Blog written by Emma Grace Brown
Image via Pexels
Have you reached a plateau in your yoga practice? After your routine becomes familiar, it’s easy to lose focus and go through the motions. If your mind is preoccupied with to-do lists and other life concerns, yoga can lose its magic. If this is the case for you, don’t worry – there are tools that can help you overcome stagnation. Ashlee's Crazy Yoga invites you to read on for tips about how to refresh your mind and breathe new life into your yoga practice.
Yoga is a wonderful way to improve health and stamina, but the physical benefits are only half the picture. Yoga trains your mind as much as your body. To boost your mental health, try practicing mindfulness meditation during your yoga routine. Instead of zoning out or chattering to yourself, try to fully experience the present moment. Observe your thoughts and feelings rather than engaging with them. This can relax both the mind and body, as well as bring spiritual depth to your practice. If you’re not sure how to do this, consider taking an online course.
Another important aspect of your practice is your physical space. It can be hard to focus on cultivating mindfulness if your home is a place of stress and distraction. Take a look at where in your home you practice yoga. Is it clean, calm, and clutter-free? Or, are there stressors, interruptions, and tasks competing for your attention? It will be easier to release negativity and find a positive flow if you create a peaceful environment for your yoga practice.
Try not to worry about getting everything right. Your yoga practice is just that – practice. Instead of aiming to replicate the appearance of a specific posture, try to focus on the inner experience of mastering your mind and body. What can you observe and learn about your body? What can you do differently? This creative spirit is not only relaxing but also improves learning.
Consider setting a goal or personal intention to guide your practice – such as working on arm balance postures. To stay motivated, you can use an app on your phone that keeps track of your weekly or monthly progress. As you go through this process, be sure to use yoga props (such as straps, blocks, and bolsters) as needed. Props are not just for beginners; they’re tools to help you on your yoga journey.
One of the benefits of a home practice is that you have the privacy to try (and re-try) movements that are difficult for you. In this environment, you may feel more comfortable taking risks. Shedding the fear of failure and embracing new challenges encourages ”flow” – a state of mind where you’re fully immersed in and enjoying what you’re doing.
Consider trying a progression for an impossible-looking posture. Or, try a style of yoga that is outside your comfort zone. You can even invent your own hybrid of movement and breath. The important thing is to follow the path that inspires you. Just be sure to get the necessary instruction so that you don’t get injured.
Expanding your yoga practice is a journey with no end-point; you can always improve the way you move, think, and exist in the world. However, maintaining that state of growth is easier said than done. Thankfully, yoga tools and online resources make learning more accessible than ever before. Combining these tools with mindfulness, a spirit of experimentation, and the willingness to take risks will help your yoga practice reach the next level.
From yoga to reiki, choose from a variety of classes offered by Ashlee's Crazy Yoga to improve your mind/body connection!