Take Your Yoga to the Next Level

By Guest Contributor Jasmyn Joyce
Taking your yoga practice to the next level is not about gaining flexibility or becoming stronger in each pose, even though it is always so rewarding working to new limits within your ever evolving body. To deepen your yoga practice is to develop a loving relationship with your body and understand your bodies limits to seek growth and avoid injury. The 5 tips listed below help you to remain in the moment throughout every yoga asana by aligning and stabilizing from the ground up. Try them out during your next practice to elevate your experience.
Just Breath | Sounds simple enough but truly staying in the breath
               practice while moving in and out of every asana takes mindfulness
               during your Practice.  Begin to notice how your breath starts out at
               the beginning of class and notice where it is in the middle and end.
  •  When you find a pose that challenges you physically or mentally try relaxing into your edge on the Inhale & backing out a little to realign and create space on the inhale, & then again surrender into the discomfort with the next exhale

 

R.e.s.p.e.c.t. your limits | customize your yoga practice for what you
                need each day. Learning to leave the ego at the door and never
                compare your practice to another practice. Instead set daily
                intentions for your practice remain patient for what may have
                seemed easy yesterday may appear difficult today.
  • “ I AM “ is such a powerful intention and affirmation. checkin in everyday with where you are before you begin your practice learning when to push hard and knowing when to practice gently
Firm Foundation | each pose begins from the ground up weather it is
                 both feet on the ground, one foot, your hands,  or your ASSana.
                 Staying connected with what is stabilizing you to your mat allows
                 you to support, lift, and length in a way where energy begins to flow through the body
  • Try a pose where your feet are on the mat, begin to lift the arches and push pinky side of foot into the mat, engage and stabilize legs, activate your glutes, keep core engaged, shoulders soft and down and away from the ears and sides of head lifting up to the ceiling NOW BREATH. Always work from the ground up to get the best alignment!

 

Long & Strong Spine | constantly remembering to find length in our
                  spines, space between each vertebra, knowing the spine doesn’t stop
                  at the back of our necks, but continues all the way the the crown of our head.
  • In poses like Padangusthasana ( Gorilla pose / forward fold ) keep the sides of the Glutes engaged to lengthen the tail bone. keep the low belly drawn in and up behind the rib cage to support the fold and spine to really allow each vertebra to open & create space all the way up to the top of the head as your gaze softly focus on the naval.

 

Meditation | Yoga asanas are designed to prepare you for meditation.
                  Having a good meditation practice is how you truly being to bring
                  yoga off the mat and into your daily life. Truly living yoga by having
                  more awareness for your self and all that surrounds you
  •  Downloading a meditation app on your smart phone is a great way to track your progress towards mindfulness.
  • Do you find it difficult finding 20 minutes in your day to sit in stillness? Try breaking your meditation up and maybe start by taking 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes on your lunch break and / or 5 minutes before before bed.
Jasmyn Joyce has a Passion for yoga and a LOVE for people. She is a Free-spirit, Mother, Healer, and aspires to BE the change she wants to see in the world. She is the co-founder of Love & Yoga: “The collective mobile yoga studio.” Striving to make yoga MORE accessible and continue to seek sustainability and random acts of kindness wherever they go. 

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