9 ways to improve your yoga practice

It’s september! And this month at Urban Goddess we focus on stepping back on the mat. The holidays are over and our ‘regular’ life happens again. What does that mean for our yoga practice? Do you continue the same practice or do you have new yoga resolutions or goals? Let’s discuss 9 ways to improve your yoga practice. 

1. Be consistent in your practice
Of course it doesn’t matter how much you practice, it’s better to listen to the needs of your body and mind.   Make a realistic schedule that you can maintain and keep up with it. Are you new to yoga? Just start with 1 or 2 classes per week and built from there.

2. Find the right yoga school
It’s really important to feel comfortable at your yoga school. The space, the decoration, the ambiance, and the people.

3. Find the right teacher
This makes a huge difference, because every teacher has its own way of guiding you through the practice. Even something ‘little’ like someone’s voice or way of talking can keep you from really focusing on your practice. Or maybe you need a little more guidance than you get right now. It also depends on the various styles you practice, that asks for different teachers. But you will know for sure when you have found the right ones.

4. Be aware of the effects of your practice
‘Your practice really starts óff the mat.’  As cliché as it may sound, it’s true. Feel what your practice does for you when you’re really stressed and anxious. Or do you feel more opened up and happy?

5. Breath
Just as important as eating and drinking, but highly underestimated by most of us. We hold our breaths more often than we think which has a huge influence on our mental en physical state. Yoga makes you more aware of your breath, how it works, how important it is and how it can help you on and off the mat.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Remember: It’s not about how deep or how far you can go in a certain posture, but what happens in the mean time. What do you feel, how’s your body responding and how’s the breath? You’re body is never the same, so don’t get angry or frustrated when it’s not going as well as yesterday’s practice.

7. Respect the limits of your body
It’s very tempting to push yourself further and further into a posture. Especially if you look at your neighbours. And you want to get better, improve your practice and become more flexible.  But don’t let your head do all the talking, let your body lead you into this. You don’t have to do what others are doing, because every body is different. The thumb rule is to remain stable and if you’re still able to breath freely, you’re good.

8. Observe
Yourself! And nothing but yourself. When do you feel more balanced, in the mornings or evenings? What’s the influence of a busy or stressful day on your practice? Is left or right your better side? Etc. Observe things about your body, because it’s fun and interesting and it brings you further into the practice.

9. Have fun!
Because it should be. Enjoy your practice.

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