Mats out, breathe in... with a nice indulgent stretch... breathe out, and relax. Oh, the joys of yoga! While there happens to be so many types of workout to move your body, hardly anything comes as close as yoga when it comes to the feeling of fulfillment and joy that the practice brings to you. However, sustainable as it is, yoga, both as a path and a practice asks for some patience before you see it manifest into results.
Yoga, when literally understood, stands for “union,” the idea of complete harmony between the mind and the body. It is an exercise for the soul as much as it is for the body. Thus, it comes without saying that we need to invest in it holistically, both body and soul to achieve optimum results. That said, there are indeed ways to reap the maximum benefits out of your everyday yoga practice. Intrigued as to what they might be? Read on.
Yoga happens to be a spiritual practice as much as it is a mode of workout. Cultivating a deep and thorough understanding of the practice will help you grasp its nuances that’ll eventually provide you with a better grasp of the practice. Thus, you can refer to yogic texts like the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, etc. to learn about the history and philosophy behind yoga.
As per Ayurveda, a routine is a discipline for the body and mind, which strengthens immunity and detoxes the body of its wastes. Simply by waking up at a fixed time every morning (preferably before 7) and sleeping on time, you can observe great changes in your body, skin, and overall energy. Combine it with yoga at a fixed time every day and your life would be drastically altered. As you go about setting a routine, do the same with your eating hours as well. You’d be surprised to see how much of a difference a routine can make to your yoga practice and life both.
From Hatha yoga for mastering postures to Iyengar yoga for mastering your breath, there happens to be a number of variations of yoga and our recommendation is to give each one of them a go instead of sticking to the same old routine. Not only will this practice help you in keeping boredom at bay but it would also save you from hitting a plateau when it comes to the results. Also, adding variations to your practice would also help your master different aspects of yoga.
Like, we have already established, yoga happens to be a holistic process. Thus, everything counts, right from how you breathe to what you eat. Needless to say, clean eating boosts your yoga practice by conditioning your body the right way. Ancient yogis have talked about the importance of the food in boosting the body's sattva or simply pit, body’s harmonic balance.
Sattvik food refers to a vegetarian diet which includes seasonal produce, ample fresh fruits, and veggies, whole grains, sprouts, pulses, nuts, herbs, dairy products, seeds, honey, etc. And while yogis stress on the importance of a sattvic diet, stress is also laid on the emotions with which it is cooked and consumed. Like, we said everything counts, and the bottom line here happens to be: eat clean with a lot of love.
While you might think of props like straps, blocks, and blankets as beginner material, that’s not really the case. In fact, props can help you deepen as well as enhance your yoga practice. For example, while you might be able to do a half-moon pose with hands easily on the floor, chances are that you might achieve better alignment with the help of a block. In case you happen to be unsure of incorporating props in your practice, feel free to reach out to a teacher or instructor for tips.
Lastly, remember to share your learnings for there is no better way of mastering a spiritual practice than by sharing the knowledge with others.
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