It’s no surprise that regularly practicing yoga brings a host of mental and physical benefits. However, as yoga has become a more ‘popular’ workout, many people find themselves practicing it just because it’s a well-known form of exercise. If you’re a casual yogi, you may be missing out on getting the full benefit of your yoga time. After all, if you’re going to spend the time doing yoga, why not get the most ‘bang for your buck?’ You can get more out of your yoga class or your at-home yoga practice by trying out some of these timely tips:
Schedule It and Prioritize It
If you take a look at your calendar or planner, chances are that you’ll find that your important meetings and appointments are already written in. Your calendar is perhaps the most clear way to tell which activities and people you prioritize in your life. So, if you want to get the most out of your yoga, pencil it into your calendar. Determine which classes you’ll be attending at your local yoga studio and add them into your planner with the finality that you’d use for an important meeting. If you are practicing yoga at home using a streaming service (or your own personal yoga knowledge), don’t assume that you’ll simply fit in your practice whenever you have a moment. Write your at-home yoga practice into your schedule as well.
Leave Other Thoughts Out of It
The physical act of a yoga practice will help you to sculpt lean muscles, get stronger and become more flexible. However, you can see better physical gains if you make sure that you are fully focused when it’s time to do yoga. Whether you’re attending a class or doing some sun salutations at home, research has shown that better physical benefits are achieved when your mind is paying attention to the muscles you are using and the poses you are moving through. You can also get more peace of mind and mental health benefits if you are present when doing yoga. Allowing yourself to really listen to your yoga teacher or feel tension leaving your body lets you leave your yoga practice in a state of true bliss.
Do the Breath Work
Sure, you can get through an entire yoga class or practice just by completing the poses when you are supposed to. But, if you forget the breath practices or sequences that go along with those poses, you miss out on achieving the full potential of your yoga time. Syncing up your inhalation and exhalation with the parts of each pose (or the movements between poses) helps your muscles to get the maximal impact from your yoga workout. Breathing according to your yoga teacher’s instructions also helps you to feel calmer. Research shows that spending periods of time in deep breathing can lessen your anxiety, as well as promote both physical and mental health in the long run.