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3 Tips For Getting Back Into Your Yoga Practice

3 Tips For Getting Back Into Your Yoga Practice

As a yoga instructor, one thing I often hear is how students are excited but also anxious to get back on the mat and into the studio. To help you feel confident, here are my top 3 tips for getting back into your yoga practice that I want you to take to heart as you make your way back to the top of the mat.

Firstly, it's important to remember that our practice isn't going to be what it was and that is ok! Yoga isn't like running or lifting weights, you will regain what you lost and progress faster doing less. For example, in weight training, especially bodybuilding, the best trainers will not tell you how much weight to lift, instead they will tell you to focus on reps and RPE (rate of perceived exertion). The idea is based on how you feel that day and even from set to set. Applying this to yoga is an absolute must using a scale of 6 to 10, 10 being absolutely everything you have and 6 being about 60% effort, you should target about 70%. This will allow your body to recover much faster which in turn means you are able to take more classes. This will help you get back to where you were quicker and safer, all while working on your balance between the physical and mental aspects of yoga. Don't forget to be patient with yourself.

Next up is to check those fingers on the mat! I have heard many students say they experience slipping in down dog or warrior 2 and for those coming back to the mat, they end up with discomfort in their wrists during or after class. If you experience this, it's highly likely that you are not driving through your fingers. A quick way to check this is to:
  • Press your hands together and spread the fingers (like 80% of the full range)
  • Press the fingertips, upper palm area and the palms together. Notice how it forms a small arc with a little space between the palms now for a lady bug to live in? That is how you want to drive the fingers into the mat.
  • During practice, if you feel any slipping, drive those fingers in so that if your nails aren't painted, you would see the white behind the nails.
Quick tip - press your hands like this whenever you bring your hands to heart center. It will help to build the muscle memory until it becomes second nature as you flow.

The last point I want to touch on is diet! Compared to other sports and training routines where you get the post workout pump, feel the burn or your smart watch stats are through the roof, yoga is often wrongly labelled as glorified stretching. That is not the case at all as you are doing controlled body weight movements for 60 minutes all while incorporating breath work. It is a full body workout and that means you need to be sure you are eating, drinking, and resting enough. Having an extra glass of water in the morning and before bed, or getting yourself a healthy fresh juice are some easy ways to get into a rhythm without the added stress of meal prep.

I hope these help you to get back into your flow and please share these tips with your friends. Sharing them will help you remember and may help someone else to get back on the mat.

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