Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Are you searching for ways to reach the next level in your yoga practice? Sometimes, the simplest ideas can yield the biggest results. Read on for some easy and effective strategies to keep your practice growing and evolving.
Whether you feel your yoga practice has stalled out, your motivation has waned, or you simply want to see more progression, the addition of something new can be invigorating. With that in mind, consider switching up your regimen.
One idea is to test drive new poses to push yourself in a fresh direction. To ease you through it, look for online videos, which will guide you through different poses. YouTube is a great resource. From beginners to seasoned veterans, there is something for everyone.
Heat Things Up
Have you considered a hot yoga class? Designed to keep things moving and grooving, hot yoga uses strength boosting poses performed in quick succession. With the elimination of recovery time, it’s a workout that’s both intense and powerful.
Know in advance that you will sweat profusely, but that’s actually a good thing. As Healthline explains, sweating can help your body remove unwanted chemicals, heavy metals, and bacteria. It’s a natural detox worth embracing, although you should go into class well-prepared, both in terms of hydration and equipment.
With all that sweating, some experts suggest drinking one to 1.5 liters of water before class to avoid dehydration and consider creating your own electrolyte-infused water to bring along. You can use a pinch of salt and wedge of lemon, or just drink coconut water, which has the same electrolytes found in common sports beverages.
The Benefits of Going Bare
Do you normally practice yoga barefoot? Many people leave socks on or even wear shoes, but going barefoot can strengthen the muscles in your feet. It can also be particularly helpful to people who experience pain in their arches. What’s more, socks will slide on smooth floors, making it hard to maintain your poses. If you do elect to wear socks, look for some that provide grippy bottoms, like YogaAddict’s Non-Slip Skid Socks.
More Is Often More
How frequently do you practice yoga? If you currently only practice when you attend weekly classes, adding more sessions could bring the breakthrough you desire. As Livestrong points out, there is nothing wrong with weekly yoga, but practicing more often -- and in a different style -- can mean boosting benefits overall, such as added strength, flexibility, and balance. Remember, however, that one class per week is plenty in the beginning. As your body gets used to stretching and moving, you can practice three or more times each week. Regardless of your experience or physical condition, listen to your body. It will let you know when you’ve gone too far.
Consider setting up part of your home as your own yoga studio and meditation space. Look for an area that is out of the way, allowing you to relax, stretch out, and focus. Once you find an ideal spot, equip it so you look forward to using it. Select a comfortable mat and, if you do lengthy meditations, make sure you have a blanket to keep your muscles from getting chilled. You might also find that your living room works well, especially if you watch YouTube videos for inspiration and instruction. If you don’t have a way to connect your TV to the net, look for a smart TV, which has online capabilities. (Check for deals before you drop hundreds of dollars too much!)
Round things out with essential oils that set you up for success. Scent can be a powerful addition to your regimen. Consider a blend of basil, rosemary, and lime for clarity and energy, or rosemary, lavender, and orange for calm and relaxation. Choose something that will enhance your space, and think about what kind of diffuser you prefer. There is everything from reed diffusers to ultrasonic versions, depending on your needs and lifestyle.
There are simple strategies that can bring a big boost to your yoga practice. Consider trying something new, taking a hot yoga class, going barefoot, or practicing more often. Soon, you’ll see your practice evolving by leaps and bounds!