Read these 14 Yoga Practice Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Yoga tips and hundreds of other topics.
When you're starting out, the important thing to focus on during your yoga practice is the balance between body and mind. You want to perform poses to the best of your ability, without stress or strain, and to remember to breathe. Your flexibility and the duration you can hold positions will increase over time.
There are several yoga stretches that are perfect to do at the office. Here is just one, but it's very effective! Sit up tall in your chair, or if possible stand up. Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers, turn the palms to the ceiling. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale extend your side torso and take the tips of the shoulder blades into the body. Take another deep breath. As you exhale, stretch to the right, inhale, come up, and exhale then stretch to the left.
"Your edge" is a phrase you may hear in practice. Did you ever wonder what it means?
Well, basically, what it means is that you feel physically challenged – BUT - you are still able to maintain a steady breathing rhythm.
Beginners find this difficult. If you're an intermediate or advanced student, you can improve your practice by always trying to reach “your edge.”
One great motivator for practicing yoga is good health and a sense of well being.
Making yoga a part of each day, even for a short period, helps keep you more in tune with your physical and mental condition. You see and feel positive changes. This awareness, in turn, motivates you to continue.
One of the great things about yoga is that you can really practice it anywhere. All you need is a flat surface and enough room to move around.
The best location is one where it's quiet and you can practice without distraction. The temperature should be comfortable – not too hot or cold. A mat or rug can help provide a non-slip surface.
It's very important for beginners to practice with an instructor.
Although it is possible to learn yoga without instruction, the benefits of a teacher are significant. For example, a teacher can show the proper way to move into positions, and proper alignment once you're in the position. A teacher can also help you make minor adjustments that will improve the benefits you gain from a position.
It's definitely important not to stress or strain during your practice. If any position causes pain or discomfort, ease back on what you're doing or stop completely. You should NOT feel pain or discomfort.
Always be safe and do only what feels comfortable to YOU. Each person is different; in yoga you can celebrate that difference.
A good balanced practice should include some of each of the following types of poses:
- Standing postures
- Seated postures
- Prone postures (facing floor)
- Supine postures (back to the floor)
Remember, to practice using the pose/counterpose principle and to balance both sides of the body.
Yoga retreats have many benefits including:
- a time to reconnect with yourself without everyday distractions
- interaction with other like-minded people
- physical and mental relaxation
- improved awareness and a sense of calm/peace
- learn more or improve physical aspects of practice
- opportunity to try different practices
- a chance for meditation and quiet contemplation
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|