variety of surprise classes for students that are literally out of this world and aren’t offered on a regular basis during the rest of the yoga schedule. Topics like meditation, breathwork, chanting, and philosophy can help you dive deeper into subjects and gain more insight into things like spiritual healing and attaining inner peace.
It’s especially important for beginners to seek out opportunities to learn and engage with their practice outside of the typical class environment. Instructor-led courses are great, but they cover general topics that might not apply directly to your individual beliefs or concerns.
We hope that our yoga tips we shared really do help you get the most out of your yoga practice. It’s not just about different poses and breathing exercises. It’s about growing as a person and being able to fully experience the moment instead of worrying about work, family, or anything else that takes you away from the now.