Breathe. A lot.
Breathwork is such a core, fundamental part of yoga and I don’t think it gets the hype that it deserves. Breathing properly and really being conscious of the way you breathe can drastically affect how impactful your practice is and will continue to be in the future. Even if you aren’t mastering complex poses like Tree Pose and Bow Pose or even handstands, if you can at least control your breathing, you’ve accomplished something major.
Practice. Even when you’re not practicing.
Try to stretch and move when you’re home. If you’re taking yoga classes two or three times a week… or maybe it’s once a week or sporadically when you can fit it into your schedule – try to take what you learn in class and apply it at home, the gym, or wherever else you want to move your body. Yoga provides the basics of (in the simplest terms) stretching. As long as you’re moving your body, it will help keep your muscles mobile for when you do decide to hit the mat.
Try new things!
Yoga poses are like ice cream flavors, the more you try, the more you may find you love! Keep attempting new things – even if you’re scared or nervous, start slowly. A lot of yoga poses seem very intimidating, but I think you’ll find that the more often you practice, the more flexible you’ll become, thus leading you to mastering certain poses. Who doesn’t love trying new ice cream flavors?!
This can look wildly different for people. What centers you? What keeps you motivated? What shakes you to your core? What inspires you about yoga? Yoga practice starts with you. Okay, so maybe we cheated a little bit, because this isn’t really a secret, but this really is YOUR practice. When people channel their inner desires, goals, and what yoga brings to them, they end up being more immersed in their practice and form a deeper connection with themselves through it.
Fall. Stumble. Take it slow.
Look – three secrets in one heading! We’re really giving it away at this point. But seriously, you’re going to fall. You’re going to struggle. It’s all a part of the process. If you’re not “cool with falling” then you’re not totally down with yoga. I can’t tell you how many classes I’ve repeatedly taken where I actually thought I’d master every pose, every transition, only to find out I was spending the majority of classes taking Child’s Pose because my body was tumbling over so often. The best part is, I wasn’t mad, because after every single time, it’s brought me one step closer towards mastering poses I didn’t think I would master as quickly as I did. It was allowing myself space to mess up where I created faith for me to grow and actually learn!
Seek a mentor – even if it’s on YouTube.
I think we all know how amazing Yoga with Adriene is. She’s made yoga accessible for pretty much everyone. This secret is probably the most important. People want to feel comfortable when they hit their mat. They want to know there are practices out there that are tailored to their specific needs. Whether it’s yoga for sleep, yoga for aches and pains, or yoga to help keep the kids occupied at home, the internet is a great place to turn to for content. From there, there are countless yogis that you can aspire to be like or utilize their content in a way that’s perfectly suited for you! We love that there are so many resources out there now, especially on YouTube.