In the last few decades, yoga has seen an incremental spike in popularity incomparable to any other form of activity or exercise that people do as a part of their self-care and fitness regime. As of 2015, 21 million adults practice yoga in the United States.
The reasons for this rise in the acceptance and popularity of yoga are many; for some, it is to achieve a quieter mind whereas for others it means a more disciplined body and better mind and body coordination.
Whatever the reasons, everybody who seriously practices yoga understands that it is more than just an exercise, and they want to always become better at it and get the most out of it. It’s interesting to note that Americans spend about 2.5 million dollars annually on a yoga class. Regardless of the type of yoga you do, these are some ways that you can get the most out of your practice (and your buck) right away.
Awaken the Mind and the Body
It’s so important to be fresh and hydrated before heading off to your class. The days when you just get out from the bed and end up in the class, or when you hit the studio right after work, your yoga practice doesn’t just seem effective enough.
Going empty stomach in the morning for an hour long yoga class is another way to just ruin that day’s practice as you will soon lose out the little energy that you had. Drinking enough water and half an hour before and eating a light meal 1hr to 45 minutes before will keep you going steady and strong in the most challenging of the asana.
Detach From Your Favorite Spot in the Room
Often when we take a class for a while, we become so familiar with our favorite spot in the area that we always want to set camp there and when someone comes along and takes our spot, it creates all sorts of annoyed feelings inside. However, it’s good to sometimes just change your spot and feel the new energy that comes with the new location. This action will be something out of your habit and will transform the way your practice feels that day.
Keep Your Cellphone Miles Away!
Or at least outside the room, in the car, or at home where you can’t see it. Keeping your phone away and out of sight will help in curbing your mind from wandering into all the things that you phone represents. It may be your boyfriend or your work. Whatever it is, it can wait because right now it’s your time to totally immerse yourself into your practice.
Reach to Your Yoga Class Early
This act will greatly impact the way you perform in your class because it gives you time, precious time to center and ground yourself, set the intention to have a great lesson and collect all your ricocheting thoughts from the horizons of your mind. You can relax around the studio before everyone else and observe the energy changes that happen as people start coming.
Open Up and Try New Things
Whatever your class’s routine may be, you can always do new things within it to feel more, experience more and get the most out of it. You can roar louder than everyone else during a lion’s breath, OM chant deeper than everyone else or talk to your instructor about how to plant your feet better in the poses where you feel your body is shaking. The point is to not get stuck, or too comfortable but to keep growing, and expanding as much as you can.
For most yoga practitioners and students, yoga is not just an activity to fit in your daily exercise routine to improve your balance or flexibility. It’s more of a lifestyle that penetrates into all the other components of your life. With its calming and relaxing benefits for the mind, its ability to gift us a body which we never knew we had; one that is stronger, energetic and resilient, getting the most out of your yoga is truly a life changing experience.