How To Find Growth In Your Yoga Practice
We all unroll our mats for different reasons. Yet, our journey is quite similar.
We choose yoga over other forms of movement mainly because it provides a mind-body connection that’s suitable for everyone.
As you start and progress your yoga practice, you discover how enormous the discipline is and how much room for growth there is. However, that growth might not always roll out in the way we expect.
Asana (the yoga postures) indeed has a big platform in the west. So big that we can mistakenly think that being “good” at yoga is all about the physical. But it really isn’t.
Today, we’d like to share five ways you can find growth in your yoga practice that has little to nothing to do with asana.
Change Intensity for Consistency
There is no need to practice Advanced/Intermediate classes. Some might even argue it is not the most balanced way of practising.
We are what we consistently do, so you need to find consistency to find growth in your practice.
If you make it the highest intensity and challenging practise your practice everyday, it’ll be hard to make it consistent. You’ll be sore; your body will be tired. Or worse, you’ll injure yourself.
To incorporate the physical practice into your daily routine, you’ll need to balance out its intensity. That means not doing Rocket every day, practising Restorative yoga and focusing on mobility and flexibility rather than strength.
Find Ways to Take Yoga Off The Mat
There are many things you hear in a yoga class. And you’ll be surprised to know that most of the things you hear can be taken off the mat.
You often hear teachers ask you to listen to your body, be kind to yourself, be in the moment, breathe into your belly, look inwards, not judge, leave the ego out of it, let go of expectations… all of these can be applied to off the mat.
The best way to practice yoga out of the classroom and find growth in your practice is to find ways to bring what you hear while on your mat to your day to day life.
Incorporate Still Practices
As we mentioned before, it is essential to keep your practice varied and diverse. But what about practices that aren’t at all asana?
Breathwork and meditation are key elements to finding growth in your practice. These “Still Practices” will help you develop a better understanding of yourself. You will unlock the tools to find peace and self-regulate.
It might not seem obvious how 10 minutes of breathwork or meditation can advance your practice, but it might be the single most important 10 minutes of your practice, and they will dictate how your day turns out. Remember that finding growth in your yoga practice can mean having a better awareness of yourself and handling your day-to-day life better.
Find Teachers That Inspire You
If you’d like to develop your practice, the next thing you need to do is find your teacher. There aren’t many clear rules for this, other than the teacher has to feel right to you.
Because we are all so different, this will mean different things to everybody. Finding someone who speaks your language, who can help you understand your body and will be with you as you overcome the mental blocks that go hand in hand with a yoga practice, is not an easy task.
For that reason, you need to be patient. Try different teachers, and if you already have yours, then head straight to the next step!
Find Interesting Readings
Ask your teacher for reading recommendations. We’re not going to lie, some traditional yoga books can be a difficult read.
But there are great books you can learn so much from to grow your practice. Find a topic related to yoga that you are interested in: meditation, asana, mindfulness, breathwork, the yamas & niyamas…
These are our tips to help you develop your yoga practice, but remember that there is no time frame in which you should know it all or be ‘enlightened’. So you might not want to try any of these at all right now. And that’s ok too.
You know why you choose to start yoga and how this practice can serve you — no need to prove anything to anyone.
About Anna de Sousa
Anna is a London-based yoga teacher & Content Creator. After teaching yoga full-time for a couple of years, she joined the Digital Marketing team at MoreYoga to spread the word about wellness even further. Anna is fun and energetic, and she brings her warm personality to everything she does.