More than exercise, yoga is an experience for your mind, body, and soul. For some, it's an escape from the daily hustle of the world around them. For others, it's an incomparable fitness routine used to improve flexibility, tone muscles, and calm the mind. Here are five tips to take your yoga practice to the next level.
1. Your Media Streaming Device is Your Backup Plan
Using a media streaming device to keep on top of practice sessions means you can participate anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Because it’s portable, you can take it on vacation or on business trips. The beauty of a portable streaming device is that all you have to do is plug it in and you can choose a yoga class or find relaxing music with ease.
With several yoga streaming apps on the market, you can also choose a digital instructor right from your phone and set a daily, weekly, or monthly goal for your practice.
2. Know your Intentions
Intentions and goals may be similar, but they are not the same thing. A goal is restricted by a time frame and a specific outcome. An intention, however, is often intangible. It's more of a personal quality or characteristic that cannot be measured the same way a goal can. Your intentions give you a reason to keep going that goes above and beyond a regular goal, and they can be spiritual in nature as well as physical or mental. This will help you achieve overall wellness, so don’t hesitate to incorporate prayer into your routine.
3. Find a Well-Trained, Enjoyable Teacher
Finding the right teacher for your yoga practice can mean the difference between "Can't I skip it today?" and "I can't wait for my next yoga session!" You need an instructor with the ability to motivate and inspire you into action through your best days and your worst.
Yoga teachers come in many shapes and forms. One instructor may possess an upbeat, energetic personality and is always on the move. Another could display a calmer, more rhythmic demeanor better suited for introverted personalities. It's okay to shop around a bit before you decide who you’d like to learn from.
4. Give Yourself at Least Seven Minutes to Practice
While yoga professionals tend to disagree on the minimum amount of time you should practice every day, it is widely accepted that a short daily yoga practice is highly beneficial. Regularly practicing yoga can improve flexibility and posture. It can reduce stress, help you lose weight, and give you more energy. Yoga can also improve your breathing, boost your mood, and enhance concentration and mental clarity. Daily yoga practice can strengthen your overall health, and even help you live longer.
For all those reasons, amp up your yoga game by integrating it into your daily routine. Working practice into your routine every day can help you stay motivated -- as can incorporating technology like Smartwatches to keep you on track. With a durable Smartwatch, you never have to skip a session because you can follow along with yoga instruction on your phone no matter where you are without disturbing those around you. You can get started with a five-minute routine, which will help you ease practice into your day no matter how busy you are.
5. Meditate Rather than Zoning Out
Yoga has quite a few slow-paced exercises and it can be easy to catch yourself zoning out during your regular routine. Transform your unproductive mind wandering into an opportunity for meditation, a simple way to escape into your mind and concentrate on your present self. This is the perfect way to relieve stress and find your center in a busy world. Learn how you can incorporate meditation into your specific workout.
Taking your yoga practice to the next level can help you de-stress, improve your physical health, and learn how to get in tune with your own body and mind. Once you do that, you can turn your practice into a routine that will aid you in your wellness journey for years to come.
This blog post was written and contributed by James Hall at seniorcarefitness.com.
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Natalie Marnica is a passionate advocate of holistic health and the founder of Sacred Mountain Yoga.