Yoga practice can take many forms- you could attend a weekly hot yoga class to daily Iyengar sessions and still spend five minutes in restorative poses before you go to bed at night. No matter where your yogi journey takes you, there are steps you can take to have a more meaningful practice, both on and off the mat.
1) Get out of your comfort zone: do more than Asana!
Western yoga practices revolve around the asana (physical postures), which is a mistake. Yoga is traditionally more of a spiritual practice that revolves around the mind and body connection more than the physicality of exercise.
In fact asana was developed to help ready your body for meditation- it wasn’t meant to be a practice on tis own. If you really want to deepen your relationship with your yoga practice, studying and practicing other parts of yoga- things like meditation, breath work (pranayama), and the yamas and niyamas will open you to the vast world revolving around yoga (hint: it’s much deeper than asana).
2) Practice Yoga at Home
It’s true- most Western yogis start practicing yoga by attending classes at a gym or studio, but doing yoga in your own space can take your practice to another level. Having the support of a yoga teacher is an incredible experience, but bringing your practice home allows you to develop an intimate connection with yoga.
Practicing at home means that you have the freedom to experiment, spend longer in poses that you absolutely love, and develop a practice tailored to you. New students often shy away from practicing on their own at home because it’s intimidating, but start small. You can begin at home by practicing basic poses, focusing on yin or restorative poses, or even just repeat something from class.
3) Move Slowly Into (and Out Of) Your Yoga Practice
Today’s lifestyle is 100% built on busyness and connectivity. It’s easy to default into running into the class at the last minute before class starts and checking your phone before you even roll your mat back up. We strongly urge our members attending yoga classes at Bethany Athletic Club to show up a few minutes early and get prepared and spend a few minutes after class reflecting and really taking a moment to try and hold onto that post-yoga glow for as long as possible.