If you’ve reached your plateau as a yogi, don’t fret. While it can be discouraging, know that everyone experiences this from time to time — beginner, intermediate and advanced yogis alike. It’s important, however, not to stay in a rut when you’ve gotten all you can from your yoga practice. In order to stay motivated and yield as many benefits as possible, you will need to make some changes to your routine without opening yourself up to injury. Here are a few safe methods and tools to help you advance on your yoga journey.
Ways to Improve Your Yoga Practice Safely
#1 Add Yoga Apps to Your Phone
These days, there are so many yoga apps available for iOS and Android smartphones — apps that provide everything from yoga plans and step-by-step instructions to healthy recipes and goal tracking. Finding one (or even a few) that you like can allow you to practice at home when you can’t make it to the studio.
Of course, you need to make sure your phone can run these apps efficiently. If you need an up-to-date phone, look for one that offers all the features and data you need at a price you can afford.
Some providers offer manageable monthly payments toward the latest iPhone, such as the iPhone 11 Pro ($41.66 per month) or similar model. If you’re more of an Android person, however, there are plenty of options that can be turned into a yoga hot spot as well.
#2 Incorporate Props
There’s a common misconception that yoga props are only for beginners. That’s simply not true. Even some of the most advanced yogis use props to deepen their poses.
For example, yoga blocks provide additional stability so that you can completely relax in a variety of poses.
Straps can also prove beneficial, particularly for improving flexibility during challenging stretches.
Related: Yoga Props You Need and Want
#3 Keep a Towel Handy
Along with props, a quality yoga towel can aid your sessions. Non-slip mats work great if you don’t sweat too much. But when you’re in the middle of a hot yoga session, or even just a session where you sweat more than normal, additional traction can help you hold your hands and feet where they need to be. The absorbent material of yoga towels makes this possible.
#4 Try New Things
One of the best ways to enrich your yoga practice is to explore different poses and styles. Think of any poses that intimidate you, and then work toward conquering them in class. Don’t be afraid to fail; it may take time before you can hold a challenging pose. However, at the same time, don’t rush into it and risk injury.
Also, seek out other styles than you’re used to (e.g., Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, etc.) to broaden your horizons.
#5 Hold Poses for Longer
Along with trying new poses, you can also improve your yoga practice by holding your normal poses for longer. It may surprise you how adding just 10 to 15 breaths can turn an easy or boring pose into a brand new challenge.
Try it as you fly into crow (bakasana)!
#6 Write About Your Journey
Finally, consider keeping a journal where you can document your progress each day. Write down everything about how you feel, record the details of your routines, and talk about any aspects that were challenging or easy. Also, write about any goals you’ve achieved — big or small. Keeping a journal is a great way to track your physical and mental progress.
The time comes for every yogi to step up their game. Look into all the yoga apps you can use for your home practice, add props to your sessions, and find a quality yoga towel for additional grip on the mat. Try out various poses and styles, hold easy poses for longer, and start a yoga journal to track your progress.
Most of all, always keep an open mind to new ways you can safely improve your practice. Enjoy the journey!
[Photo Credit: Unsplash]