9 Tips to Enhance your Yoga Practice

9 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Practice


By now, you may have realised that every time you step on your mat, there are new emotions flooding through your head and different aches running through your body.  Exercising the body and quieting the mind go hand-in-hand. Yoga should bring you enlightenment, happiness, calmness and overall peace.

Here are a few tips to help you enhance your practice and path to enlightenment:

1. Use props

You can always use props for more length (like in triangle pose), for a feel-good factor (supported bridge), or to simply make things easier. Remember, our bodies are different every day and may need more assistance today than yesterday.

2. Get to class early 

We all know the feeling of rushing to class. If your schedule allows, leave 15 minutes earlier than you normally would to settle on your mat – warm up the wrists or lay in butterfly, supported bridge or savasana. This gives you a chance to either warm up some areas of the body, release tension or center yourself and drift away from the day.

3. Set your intention

An intention can bring you back to why you came to class in the first place. It can be as simple as ‘learn to listen to my body’, ‘quiet my mind’ or ‘relax’. A dedication can be one that honours you, a loved one, the earth, a community or anything else. Repeat this to yourself when you are in that strenuous pose that makes your mind wander, and it will bring you back to your peace and your purpose.

4. Try something new

Roar as loud as you can during lion’s breath, go upside down, put a blanket under your knees in savasana, and OM louder than usual. You will feel invigorated, accomplished and enlightened.

5. Free yourself of distractions

Hydrate and eat something light about an hour before your practice so that you can free yourself of any hunger or dehydration distractions and any possible mind chatter.  Empty your bladder, and check that your hair, jewellery or clothing won’t flop in your face and cause you to be less than present in your practice.

6. Talk to your teacher

Disclosing any physical limitations can help your teacher help you. And of course, make your practice more comfortable.  Before class is ideal, but often we forget about that old injury or tightness until we are on the mat so after class is also possible so that your teacher can help you achieve a struggle-free practice.  While your teacher is your guide, you still have your own inner voice to be your guru, quietly giving you the feedback. If its a held breath it may be time to drop to a child’s pose. Be more concerned about being good to yourself than looking good to others.

7. BYO

A favourite yoga mat that ritualistically brings you back to the practice can get you in that spontaneous calm state a little more fluidly. If you are a yin’ster then your own personal bolster could be the next step to help your yin practice progress. A personal eye pillow can shut out the light and bring a sense of calm to the face during savasana. Check out our organic lavender and wheat-filled eye pillows we have for sale in the studio.

8. Be grateful

Feel thankful for getting yourself to the studio or to your practice, for getting onto the mat, and into the moment. Your attitude of gratitude will infuse your practice with the yogi’s grace and will help ensure that what you’ve gleaned in class or your practice will remain with you long after you’ve rolled up the mat and walked back into the world.

9. Place your mat in a different spot

We all have our favourite spot in our studio room or at home. Try taking your mat to a different place to transcend habit, this can completely transform your practice that day.  Have you tried your yoga practice outdoors? Coming soon is ‘ECO-YOGA’ – we invite you to connect with nature as we take our yoga practice to the great outdoors for a unquie eco-yoga workshop, complete with a walking meditation and use of nature as props in a private, serene part of Whanganui.  Stay tuned.