Elevate Your Yoga Practice With These Pro Strategies (That You Can Begin Using Right Away)
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Having a home yoga practice can be incredibly rewarding. Regularly practicing yoga can provide numerous physical health benefits (including improved heart health), and mental health benefits (such as decreased anxiety symptoms). If you’ve been practicing for a while now and have started to get bored with your normal routine, you may want to consider shaking things up a bit. Introducing the right tools, technology, and mindset can do wonders.
Unsure as to how you can take your yoga practice to the next level? Here are some helpful strategies that you can begin using right away, courtesy of Lotys Shop.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
You’ve likely heard the quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, “comparison is the thief of joy.” In all facets of life — including yoga — this is 100 percent accurate. Your at-home practice is your own. In order to derive as much joy and pleasure out of it, don’t compare yourself to friends, family members, or the Insta influencers striking “perfect” poses.
To help you avoid the comparison game, begin using positive affirmations. Whether using an app, a journal, or sticky notes, choose three to five affirmations to write and repeat to yourself. State your affirmation as if it is something that is already true — even if it is a goal for the future. Select affirmations that resonate with you and that will positively influence your mindset.
Give Yourself Permission to Practice For as Little as Seven Minutes
Life is busy, which means that there will be days when you can barely fit in a few minutes for yourself. Thankfully, you don’t have to practice yoga for a long time to experience the benefits. In fact, practicing for as little as seven minutes can reduce your stress levels and heighten your overall sense of calm and tranquility.
To keep yourself on track, use your phone’s timer to let you know when seven minutes have elapsed. You can even look for YouTube videos and apps with brief, guided yoga sessions. By sticking to attainable goals that suit your lifestyle, you’ll be far more likely to continue your yoga practice long term.
Create the Ideal Practice Area
To get the most out of your quick yoga sessions, prep your area in advance. Make it a habit to keep your regular yoga space clean, clutter-free, and organized. This will help ensure a positive flow of energy — and reduce the risk of negative thoughts and emotions — when you’re practicing yoga. Also, aromatherapy can help transport your mind to a more peaceful place almost instantly. Purchase an essential oil diffuser, and use oils that are ideal for your yoga practice and your session goals.
If you need to create a new area in your home for practice, find an unused space where you can comfortably focus. You don’t need a large space, but it should offer plenty of room so that you can use your mat and any necessary props. Before you lay anything down, clean the area thoroughly, and this includes any carpeting. The last thing you want is to inhale dust mite dander or other debris when you’re in downward dog. Believe it or not, most furniture cleaners offer carpet cleaning, but to find a reputable service you need to search for upholstery cleaners near me, and use a site like Angi to zero in on trustworthy local pros.
Set an Intention/Goal
Setting an intention and/or goal for your yoga practice is powerful. Whether for a single session — or for your practice as a whole — your intention can be any word that helps elevate your awareness, and that gives added meaning to every move. Intentions are also intended to be something that you take with you off the mat into your daily life. Alongside your intention, you can also set achievable goals for your practice. You can decide how often you want to practice, and the duration you’d like for each session. To improve this habit, use an app on your phone to set and achieve the weekly/monthly goals for your yoga practice.
Meditate Instead of Zoning Out
If it is sometimes hard for you to be present while practicing yoga, you aren’t alone. When you don’t know where to place your thoughts, your mind can wander or you can zone out. Instead of allowing this to happen, practice being present by meditating. Meditation can further elevate your practice by bringing you an added sense of awareness, acceptance, and tranquility.
Stress is the antithesis of yoga, which is part of why we are drawn to this practice. But we can still get stressed out about our actual practice, even if we aren’t comparing ourselves to others. When trying to land an advanced posture or getting frustrated because we are off balance on any given day, it’s easy to let the mind take over. Instead, remember why you’re practicing yoga. You can also put your stress to work for you! Rather than fussing at yourself, you can become more motivated to achieve those top-level postures.
You don’t have to purchase fancy equipment or spend hours learning to enhance your at-home yoga practice. By implementing the strategies above, you can delve deeper into your practice, and get the most out of every session.
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