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When you attend yoga classes, or are practicing yoga at home in your own personal yoga class, remember these two key concepts (one physical and one mental) to help you get more out of any class:
Core Concept: Pull your belly in. During any yoga class, try to use part of your mind to concentrate on pulling your belly button towards the back of your spine. Most teachers will remind students to pull the belly in during different poses, but remind yourself to do it when you start to get tired a certain posture. Not only will it distract you from your hard-working arms and legs, but also pulling your belly in can help you get deeper into a pose. And developing strong core muscles contributes to better posture and overall fitness, not only for yoga but also for the activities of daily life.
Mental Exercise: Focus on the class. Yoga is about focusing inward. Focusing can be tough when the class is crowded or if there is noise from elsewhere in the gym, but instead of complaining, use any distracting noises as challenges to improve your focus. Recognize the distractions and block them out. Listen to the instructor and focus on his or her voice and directions to help block out other sounds. And don't look at your neighbors. It's tempting to look around at what others in the class are doing, but focus on where you are in a pose. If you feel that you are losing your focus, think about your breathing, and breathe deeply and evenly to restore your concentration.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|