10 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Yoga Practice - dummies

10 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Yoga Practice

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein

Yoga can be a very rewarding experience. Because it is sometimes difficult to see the benefits of your efforts immediately, here are ten tips for growing your Yoga practice into a sturdy, fruit-laden tree.

Understand Yoga

Even if you seek only physical benefits from Yoga, try to take time to learn about its rich philosophical and spiritual foundations. Not only can it improve how you approach your Yoga practice, but it also can add insight to your life.

Set clear and realistic goals

Consider your personal situation carefully and then set your Yoga goals based on your abilities and needs. When you’re realistic, you’re less likely to experience disappointment or guilt when your schedule seems overwhelming, and you’re better able to get back onto the mat when that happens.

Commit yourself to growth

Allow your Yoga practice to transform not only your body, but also your mind. Don’t put a ceiling on your own development or assume that you’re incapable of ever achieving a certain Yoga posture or learning how to meditate. Let Yoga meet you where you are and gently expand you physically and mentally.

Stay for the long haul

To derive the full benefits from Yoga, you have to apply yourself diligently, which also nicely strengthens your character. The longer you practice Yoga, the more enjoyable and beneficial it becomes.

Start with good habits

Cultivate good Yoga habits from the outset. Seek out a qualified Yoga teacher, either in a group class or privately. Use resources as guides to help you gain insight into what you’re doing as you follow the step-by-step instructions.

Vary your routine

You have hundreds of Yoga postures and variations to choose from. When you learn a core set of postures, you can create a different practice each day.

Breathe to increase your awareness

Conscious breathing during Yoga exercises on the mat greatly enhances the effects of your practice on your body and mind, equipping you with the vitality you need to meet the challenges of a busy life off the mat.

Do your best, don’t worry about the rest

Be diligent but relaxed about your Yoga practice. Focus on practicing now, and leave the rest to the power of Yoga, providence, and your good karma.

Allow your body to speak up

Your body is your best friend and counselor. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your bodily instincts.

Share Yoga

Plan to practice Yoga with others until you find your own momentum. Everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time.