Let’s begin this year with my best advice for practicing yoga.
1. Keep mats in every room
This is a pretty interesting development in my house. First of all I have very beautiful mats. They are called “Magic Carpets.” They are so pretty that I decided one day to leave them out, one at the foot at my bed and the other in my living room. Not only did they look very cool and chic, I noticed my urge to hop on it constantly. Right after I shower I started a ritual of doing yoga on my mat while waiting for my lotion/oils to absorb. It has helped me start the day so refreshed and awakened. I also noticed working in my office living room how nice it is to get out of the chair and do a few yoga poses in between emails etc. Trust me, this is game changing for your mind and body as well as your practice.
2. Yoga at Dawn
If you are anything like me, someone who loves to sleep in, this is going to be the challenge of a lifetime. But the reward is ever more sweet. I do not think there is a lazier person on earth then me, deep down. I could lay in bed all day if someone paid me. I just love it. I love to rest! I started yoga because of the laying down “savasana” at the end! A girl like me could not be dragged to yoga in the early morning. But there it was, this pestering, pesky, persisting desire to quite possibly make it to that 6:30 am class, that way I could get a practice in before work. But for weeks, I snoozed right through it. Finally, close to new years, I happened to spring up super early, in time to make it for class and I just bit the bullet and made myself go. Maybe the pressure of starting 2017 off with good habits got to me. I don’t know. Anyway all I can say, is upon arriving to class the sun was beginning to rise and it was so beautiful it took my breath away. Every day we have this natural phenomenon that I just carelessly snooze right through. I was truly stunned. It also happened to be such a wonderful gentle class, I think one of my most profound yoga classes maybe ever. Rising with the sun made me feel truly awakened. Like I was waking up with the earth. It was so moving and peaceful I have continued to go! Take it from me, don’t fight it. Just show up and try it, see for yourself! It finally dawned on me, yoga at dawn! For the rest of the day you will sail, you will soar! You will just be so at ease with whatever life throws you.
3. Read B.K.S Iyengar
Also known as the “Father of Western Yoga” he is one of the most brilliant yoga teachers from India who helped teach and share yoga in America. I am currently reading “Light on Life” and it is a wonderfully deep knowledgable look into a life long yogis mind. I feel like every page is a privilege. I always feel like I am just a beginner in my yoga journey and by reading “Light on Life” I reap the benefits of someone who’s entire life was dedicated to it.
4. Do yoga on your lunch break at work
Even if you made it to your morning practice, your body needs to stay moving. This energy you craft and cultivate carries you forth. It is imperative to de-stress, work out any stiffness or tension and help circulation. This keeps you awake, alert, balanced and energized into the evening.
5. Pick a pose and work towards it
This is not an ego thing, just a way to keep yourself improving. For the longest time I had no yoga goals when it came to poses because I just loved feeling so blissful and peaceful. I realized though with a steady 8 year practice there were still some things I could not do. I then began to realize in my practice I was quite lackadaisical. I started to see that I was far more capable of things yet I never really pushed myself. However once I set my mind towards it, what a beautiful sensation it is to achieve. For example, having tight hips, lotus pose was very difficult for me. But through regular practice and yes sometimes I stay an additional 15 minutes after class, when I am nice and warm, to work on the series of poses I’d like to learn. It paid off (those little extra sessions) because after a hot shower and waiting for my lotion to absorb I decided to hop on my mat at the edge of my bed, and Voila! LOTUS! I thanked the stars! It was such a euphoric feeling to me. I knew it came from my heart and my body and all the extra effort I have been putting forth.
Systematically you get rewarded if you put the right effort in. But that comes from being in tune with your vibration and not your ego. I’ll save that for my next blog. But for now please heed these 5 easy ways to improve your yoga practice as they have been hugely beneficial for me!