Author: Sheila Johnson
Image courtesy of Unsplash
Yoga is a practice that offers multiple benefits for your health. By practicing yoga, you not only work on your posture, strength, and flexibility, but also improve your breathing, relaxation, and meditation. Some studies have linked yoga to reduced pain, reduced stress levels, lowered risk of heart disease and decreased back pain. What’s more, it’s an opportunity to align your mind, body, and spirit. With the following tips, you can make the most out of your yoga practice.
Find the Right Yoga Teacher
With the increased popularity of yoga, anyone can take an online course and call themselves a “professional” without prior experience with other people’s bodies. Your first step should be to align yourself with a professional yoga trainer. When looking for an instructor, Verywell Fit suggests finding a teacher that is registered with internationally recognized standards. You can browse online for potential trainers in your area, and request credentials and references before committing.
It would be best if you also looked for a trainer that offers the classes you need. If you are looking for a restorative class, a rigorous yoga class will not work for you. There are different types of yoga, each catering to different needs. Lastly, find a yoga instructor you can approach and feel comfortable with. If you aren’t at peace with your choice, move on to someone else.
Alternatively, you can find a class online that you can stream. Many yoga instructors will share their sessions online, allowing you to practice yoga from the comfort of your home or office. With a simple, user-friendly media device and wifi connection, you’ll be ready to enjoy yoga.
To take things further, consider engaging in a retreat. By immersing yourself in yoga with other enthusiasts and a qualified instructor, it’s a chance to grow stronger in your practice and develop a fuller personal and spiritual connection. Whether you typically take classes in a studio or practice at home, it’s an opportunity to take things to another, richer level.
Set Your Yoga Goals
Yoga provides various benefits, and your goals may be physical, mental, spiritual or emotional – or better unification of those aspects. Yoga Journal points out that having goals will guide you in your trainer selection process and ensure you work toward your aspirations. For example, if you intend to enjoy the restorative benefits of practicing yoga, your goal may be to practice 20 minutes of restorative yoga every day.
To ensure you meet your daily goals, consider setting weekly or monthly goals on your smartphone. You’ll receive reminders that will motivate you to work toward your goal every day. You can also consider downloading yoga apps that offer instructions on how to practice safe yoga, provide workout plans, and have access to a yoga community to keep you motivated.
Meditate Instead of Zoning Out
Yoga incorporates meditation which has tremendous benefits on your mental health. As a beginner, meditating for five minutes is an excellent way to start. Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not about stopping the thinking process, but instead, observing sensations. Consider meditation an opportunity to be still and connect. As you practice yoga and work on your breathing, focus on meditating to let relaxation take over.
Meditation does not have to be boring. You can incorporate gentle, uplifting music by streaming, and diffuse essential oils to enhance the atmosphere. And if you need something aside from music, you can also stream instructions or podcasts from yoga instructors that will help you relax and meditate.
Yoga is a useful tool for enhancing body flexibility and reducing stress levels. When coupled with breathing and meditation, yoga improves your overall mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Using online tools to find professional yoga instructors, stream music and yoga videos, and set practical goals will help you reap the full benefits of yoga.
Now that self-care is a daily priority, Sheila spends time with friends, goes on weekly dates with her husband, takes yoga classes, practices meditation, and hits the gym. She created wellsheila.net as a place to not only share her story, but inspire others to put their physical and mental health first with a regular wellness routine and daily self-care.