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Have a healthy mindset
Going into a yoga class with the right mindset can make the difference between a fruitful practice and an uninspiring one. Try to start your practice with an open mind and without any expectations, this will help you relax and really let go.
Ignore complicated postures
Many yoga poses advertised in the media are performed by advanced yogis who practice many hours a day. Try not to be discouraged by them, or worse, imitate them. You can feel the benefits of yoga even in beginner poses.
Take your time
Yoga isn’t a race but a lifelong journey that involves the mind, body, and spirit. If you rush through poses, you’ll miss out on how good they make you feel and the improvements that you are making each day.
Don’t be competitive
Most sports are competitive so it can come as a shock to find that this attitude is not welcome in a yoga class. Being competitive won’t help you or your fellow students improve or enjoy the activity rather, it will bring disruption and unease to class. If you’re a really competitive person, learn to tone it down or find another activity.
Yoga isn’t only about mastering poses and building physical strength, it is also about finding peace. One of the greatest joys that you can find in the practice is the ability to glide through poses with ease and grace, whilst your mind is relaxed.
Develop your own poses
A good yoga teacher will tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect pose but there are ways to make sure that your individual take on the pose is successful. Being able to keep the pose steady is very important as is the ability to glide in and out of the pose with ease.
Don’t ignore your body
It is tempting when you first start yoga to try and push your body into poses that you are not ready for. When you do this, your body is usually indicating that it is under strain by shaking. Don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you as this could result in serious injury.
Take the slow but steady route
Yoga encourages you to get to know your body by slowing down your movements and developing awareness of yourself and the world around you. This has many positive effects including a decreased risk of injury and ease of breathing.
Prioritize function over form
Poses don’t have to look good in order to be beneficial. Instead of forcing your arms and legs to be straight and risk injury, allow them to bend. With time you will be able to straighten them out.
Visualize the posture
If you are finding a particular posture difficult to master, try visualizing yourself doing it before trying it. Imagining what a successful posture would look and feel like for your body can help it find the form it needs.