Taking a journey down the yogic path is an individual exploration of self. Everyone’s journey is unique, as is what they take away from the journey. Along your way, you can share the tools and skills of your instructors and friends to help you improve your practice. At Water and Rock Studios, we offer yoga classes in Manhattan, Burlington, and Philadelphia, tailored to help you along your yogic path. Our instructors offer up these easy ways to improve your yoga practice, take a look!
Consistency is Key
As with most skills, you’ll see the most improvement when you practice them consistently. Committing to regular yoga classes and sessions is the easiest way to see the improvements you seek. How often you practice is up to you, your current set of skills, and your level of fitness. We’ve found that students who can commit to at least three yoga sessions a week start to see the most improvements in their strength, flexibility, and concentration.
Of course, getting to a studio three times a week can be challenging. Fortunately, we offer both online, and in-home private yoga sessions with our personal instructors. Classes like these offer you the kind of consistency you need to quickly improve your skills.
Quiet Your Mind Before You Begin Practicing
For many, yoga acts as a chance to refine their sense of focus and concentration. It’s the actual act of stretching and posing that helps them quiet their mind. However, our students find that when they take the time to find their focus before they begin practicing, each session takes them further.
If you’re struggling to quiet your mind, you can try a few simple tricks. Start by taking deep, slow breaths. Being intentional about your breathing allows you to focus on that instead of what you need to get from the grocery store later. Next, let go of self-judgment. Especially for beginners, yoga can leave some feeling self-conscious about whether they’re getting the pose right or not. Allow yourself to move and stretch and trust your instructor to guide you toward mastering each pose.
Set Goals and Track Your Progress
All of our students want to improve not just their yoga practice, but themselves as well. It only makes sense then to track your progress as you practice. Many of our students have begun setting specific goals for their practice and monitoring their progress through a journal. It allows them to record when they practice and what they worked on. Having a record like this allows you to identify opportunities for growth, and areas you may need more time to develop.
Enjoy a Private Class
Taking a private course, be it at a studio, online, or in your home, does more than simply keep you consistent in your practice. It’s also a great chance to get one-on-one time with an instructor. This gives you the opportunity to get specific feedback on your form. Your instructor will highlight your strengths and offer you ways to improve your weaknesses. Especially when paired with a journal or training goal, taking a private course can quickly lead to improvements in your yoga practice.
Often when our instructors encourage students to dress comfortably, they get the wrong idea. There’s no denying that the big pillowy sweater you wear around the house is comfy, but it’s not comfortable for yoga. Clothing that hangs or drapes of your body might look nice but can make it difficult to actually practice yoga in. We suggest finding clothing that fits and breathes well. This allows you to move with confidence and ensures that you won’t get caught up in any extra fabric. Of course, you don’t want the opposite either. If your clothing is too tight, you’ll worry about everything staying in place.
Join the Community
The number of people practicing yoga is increasing faster than ever before. While you might not see it at your studio, there are tons of people to connect and engage with through yoga. This makes it easy to learn from others in a less structured way. Joining a forum, following other yogis on social media, or even just forming friendships at the yoga studio is a great way to keep yoga at the front of your mind. When you’re actively and often thinking about yoga, you’ll be more inspired to improve your practice. The community can also encourage and support you as you refine your practice, offering useful tips and even acting as a sounding board when you face challenges.
Practice Self-Care and Self-Love
Practicing is a great way to take care of yourself, but that shouldn’t stop once you step off the mat. One of the best ways to improve your yoga practice is to take the time to improve yourself. Make sure you eat healthy foods and hydrate often. Make time for yourself and your mental health — self-care goes a long way in helping you excel in all areas of your life.
In the same vein, self-love can help you and your yoga practice. It’s easy to be our own worst critics when it comes to something as nuanced as yoga. But rather than being harsh to yourself about how that last pose looked, instead, look at setbacks and mistakes as an opportunity for growth and learning. Reframing these thoughts in a positive light can make them more accessible and attainable, helping you stay committed to your practice.