The amazing team at SmoothFM reached out to us asking for our top tips for getting the most out of your yoga session. Here is what we told them:
While doing any yoga class will leave you far better off than when you started, there are a few simple tweaks you can make to any session that'll accelerate and lengthen those results.
We reached out to yogi and co-founder of Yellow Willow yoga mats to Jessica Incledon to find out how exactly what you can do to get the most out your yoga practice. Scroll down to read what she said.
1. Remove distractions
You want to be in the moment as much as possible during your yoga practice. Leave your phone at the door and take your watch off. If you’re doing hot yoga, be sure to choose a towel that covers the surface of your yoga mat so you aren’t constantly adjusting its position. Towels that are non-slip on their underside are also great so they aren’t slipping and sliding on your yoga mat. (TRY: Yellow Willow Heavy Duty Yoga Towels – non-slip on their surface and underside $83)
2. Use the appropriate yoga mat
People underestimate the importance of a yoga mat. Your yoga mat is part of your yoga journey, helping you to grow and become the best yogi you can be. When purchasing one, Jess said she recommends looking for mats that are non-slip (Yellow Willow offers yoga mats with X-Grip) so you can be solid in your poses, are at least 3mm in thickness to protect your knees, and ones made from micro-fibre as opposed to rubber, which can jar your joints as you move from pose to pose.
3. Listen to your body
Every day is different. Some days, you are bubbling with energy and other days you will be lethargic. Yoga is a great opportunity to listen to your body and give the body what it needs – whether it be a workout, some stretching or just some down time. Remember to always be kind to your body and yourself.
If you're feeling exhausted or confused, child's pose is a great pose to help you relax and reset. Listen to your body's needs and take anytime you need. If you’re lucky, your yoga teacher might sense your fatigue and give you a little back massage or press on your back to help take your childs pose deeper.
4. Change it up
We are lucky to have so many studios in Australia offering different types of yoga classes these days – there is Yin, Vinyasa flow, Hatha or Yoga Fusion, Heated, non-heated, beginner to advanced, flow with beats or meditation… the list goes on. We are spoilt for choice! Keep it interesting and choose a class to suit your mood, how your body feels and the time of week.
For example, you might want to choose an energetic class on a Monday and a chilled flow or yin on a Sunday evening. You might want to centre yourself mid-week and therefore might choose a class with meditation. This will ensure yoga is as beneficial as it can be and you won’t ever get bored.
5. Don’t have expectations
It’s important to have an intention for your practice, but try not to place expectations on yourself. Sure, you can challenge yourself to master a certain pose, but don’t place expectations on yourself to master it by a certain point in time. Yoga is a lifelong journey. You will make progress, but there is no rush!
6. Breath through the poses
Find yourself holding your breath in a challenging pose? You’re not alone! It’s an automatic reaction when in an uncomfortable position. Learning to breathe through the uncomfortable poses is something that comes with practice and time. Trust Jess when she says, once mastered it helps to make the poses much more pleasant.
7. Be happy with where you are right now
Everyone in the room will be at different levels and at different stages of their yoga journey. Try not to compare yourself to others in the room. It’s also important to not think beyond the class. Try and keep your mind from wandering to the time, how much time is left of the class, what you need to do after the class... Where you are right now is where you need to be.