After years of practicing yoga, we’re bound to pick up a few tips along the way to help us along with our practice whether from teachers in class, from watching others practice or simply by downloading them directly from the universe.
1. Aligning the neck – It’s easy to get a sore neck these days, especially while driving. While behind the wheel, it is common to strain the chin forward and thus take the neck out of alignment. Here is a simple exercise to help minimize this complaint: every time you come to a complete stop at a red light, bring your finger to your chin and gently press it back.
2. How much water is enough? – More than you think, and probably more than you drink in a day. Eight full glasses minimum, or even as much as sixteen if you are doing hot-style yoga. If you feel thirsty, mild dehydration is probably already present in your body.
3. Pain is no gain – How much pain is too much pain in yoga? Fear and ambition often cloud our judgment when looking at the pain that our body experiences while in a yoga pose. In our desire to compete with the rest of the class, we often misjudge our threshold for pain.
4. Before and after class – If it feels safe for you, park a short distance away from the yoga studio and walk slowly to and from class. Notice the changes in how you perceive your environment from the time that you arrive, to the time you leave. Notice if things look differently, and notice how your body reacts to the walk.
6. Meditation, not as scary as it seems – It would be so nice to commit to a deep, daily meditation practice, but the prospect of it can be intimidating. Instead of diving deep into a long meditation, gradually find your way in with short sittings. Set your alarm clock five minutes early and when you wake up, head out to your favorite spot in the house or outside, and simply sit in the energy of the morning with no need to do or be anything.