Level Up Your Yoga Practice

Guest Article Written by Sheila Johnson

There are tons of benefits to be gained through exercise and fitness. Practicing yoga, however, includes residual health benefits beyond stronger muscles. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, yoga can help relieve stress and manage anxiety. It can also help alleviate back and neck pain. While an increase in confidence and mental stamina are wonderful, it can be tempting to fall out of a regular yoga practice. Keep the daily routine fun and stay committed to it with these tips and tools to level-up your yoga practice.

Use Tech to Your Advantage

To stay true to your yoga practice and advance in it, set a goal that you plan to meet. This can be a weekly goal of meditation minutes or a monthly ideal number of yoga practices. Using your phone to set regular reminders will help you stay on track. Even if you cannot practice as long as you would like, give yourself permission to practice for as little as seven minutes per day.

Another way to advance your yoga practice is to watch yoga videos at home. Traditional classes can be expensive, so if that is out of your price range, there are digital options at your disposal. Origin House of Fitness offers a variety of yoga classes online that can meet the needs of both beginner and advanced yogis.

If you’re going to be practicing yoga at home, your home shouldn’t be filled with clutter and dust as this can encourage negativity and anxiety. A clean, well-lit, and clutter-free space can allow you to relax and focus as you practice.

Develop Mental Stamina

Increasing and improving mental stamina through physical fitness is an important component for furthering your practice. Remember to be present and stay focused, so meditate instead of zoning out while holding a pose. No matter where your mind may wander during yoga, do not let it compare yourself to others. Stay positive and focus on your progress as you set new challenges in your yoga practice.

Breathing through challenging exercises will help you push farther and grow. It is also helpful to breakdown time increments into smaller segments that you find manageable. For example, if your goal is to hold a pose for two minutes, break the time up into 30-second intervals in your mind. Doing this daily will help teach your body and mind how to prevail over its discomfort.

Take Risks

When practicing yoga, leave everything you have on the mat by taking calculated risks and leaving your comfort zone. Mix up your routine with new poses or props. Teaching your body to feel a new pose will keep you from falling into a stale practice.

If those poses are more challenging, you'll find new equipment or tools such as blocks, belts, or towels can help safely support you. Using props can also help you feel more grounded, which may help you relieve anxiety too. Remember to listen to your instructor as they guide you through the pose even after you have settled into it. Their guidance may help you adjust physically or find a new mindset within the pose you found challenging.

Remember that it is okay to fail in a yoga class or at home on your own mat. Failing is simply growth and progression through the mastery of a new challenge. With consistency and dedication, you will succeed a little more each day until you achieve your goals. Stay focused and remember that your body is stronger than you know as you advance your yoga practice.