How to Get Better At Yoga - An Instructors Guide

How to Get Better At Yoga - An Instructors Guide

You just started yoga and feel like theres no hope to improve? You're wrong - improvement comes every time you get to the mat, whether you realize it or not. Changes are small and incremental and you may not understand how far you have come until you take a step back further down the path.  Improving your yoga practice involves a combination of dedication, consistency, and mindful progression. Here are some practical tips to enhance your yoga journey:

Commit to Regular Practice:

   - Establish a consistent schedule that fits your lifestyle, whether it's daily, a few times a week, or weekly. 

   - Consistency is key to progress in yoga. Even if you are just showing up on your mat for 10 minutes, create a habit you can't live without. 

  - Get a buddy to hold you accountable in your goals

Find a Qualified Instructor:

   - Attend classes taught by experienced instructors who can guide you through proper alignment and technique. If you're being taught postures the wrong way, you could be causing inflammation and discomfort to your body and joints (plus, not learning the moves correctly). 

   - If  you have bodily injuries or need advice specific to your body, think about getting a few personal 1 on 1 lessons. 

Focus on Breath Awareness:

   - Pay attention to your breath during each pose. Smooth, deep breathing helps in relaxing and focusing the mind.

   - Coordinate your breath with movements (e.g., inhale to lengthen, exhale to deepen into a stretch).

Listen to Your Body:

   - Respect your body's limitations and avoid pushing yourself into pain or discomfort.

   - Modify poses as needed and gradually work towards more challenging variations.

Work on Strength and Flexibility:

   - Incorporate strength-building poses (e.g., plank, warrior poses) to build muscle and stability.

   - Include flexibility-focused poses (e.g., forward bends, hip openers) to improve range of motion.


Practice Mindfulness and Meditation:

   - Yoga is not just about physical postures but also about mental and emotional balance. 

   - Incorporate meditation or mindfulness practices to enhance overall well-being and concentration. Here is a blog post about the Spiritual Benefits of Yoga

Stay Hydrated and Nourished:

   - Drink water before and after your practice to stay hydrated.

   - Focus on what you put into your body - supplements, powders, quality of water, quality of food etc. 

   - Eat a balanced diet (specific to your personal nutritional needs, immune responses etc) that will support your energy levels and muscle recovery.

Set Realistic Goals:

   - Define specific, achievable goals for your yoga practice, such as mastering a challenging pose or improving flexibility.

   - Celebrate your progress along the way.

Be Comfortable in Your Practice:

   - If you are just starting out to yoga, find a good yoga outfit that you feel comfortable and can move freely. If you are just starting out you can use just one outfit and evaluate what you are needing out of your yoga clothes. 

   - Yoga pants should form to your body and be able to stretch with you in the movements. Look for a pair made with quality fabric that is breathable and has a soft waistband and a gusset for free range of movements. 

   - Yoga Tops: Find a supportive yoga tank top and/or yoga sports bra for your practice. If you are doing a heated practice, find clothing for hot yoga that is breathable and lightweight. 

Have a Personal Yoga Mat that is Your Space: 

   - We all have that favorite blanket we enjoy watching movies on the couch with, right? The same goes for your yoga mat. Having one that you feel like you've bonded with will allow you to feel comfortable and excited to get on your mat. 

   - Get one that is personal to your needs: get a non-slip one if you sweat a lot, extra thick if you have achy joints, extra long if you are tall.  Learn how to clean your yoga mat to preserve the longevity. 

Use Props Wisely:

   - Yoga Props like blocks, straps, and bolsters can assist in maintaining proper alignment and making poses more accessible.

   - Don't hesitate to use them to deepen your practice safely.

Practice Patience and Persistence:

   - Improvement in yoga takes time and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate every little win!

   - Embrace the journey and enjoy the process of learning and exploring your body's capabilities. 

By integrating these tips into your yoga routine, you can gradually enhance your practice and experience deeper physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. Remember, yoga is a personal journey, so honor your progress and enjoy the transformation it brings to your life.



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