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How To Get Good At Yoga Quickly

How To Stay Motivated To Do Keep Doing Yoga Regularly

Setting up a home yoga practice is only half the battle now you have to roll out your mat and do it.

“The best advice I can give you,” says Yee, “is to make your yoga part of your morning ritual. This means getting to bed 15 minutes earlier so your yoga practice does not cut into your sleep time. The second piece of advice is to sit down with your weekly calendar and begin to cross out any activity that is not serving you anymore .

But in this interview clip from the intro to his A.M. Yoga for Your Week DVD, Yee says the real key to staying motivated to keep doing yoga at home gets back to listening to yourself and exploring what you need with a sense of curiosity and creativity.


“Another significant way to support your home practice,” Yee adds, “is to practice with a member of your family or a friend. Being held accountable by others can get you to the mat on the dreariest of days. Once you get to the mat, the magic often takes over after a couple of minutes, and you find yourself vibrating with the music of yoga.”

Start With Five Minutes Five Poses Or Five Counts Of Breath Work

Theres no minimum required duration for practicing yoga, and every breath counts. Particularly if youre feeling nervous about getting started, try not to bite off more than you can chew. Instead of making a huge time commitment right off the bat, start by making small, sustainable commitments.

You can also start by committing to practicing just one pose and let things grow organically from there. Let your body tell you how much it wants to move. Even if youre used to 45-minute or hour-long workout or yoga classes, theres no need to commit to more than a 20-minute online class if thats what makes you feel good. As my sis Adriene Mishler says, Find what feels good.


How To Get Better At Yoga:

Going to a yoga class can be a scary, even embarrassing experience. Its intimidating to watch other, more accomplished practitioners while we struggle to move our bodies in new and challenging ways. So how do we improve to the point of feeling comfortable with ourselves? How do we find a practice that meets our individual needs? 

 

Letting go of ego is often the biggest stumbling block we face when trying to improve our health or well-being. When I first began my practice I knew my body was strong and athletic, so classes titled gentle, beginner or therapeutic were certainly not for me.  I jumped into a hot yoga class for level 2 practitionersand regretted it immediately.  It took a while, but I learned that one of the most basics truths of yoga is that less is more.


Understanding our strengths and weaknesses when we begin gives us valuable insight that can improve our yoga practice.  It takes mindfulness and wisdom to step back and observe where we are strong, weak or injured, without judgment. 

It is important to understand our patterns of movement. This information can be a powerful tool in preventing injuries.  Often, when we start a new type of movement, we go as far as we can only to regret it later.  Yoga is a practice that invites us to pause, breath and become aware of the connection between our thoughts and body.

Check In On Your Alignment As You Go

If youre new to yoga or new to practicing on your own, its a good idea to make sure youre getting into positions that are safe. Dont be afraid to rewind or pause an online class so you can take a second look at what your teacher is doing. If youre flowing on your own without an online class, cross-reference your postures with books, websites like Yoga Journals Pose Library, and YouTube tutorials by teachers like Kino Macgregor.


If you want to watch your practice in action, you can practice in front of a mirror or even record photos and/or video footage on your phone or camera. I know, it can be kinda weird to watch your body at first, but its a dope tool for checking alignment. This is how Ive refined my own postural alignment for years, and its the whole reason I started .

Is Yoga Right For You

Yoga For Flexibility: 10 Minute Workout

While putting your body into an Instagram-worthy pretzel shape isn’t for everyone, true yoga is. There are many variations on the physical practice for all levels of fitness and flexibility, and there’s much more to yoga than just movement, anyway.

The combination of breathwork, meditation, and movement can improve yogis’ physical and mental health. No matter our limitations, all of us can use these practices in one form or another. According to Harding, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”


Stay Safe Prevent Injury

This is one tip with no shortcuts. Always watch your boundaries and especially be mindful of your bodys vulnerable areas. Particularly vulnerable areas are kneeships, spine and neck. If you feel any painful sensations, adjust, soften, come out of the pose if you need to. Dont force or push.

Warm up your body properly before attempting more advanced poses, and keep checking in if it feels okay to be in a pose. Be especially mindful during transitions between poses or when moving in or out of poses these are moments of a potential risk of injury because we tend to pay less attention to our alignment.


Yoga Is Not Just About A Few Poses That Strengthen You It Has More Benefits To Offer Such As:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Weight reduction
  • Stress management

Stress can have a devastating effect on your body and mind. It can reveal itself in the form of pain, anxiety, insomnia, and the inability to concentrate. Most times, stress is the main cause of weight gain. Yoga can help you cope with stress. Physical benefits of Yoga, combined with stress management, help a person to lose weight and maintain good physical and mental health.

Yoga For Flexibility: 9 Best Yoga Poses To Be More Flexible

Flexibility could easily be described as both yogas blessing and its curse. On the blessing side, increased flexibility is an enormous benefit: it promotes the range of motion and joint health that help prevent back pain, repetitive-use damage, and sports injuries.


However, yoga is a lot more than flexibility. In fact, people that come to yoga with a lot of flexibility must be careful not to rush into advanced poses just because they can. Often, they need to work on their strength to compliment all that bendiness, build support muscles, and make sure that they are practising safe alignment.

Fear of flexibility, or, more specifically, a lack of flexibility, also keeps a lot of people out of the yogasphere . Its a common misconception that you need to be naturally flexible to even attempt to do yoga. So lets dispel that myth right now. Shout this from the rooftops: Yoga is not reserved for people who are already very flexible.

If you have tight hips, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, whatever, yoga is exactly what you need. Flexibility is not a prerequisite; its a result. The person touching their nose to their knees does not win . The person who improves their flexibility safely over time wins .

Ask A Yogi: How Often Should I Practice Yoga To Become Flexible

Too stiff to practice yoga? My teacher used to say thats like saying youre too dirty to take a shower. Just like a shower will clean you, yoga will increase your flexibility. So, how often should you practice to increase your flexibility?

The honest answer? Its different for everybody and every body, but the more yoga you do, the more open youll become.

I know, youre probably annoyed with that answer. You probably want something concrete, something tangible, especially if you started practicing yoga to become flexible. But that is the truth! Some people will increase flexibility after four weeks of casual yoga practice. Others will take four years of regimented practice just to reach the toes or connect forehead to knee in Intense Side Stretch.

If you really want to gain momentum with your home practice , I suggest you take part in the free 30 Day Yoga Challenge. By dedicating yourself consistently to the practice, youll loosen-up in your body and start to get more flexible.

Here are a few words of encouragement, some tips, and a couple of poses that will help even the stiffest of yogis increase flexibility.

Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana Bridge Pose

Yet another asana with multiple benefits is the Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge pose. It is excellent for glutes, thyroid as well as weight loss. The Bridge pose improves muscle tone, digestion, regulates hormones, and improves thyroid levels. It also strengthens your back muscles and reduces back pain.

Steps To Becoming An Expert Yogi This Summer

Do you dream of someday being able to bring your feet over your head? Or even just to touch your toes? Itll take time before you become a yogi master, but here are 11 ways to move in the right direction.

1. Do Your Research

You can improve your yoga practice even when youre not in class. Go online and watch demonstration videos, learn about the yogic philosophy, and become more knowledgeable about how postures affect your body and mind.

2. Be Aware of Your Breath

While your primary motivation for going to yoga might be to get a good workout, youre not fully committing to your practice if youre not watching your breathing. Try to be conscious of your inhales and exhales throughout the day, and employ mindful breathing in moments of stress, like during rush hour traffic or a long checkout line.

3. Set a Schedule

To get better at anything, you need to keep at it. If being motivated to exercise after work is a struggle, set a goal number of classes for the week instead of specific nights that youll go. That gives you some flexibility to take a night off without any guilt .

4. Experiment

Dont settle when picking a yoga class. Try different types of yoga and different yoga studios to learn what practice is best for you. Hot yoga may be all the rage, but if your body cant handle it, then theres no point torturing yourself. Youll have a more rewarding experience in a class that fits your needs.

5. Talk to Your teacher

6. Know Your Limits

7. Close Your Eyes

8. Dont Judge

Yoga For A Strong Body

In its physical activity guidelines for Americans, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends strength-training all your major muscle groups twice a week for optimal health. The gentler, restorative forms of yoga won’t necessarily count toward that quota. But if your definition of fitness involves the sleek, lean muscles of a “yoga body,” the more strenuous versions of yoga that emphasize strength-building poses can get you there.

You may notice that challenging yoga poses get easier within a few weeks but as Len Kravitz, PhD, at the University of New Mexico points out, short-term adaptations in strength within the first few weeks are actually a result of neural adaptations in your body. Or to put it another way, your body is learning to work smarter as you push it harder.

Kravitz explains that it usually takes about 16 workouts for the real strength adaptations to kick in. This coincides with the eight-week period that’s a typical minimum length of time for studies that examine gains in muscular size, strength or endurance.

If you prefer the gentler, restorative forms of yoga, you should consider supplementing your practice with other exercises, so that you can enjoy the full benefits of strength training. Consider doing weight training circuits in the gym; challenge yourself with a boot camp class; explore how suspension training can turn your own body weight into a great strength-training aid not unlike its function in the more strenuous yoga classes.

Flexibility Is A Journey Not A Destination

How to relieve back pain: 6 best yoga poses

Similar to a weight loss journey where you focus on losing a pound a week for 10 weeks, focus on the more frequent small wins rather than the ultimate end goal. If youre struggling to reach the floor in a forward fold, focus first on reaching your ankles.

Then, when your body is ready, try to reach the tops of your feet. Then reach for your toes. And eventually, reach for the floor. Break it down to keep yourself motivated, and celebrate the small wins to prevent frustration.

Use A Structured Program For Flexibility

It can be a little overwhelming and very frustrating to get the process started, stay motivated, and stay on the right track.

I know that when I started, I was trying to work on everything at once.  There were so many poses with so many different benefits.  I ended up getting barely better at everything rather than much better at my goals.

This is why I created a Flexibility Guide as part of my Yoga Fat Loss Bible for Beginners.

The Yoga Bible itself has 50-fat burning yoga poses with pictures and full instructions that are aimed at all of the most common areas of yoga: strength, balance, flexibility, and meditation.

The Flexibility Guide was created for the number 1 goal of increasing flexibility. I wrote it from the standpoint of my own practice and what has worked the most for me over the past several months.

It is all-encompassing, with the most effective stretches and yoga poses for every muscle group that you want to target.  It also includes beginner modifications and other tips and tricks that I have discovered along the way.

Good luck in your journey, and please leave any comments or questions you may have below!

Overcoming The Waves Of Excitement And Boredom

You no longer feel intimidated in the front of the room, you can flow with less effort, and your yoga hour are truly the happiest part of the day.

You realize that this yoga stuff works, and amidst discovering the amazing strength and flexibility you now believe you can cultivate, you find yourself actually looking forward to the next “AHA!” moment of self-discovery.

But then, as these moments happen less frequently, your focus wavers and you may wonder, What is up with all this repetition? Feelings of boredom arise and a desire to seek purpose or “truth” may take hold.

While the longing to know will motivate you to continue, searching too hard with rigid intent can lead to less answers and greater frustration.

Keep in mind that childlike innocence, full trust, curiousity, and openness will get you closer to contentment than actually coming to any conclusion. Observe life as it flows, and monitor those flames of ambition, because while a little heat can soothe, too much of a fire will burn.

Take A Wider Stance To Create More Space

I have a tendency to overestimate the amount of space I’m taking up on my mat. For example, when I started my yoga teacher training, my downward dog looked kind of like this:

 

 

According to anatomy expert Leslie Kaminoffs book, , the spinal action in downward dog is to calibrate concentric and eccentric contractions to maintain neutral alignment of spine.One way to do that is to create more space between your hands and your legs.

 

Making this small adjustment helps me pull my ribs down, engage the core, and take some of the weight out of my hands. The new pose looks quite different:

 

 

How To Approach Classes As A New Student

Many studios have beginner classes and fundamental workshops. These offerings are wonderful for beginner and advanced students alike. Theyre often slower paced, and focus more attention on alignment and how to safely get into the poses.

Bring your yoga mat and water. For warmer classes, you might want to bring a towel, too. Most studios are usually well-equipped with yoga props such as blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters, but you may want to call ahead or check online to be sure.

A common reservation for beginners is working with injuries and a lack of familiarity with the poses. If this is a concern, you can work privately with an instructor before entering group classes. Just a few individual sessions can provide the foundation and confidence you need to modify poses or work around your injury.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Yoga

The power of yoga in the West isn’t totally diminished, though. In fact, yogis keep coming back to their mats because of the practice’s many benefits. Studies show that yoga can improve physical health by lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, and aiding digestion. It may also help practitioners sleep better and manage stress. Not to mention, recent research indicates the mind-body practice supports mental health, specifically; one study found regular yoga may help ease depressive symptoms.

Dianne Bondy, yoga teacher and author of Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses for Every Type of Body, has seen yoga’s positive impact firsthand. Thanks to the practice, her students are able to excel under pressure. Yoga teaches that “when there’s chaos going on around us, we can focus on something singular and bring a sense of peace to ourselves,” Bondy says. “The practice of concentration helps students to be more successful at whatever they do.” 

Less Rest = More Results

Unless youre performing a workout that depends on it, chances are youre not counting how long youre resting between sets but you totally should be.

Most lifters usually leave a few minutes after each set before attempting the next one especially if theyve been dealing in heavy weights. Our advice is to lighten the weight and knock that time down to a conservative 30-60 seconds. This shorter amount of time reduces the amount of blood that can leave your muscles in between sets. By giving them a shorter rest, youll fill them up with more blood and get a more satisfying pump.

Power Yoga Gives You The Benefit Of Yoga And More Including:

  • Helps burn calories, a little more than yoga for beginners
  • It boosts your metabolism
  • It boosts your general well-being
  • Useful to build strength, stamina, flexibility, and tone your body.
  • It helps increase your concentration
  • It helps you relax as tension and stress are considerably reduced.

The most reliable form of Power Yoga begins with Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation. You can perform the Surya Namaskara as a warm-up before you start your Power Yoga workout session, or Surya Namaskara in itself can be done as Power Yoga. Surya Namaskara has immense benefits as it concentrates on all the core muscles of your body.

What Do You Need To Know About Classes And Cost

Morning Yoga Routine

Heres a breakdown for average class costs:

  • Studio package or membership. Approximately $100 to $200 per month.
  • Gym membership. Approximately $58 to $100 per month.
  • Online yoga membership. Approximately $60 to $150 per year.
  • Private session. Varies based on the instructor.

While its certainly less expensive to practice yoga at home, new yogis may find it beneficial to begin with a group class or by scheduling a private yoga session. The guidance and feedback a teacher provides on the spot is invaluable. You just cant get that same experience from an online video or book.

Many yoga studios offer session and class packages. The cost ranges depending on where you live and what package youre looking for. The initial investment is a lot more than paying per class, but often these packages give you a discount on the per-session or per-class investment.

Packages are a good idea if you want to try a new studio, or if you want to commit to attending class regularly. Some studio memberships can provide extra perks, as well as reduce your per-class investment.

If your local yoga studios rates are out of your price range, check gyms and community centers. They often offer budget-friendly options. Some gyms may also allow you to attend classes for no additional cost.

Take It Slow And You Will Grow

This is one of the most underrated ways to workout: slow reps.

So many guys in the gym seem to use weights heavier than they can handle, and the result is them trying to get the set finished by getting momentum on their side and speed is a good way to achieve this.

Going too quickly in the gym and relying solely on this momentum stops your body from having full control over the weight. This means youre not recruiting muscle fibers as efficiently or supersizing your pump.

With slow controlled movements, you can really squeeze the blood into your muscles and activate as many muscle fibers as possible.

If you lower the weight, and think about moving your muscles rather than moving the weight, youll definitely feel a lot more benefit.

Aubrey Bailey Pt Dpt Cf

Wondering how to get flexible fast? Flexibility is at the core of every exercise and training program because a limber body can perform more motions with decreased risk of injury. Increasing flexibility in one month is done through a dedicated stretching regimen.

Tip

Warm up lightly before stretching to increase blood flow while getting your muscles activated.

Try Online Classes Even If You Already Have A Home Yoga Practice

Even if you regularly practice yoga and have a knowledge of postures, the whole point of practicing is to turn off your mind, and that can be hard to do if youre constantly mentally sequencing your own flows.

As time goes on, youll build up an internal encyclopedia of yogic knowledge, and organically sequencing postures will start to feel more natural. But even after that day comes, its helpful to leave the sequencing to online teachers and allow their words to guide you to the teacher within.

The experiences of learning from a teacher in a studio and learning from a teacher at home are not all that different. Sure, theres no one there to tell you if youre practicing the postures incorrectly, but even in the best IRL classes your teacher wont always be able to give you personalized attention. Plus, sometimes personalized attention can be majorly distracting to your practice. Especially if youre like me and have difficulty receiving criticism about your body.

In my opinion, online classes are much more low pressure than IRL classes. In online classes youre not distracted by the other practitioners in the room. Youre not concerned with what anyone else thinks. You dont have to strain to hear the teacher depending on your mats location, and you dont have your view of the teacher obstructed by other students. You dont even have to find childcare, because your kids can join you on the mat.

Yoga Sequence For Better Sleep

1)Cat Stretch : Cat Stretch is an excellent stretch for spine flexibility. This pose helps massage the digestive organs and improve digestion. The posture also improves blood circulation and relaxes the mind.

2) Child Pose : Child’s Pose is a deeply relaxing stretch for the back and helps calm the nervous system.

3) Butterfly Pose : Butterfly Pose removes fatigue from long hours of standing or walking. This posture provides a stretch for inner thighs, groin, and knees.

4) Forward BendForward Bend : stretches the back muscles, invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood supply and makes the spine supple.

5) Legs-up-the-wall Pose : Legs-up-the-wall Pose relieves tired legs and feet, helps increase blood supply to the brain, relieving mild headache, and calms the mind.

6) You may choose to include deep breathing, or Ujjayi breathing right before lying down to relieve tension and relax into a peaceful sleep.

7) In addition to the above poses, lying down in Shavasana and Yoga Nidra-a guided meditation may help relax the entire system in preparation for sleep.

Besides these, there are many yoga poses that can help you in innumerable ways. Find our full yoga pose catalogue here.

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