How To Get The Most Out Of Yoga – Before
Today I want to talk about how to get the most out of yoga. I’m sure the yoga routine will vary a bit from person to person but you can add this to your list thoughts to get the best yoga practice.
I am going to do this in three parts: before the class, during the class and after the class. This way I can express to full terms each of the things you can do to get the most out of yoga.
Think of it as a hockey or football game rituals. The athlete wakes up that day and follows the exact same rituals or routines throughout the day until the game.
The only difference is we will be wearing clean underwear 😉
Seriously though, life is crazy and just when you think you can relax and take a break something else happens. I try to incorporate these steps regardless of how my day looks so when I show up on my mat I am there and committed to whatever will happen in the next hour.
Please take away some of these tips and use them for your yoga practice, or even just in life.
Also, as always drop me a comment, let me know if you learned anything or have any questions. I love talking so I would love to hear what you have to say!
Be there ten to fifteen minutes early if the studio allows.
- You can get settled into a ‘good’ spot.
- It gives you time to prepare for your practice
To Prepare for your practice:
Get into chavasana and take that extra time to start a premeditation process. Even being experienced in the practice sometimes I get nervous before a class. I have no idea why but it happens. So, I take that time to lie on my back and take some deep, relaxing breaths. By the time class starts, I am focused and connected to my breath.
It’s nice to take extra time to really connect with your breath too. That way nothing is rushed.
I did that once, I just started class – more to see what would happen.
MY BREATH WAS SO OUT OF SYNC. I was breathing when she breathes out, it was a disaster.
When you take the time to make that connection there is so much more clarity throughout your practice. Your body moves better and your focus isn’t on anything specific – just your breathing and how you can use it to move through the sequence.
I know this kind of seems like a given but it is good to be thinking about what you need to bring.
It’s like when you forget something – let’s say your water bottle. Well, sure enough, that’s the exact class where somehow your body is just so dehydrated that all you need is water. A total exaggeration but you know what I mean.
It’s like trying to put your toddler to bed and all of a sudden they are starving. The brain works in funny ways.
Regardless, be prepared.
Bring water, bring your mat and if it’s hot yoga – bring a yoga towel. It’s the WORST feeling ever to slip around your mat.
When a downward dog turns into an awkward plank!
Hydrate yourself in the daytime so you don’t have to break the sequence during the practice to refresh. People really recommend doing that before any hot yoga or Bikram class.
Makes sense right, considering how much you sweat!
The opposite of this – make sure you run to the washroom before entering a class.
I made it my routine to get to class, go to the washroom and then fill up my water bottle.
Well, one day I was feeling pretty confident and thought to myself, I went to the bathroom like not even an hour ago. I will be okay.
I didn’t pee my pants but the whole time I kept thinking what if I pee my pants, do I have to pee right now or am I just nervous? I was so distracted by not doing that one little thing that takes like two minutes.
What I am getting at is if you have a routine already – stick to it.
Clear Your Mind
The most fun, easiest and hardest.
Clearing your mind and letting go of the stresses you have had in the day.
In a night class, when I first get there it’s – what am I going to have for dinner, I wonder if my husbands home.
Excuse me Kahlua you are not here to start planning for dinner. You are here for a break from those kinds of things.
Clearing your mind is to breathe away and exhale all of those outside thoughts that are not relevant to yoga or really not that important.
I talk about this in my post Yoga and Meditation for Beginners is that it’s a challenge to clear your brain. There’s always thoughts that pop up so just be conscious of what is happening without really actively thinking about it.
Honestly, I feel like I made that more confusing.
What I mean is that things will pop up in your mind but you don’t have to react to them. That’s part of meditation that I am still working on.
Like oh, I forgot this – crap! Me saying crap is my reaction to my thought. It’s learning how to push those reactions aside and just be.
Any yoga instructor will also tell you that if you find yourself wandering, just come back to your breath and focusing on breathing.
I hope I have inspired you on how to get the most out of yoga. Are you squeezing every drop out of the practice? Are you growing as a person? There’s so much introspection that is part of the practice as well as physical movements. Soak it all in!
Thank you again for taking the time to read this! Please.. Pretty please! Leave me a comment with your thoughts, tips or questions.
Cheers, you guys!