Yoga Novice to Pro
Yoga is an art form that takes years of practice and dedication to master. At some point, every yoga enthusiast must decide if yoga is going to continue being a fun and healthy hobby or if he/she wants to work towards becoming a serious yogi. Taking that leap is a commitment but should also be a very exciting one to make. Here are a few helpful tips that can assist in improving your yoga practice:
Being able to pick up some poses and practice them is a great start, but to take your practice to new levels, you need a teacher. It is so important that at the foundation of your education, there is someone who you can fully trust. When I was looking for someone who was the right fit for me, I took a few classes at my favorite yoga studio and paid attention to the instructors’ styles. One appealed to me much more than the others. After trying out a few more of her classes, I approached her about private lessons. They were incredibly helpful since it allowed her to focus on my form exclusively and guide me on the best path to improvement.
The only true way to improve at anything is with time. There is no shortcut for this, at least not yet. But until technology advances and we can download data in our brain, we must work for it! Practicing yoga is additionally tricky because it relies on mental memorization as well as muscle memory. The more you practice, the more efficient you become. Some poses will take a considerably longer amount of time than others, but that is what practice is for!
What do YOU want from your yoga adventure? Clearly identifying this goal can help shape the trajectory of advancing. This is something that can change as you evolve. Many people starting out want to lose weight, become more flexible, and feel healthier. As they become better yogis and accomplish these things, that goal can shift. Maybe you want to now focus on improving your balance, to hold advanced poses longer, or to even become a teacher. Always have that goal in your head, no matter what it is. Working and practicing with a goal of any type on the horizon will always be more productive than working without a specific goal or target.
Dress for Success
Nothing says novice more than the person in class wearing a shrunken cotton shirt and pants that are either too loose or too tight. As athletes train harder, they wear clothing that matches that commitment, and the same holds true for yoga. Invest in some high-quality moisture replant yoga clothing that will allow you to stay focused on what is important during a class.
Progress is hard. Don’t lose sight of that fact. There are going to be harder days than others, but it is up to you to reflect on your practice and find those positives. Even if it is something as simple as holding a pose for 5 seconds longer, acknowledge that you did it!