It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
You might have fallen in love with yoga after your first class. However, two years later, your routine feels a bit stale. What can you do to reignite your passion for your practice?
Because this ancient art incorporates mind and body, you have nearly infinite possibilities for enhancing your routine. Here are five tips for deepening your regular yoga practice.
One of the first things you learn through your practice is how to address your body’s natural variations, leading to improved posture and health. However, doing the same routine every day can create trouble, causing new imbalances to develop. It’s often when you feel like a master that you need instruction the most, as it’s harder to train yourself out of bad habits than develop new, positive ones.
The right yoga guide observes your movements and gently adjusts your postures. For example, they may modify your stance when doing poses like warrior to help you square off your hips and prevent groin injury.
Your guide can also instruct you on general rules for enhancing your practice. For example, you should always warm up your wrists before attempting moves like jumping back into a plank.
You don’t need any music to practice yoga. However, the right selection can enhance your practice and even help you ease pain more effectively than stretching alone.
For example, some small trials confirm the healing effect Tibetan singing bowls have on easing anxiety levels, racing and ruminative thoughts, and stress. Other people turn to solfeggio frequencies, similar to the tones used in Gregorian chants, to produce a positive mental state. Some believe that the vibrational frequencies prompt deep healing at the DNA level.
Yoga takes on a whole new element when you practice outdoors. If you want an experience that makes you weep at the sheer beauty of being alive, try putting your bare feet on a moonlit mountaintop and flowing through some asanas.
Science confirms the benefits of spending more time outdoors, so moving your practice can accelerate how quickly you reap the perks. For example, plants emit phytoncides, chemicals that benefit human immunity — useful during a pandemic and cold and flu season.
Your body also produces natural vitamin D from the sun. If you take your mat outdoors on the perfect summer day, you can recreate Bikram-like conditions, which some practitioners believe help rid your body of toxins.
Herbal tea and yoga go together like peas and carrots. Both are delicious solo, but incorporating a cuppa into your practice can deepen your relaxation.
For example, herbs like chamomile, passionflower and lemon balm invite a sense of calm. Blends such as ginger, turmeric and black pepper ease inflammation, useful to those who turn to their mat to treat chronic pain. A refreshing blend of citrus and green tea helps wake you in the morning, and the theobromine in your brew helps mitigate any caffeine jitters.
A yoga retreat can take your practice to new heights, as long as you can afford the time away from work and the cost. However, you can just as easily DIY a retreat day.
Prepare for your weekend yoga holiday by stocking your fridge with nourishing, organic goodies. Dim your lights, put on your aromatherapy mister and embrace your mat. You can find plenty of videos on YouTube if you prefer a guide for your practice. Spend the day nurturing your body and lounging around in comfy clothes when you aren’t working through asanas.
You might have fallen into a rut if you’ve been a yogi for a while. Fortunately, it isn’t challenging to breathe new life into your routine.
Follow the five tips above for deepening your yoga practice. You’ll enjoy your time on the mat more and reap the benefits.
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