Monday, March 11, 2013

10 Practical Tips to a Successful Practice

1.  Know where you're going
I'll admit, I get a little nuts about this.  I like to take a look at mapquest first, because my GPS has been know to make mistakes.  I like to be sure I'm going to the correct place & know where to park, if that's an issue.

2.  Arrive early
Especially if you're new to a studio, leave yourself enough time (15-20 minutes) to get oriented to the studio.  To talk to the teacher or whoever is manning the desk & get your questions answered.  There's usually a waiver to fill out & that takes time too.  Be considerate.

3.  Invest in a good mat
There's nothing that will complicate your practice faster than a cheap, slippery mat.  I've had countless students buy bargain mats at big box stores, only to wind up investing in a good mat after a couple of slippery practices.  I'm a huge fan of the Jade travel mat - you stick to it & it's easy to clean.  And the Manduka ProLite is great too (it's more expensive, but come with a lifetime warranty)

4.  If you have a serious injury, let the teacher know.
Teachers like to assist students - they like to help students find stability in poses & get more out of the practice.  But if you have an injury, an assist can make your injury worse & make a teacher feel like they've hurt you, rather than helped you.

5. Be prepared - take a mat, towel & water.

6.  Hydrate
What more can I say...hydrate.

7.  Listen to your body.
I've heard stories of teachers banging on bathroom doors telling students they need to come out & rejoin the class.  I prefer a more compassionate practice - a teacher is just a guide.  Even as a brand new student, no one knows your body better than you.

8.  Get a friend to commit with you
Like anything, if you have someone to help you along & motivate you, you'll be more inclined to stick with it.

9.  Be consistent
Patanjali says yoga is meant to be practiced with love, enthusiasm & consistency.  If you want real results - mental, phsyical & emotional, you need to practice several times a week.

10.  Have fun
Yes, yoga can be intense - especially if it's a heated, power class (like we offer at Sanctuary Power Yoga).  But it's also meant to be enjoyed.  Have fun.  Lighten up.  Don't worry about mastering it.  It's a practice after all.