If You Want to Improve Your Yoga Practice, These Tools and Tips Can Help
Think you can’t master crow or headstand? Well, you should definitely think again, because yoga really is for everyone! If you’re struggling in class or just want to take your practice to the next level, you don’t need superhuman strength or flexibility to do so. You may just need to use a few tools, including tech and equipment, to give your practice a helpful boost and give yourself all of the benefits yoga can offer. If you’re seriously ready to enhance your yoga practice and start working your way towards those peak poses, try these simple tricks:
Bring Your Practice Home With Yoga Apps
You only need one piece of equipment to create a home practice: your smartphone. Well, you may need a mat as well, but downloading yoga apps on your smartphone is a great way to get into the habit of practicing yoga at home, which is helpful when you can’t get to class. Don’t have a phone you can use as a yoga hotspot? Then think about upgrading to a newer device and a data plan that will better suit your needs. If your current phone plan is up for renewal, this may be your opportunity to take advantage of offers from new providers, like deep discounts on the latest models or even access to unlimited data. Either way, access to yoga apps can strengthen your practice and help you build a regular at-home yoga routine.
Honor Your Practice, and Your Body, With Props
Yoga props are a source of misconception, especially for new yogis. Too many people think that using props is a sign of weakness or a form of cheating during practice, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! In fact, by not using props to support your physical postures, you are likely to end up cheating during practice even more, and you may even be cheating yourself out of some key benefits in the process. For instance, foot strength and flexibility provide a stable base for every single yoga pose, and you can get your feet stronger with some simple exercises using a yoga block. There are other uses for yoga blocks as well, so keep a pair on your mat during class or pick up a pair for your home yoga space. Other props to include in your practice and take your poses further are a strap, a blanket, and even a comfy standard yoga bolster. Bolsters can provide support for poses but can also make savasana extra comfortable.
Enhance Your Relaxation With Mood-Boosting Scents
The practice of yoga requires a connection between your mind and body, and involving all of your senses during your routine can help foster this connection. In addition to working on poses and focusing on breath, try adding other elements that will stimulate your other senses, including scent. Most dedicated yogis swear by using essential oils to awaken their sense of smell and take their yoga practice to the next level. Sandalwood is a great choice for improving mental clarity, lemongrass can provide an energy boost, and lavender is wonderful for relaxation. You can dilute these oils as need to use on your skin during practice, or you can fill your home yoga space with your fave scents by picking up a quality oil diffuser to boost your practice. Essential oils can provide post-practice relief from muscle soreness as well, if you use them to give yourself a massage or even add them to a warm epsom salt bath after practice.
At its core, yoga is all about building a strong body, mind and soul, and those are the only things you really need for practice. Still, it never hurts to use a few tools and techniques to deepen your focus and enhance your poses, so you can take your yoga practice even further. Because improving your practice will undoubtedly increase the benefits to your well-being.
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