Contributing Author: Claire Hastings is Australian designer, writer and regular contributor at ripped.me. She’s been writing as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, her cat and now yoga. Social media links: facebook, twitter.
For most of us, yoga is our own little slice of heaven, our way to escape the daily grind. We come to it after a long, stressful day, eager to indulge in our favourite stances and finally let go of tension. However, sometimes it’s not enough to just get our yoga mats out and exercise because our minds are swirling with worries, and we can’t seem to get rid of the anxiety. But there are ways to make the practice more effective, and none of them are beyond your reach. Even the most experienced of us could stand to learn a new trick or two in order to perfect our yoga ritual and make it even more blissful and relaxing.
Always practice proper form
The benefits of yoga are well known. From helping with back pain and depression, to making you more strong and agile, yoga can transform your life and make it much better than you ever thought possible. But this only happens if you do it properly. Never, ever slack off – proper form is essential, because if you don’t do it properly, what is meant to heal will harm you instead. Either do it the way it’s meant to be done, or not at all. So, straighten up, breathe deeply and go through all the motions slowly, paying attention to your every move.
While physically challenging, there’s more to yoga than just the exercise. You can absolutely use it only to shape up and become flexible or as therapy for various aches, but if you want the full experience, then you need to embrace the potent power of meditative yoga. Choose an ancient mantra that you love and as you chant it and go through your asanas, let it soothe you.
Create a peaceful atmosphere
The best way to stick to doing something is to become passionate about it. Create a space that will let you turn your yoga routine into something personal and comforting. Make your special yoga corner and arrange it so that every time you come to exercise, you are immediately lulled into a dreamy, peaceful state. You can practice inside and surround yourself with soft pillows and warm colors, silken scarves and healing energy stones. However, if you like to do yoga outside, you can do it under some Tibetan prayer flags, which are meant to help the wind carry your prayers since they have a long, sacred tradition in Tibetan culture.
Make new friends
Everything is more fun when you have company to go along with it. Whenever you go to your yoga classes make sure to talk to other people and bond. Your friends are probably bored of your incessant, excited yoga chatter, so find other people who share your interests and encourage each other. It always helps to have a good community behind your back.
You know that first moment when someone showed you a few simple yoga stances and you thought, wow, this is idiot-proof, anyone can do it. Then you tried doing it and realized that oh damn, yoga is hard. When we actually get into it, it can become very difficult and we think we’ll never reach our goals. But we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves, yoga isn’t meant to make anyone feel inferior or bad. It’s meant to be relaxing and good for your health. So, it’s important to remember to take your time and simply have fun with what you’re doing. If it feels like a chore, you’ll never get anywhere and the added stress of fretting about it will only make things worse. That is definitely not the point of yoga, so chill out, take a deep breath and go at your own pace.
If you’re passionate about doing yoga, or are looking to get into the whole lifestyle, then these tips can definitely help you get more out of your ritual. Learn to listen to your body take cues from it when it comes to pushing yourself to do more, and you won’t have any issues.