7 Ways to Jumpstart Your Yoga Practice

I always think of the beginning of a new school year as a time of renewal. More so than New Year’s Day, the start of school feels like a new year. Kids return to class with new books, new teachers, and the excitement with the opportunity to learn something new. During this time of year, I am compelled to incorporate this feeling of renewal into my yoga practice.

Even if you already have a regular yoga practice, sometimes it's easy to feel stuck and uninspired. When you practice the same poses week after week, you may start to notice subtle changes in your flexibility, strength and balance. Perhaps you even feel as though you have “mastered” some of the poses. However, over time you may start to feel a little stale, bored or frustrated with your practice. Here are a few tips to jumpstart your yoga and bring a little renewal to your practice.

1. Each practice is like a new beginning, so start with an open mind. Be accepting of however your body feels when you first step on your mat.

2. Try bringing your awareness to the sensations in your body with each pose. Notice the subtle differences when you make a slight adjustment. The more you listen to your body, the more balanced you will become in your practice and in your daily life. Listen to your body's internal cues that will tell you what it needs to be healthier and more at ease.

3. Enjoy the feeling of breathing during your practice. Let the breath invigorate you and move you into each pose.

4. In each pose be mindful about your foundation; think of your strength and energy moving from the ground up.

5. Try to move beyond each pose. When you move into a new pose, avoid just holding it. Try to continue reaching and moving deeper with each exhalation without forcing too hard. There is a saying in yoga: sthira sukham asanam. It connotes effort without tension, relaxation without dullness. This means to find the balance, or middle-way, in each pose.

6. Always practice with patience. Let your practice unfold naturally, and you will gradually see improvements in your strength, flexibility and balance.

7.Read an inspiring yoga article. Right here at MindBodyGreen, you have a fantastic resource! Or, research some motivating books or videos on yoga.

Keep in mind that even the most dedicated yogis can feel a little lackluster in their practice. When the feeling arises, just bring your awareness to it, and find a little inspiration to keep you on the path.

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