One of the most appealing aspects of yoga is that there is always room to grow. No matter what your current level is, you can expand your practice by trying new styles, poses or routines, studying the history and philosophies behind yoga, and taking many other small steps toward progress. Though every yoga enthusiast should look for ways to grow, improve their strength, and boost their flexibility, there are tangible methods and tools to incorporate each day that can deepen and expand your yoga practice.
If you feel like it’s time to go to the next level in yoga, here are some quick tips to get you started:
Consistency is key when it comes to growing in your yoga practice, and you don’t want to miss out on your routine when traveling for work or going on vacation – or if you’re just having a hectic day and can’t get to the studio. That’s where streaming media players can help. Purchasing one of these clever gadgets will enable you to watch instructional videos and practice yoga routines from nearly anywhere. Choose a model that has the plug-and-play capability, and you can stay in your routine even when you’re on the go. You can even find options that are smartphone compatible or use your phone as a hotspot.
Speaking of phones, there are tons of yoga apps on the market to help you reach the next level. For example, Yoga Studio has a comprehensive selection of instructional videos and meditations, and while there are plenty of classes available, the app allows you to build your own by selecting poses. Daily Yoga offers hundreds of step-by-step yoga class plans, as well as a worldwide community to connect with. When you’re pressed for time, 5 Minute Yoga can provide quick and effective yoga sessions. Think about your needs, and you are sure to find an ideal app – or two – to fit the bill.
Along with a yoga mat and comfortable clothes, your sessions may benefit from adding gear such as a bolster, exercise ball and yoga towel. Using bolsters can enhance your posture and achieve more relaxation; this is because a bolster provides additional support so that you can focus on your pose. Likewise, an exercise ball can be used to provide support, and you can even base certain workouts around it. And then there are yoga towels, which can be used to keep sweat from getting in your eyes and on your mat; these come in especially handy during hot yoga sessions, but they can be useful in any kind of session.
Broaden and Deepen
Yoga classes are important, and you should always be open to trying out new classes to gain experience. However, while broadening your practice is essential, deepening your practice is just as important. This is where signing up for a seminar or workshop can prove beneficial. Unlike drop-in classes, seminars and workshops allow teachers more time to cover poses, breathwork, meditation and other topics in greater detail. It’s also a chance to dig deeper into something special that interests you.
Dig in Further
You can go one step further and sign up for a yoga retreat. Retreats typically last for a few days to a week, and they give you the opportunity to disconnect from your normal obligations, connect with nature, learn about yoga in-depth, and get more personalized instruction from teachers. Plus, it’s a great way to meet fellow yogis and build community. When making your selection, DoYouYoga suggests thinking about an inspiring location, like a beach, mountains, or forest, and considering what sort of theme would be instrumental in your growth.
Improving your yoga practice can be done with practical, everyday changes, or with digging deeper during specially focused events. Look into tools and gear that can enhance your sessions, and see if there are any seminars or retreats that fit your goals. Before long, improvement will just be a way of life, and you’ll be realizing more and more benefits to your health and well-being!
Photo Credit: Burst
Written by: Sheila Johnson
P.S. For more on how functional training methods outside of yoga can benefit you, take a look at our overview of functional training here on our site.