You can get more out of your yoga practice, if you're a beginner like I am, or if you're even thinking about starting a practice, by following these simple tips from a well-respected yogi.
1. Yoga is not a religion. Because of where yoga came from and who practices it, some people think that it is a religion. But yoga is a way of life, a type of exercise, not a religion. Yoga is all about moving your body, finding out who you are, not who the world says you should be.
2. Yoga is not a “push until you drop” practice. Child’s pose has an important purpose. Use it. If you cannot keep your Ujjayi breath steady and on point, it is time to drop to Child’s pose and regain your breathing and composure. If you are not breathing correctly, the yoga is not going to do what you need it to. It is okay to drop and meditate and get back on track.
3. I did not lose weight the first month. I was so frustrated. Thankfully I did not join to just lose weight. I started to get my life back from cancer, as a recovery, so I kept going. The second month I lost barely anything, but the third month I dropped 15 pounds. My theory is that those first two months I was developing so much muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. It is working, keep going! After 6 months of yoga practice I lost 30 pounds. Don’t stop. Get rid of the scale for the first few months.
4. Get a good mat. I used to doubt there is much difference in the mats. I was dead wrong. It completely changes your practice to have a mat that is thick and comfortable but most of all grips well. I believe a great mat is worth the extra money. I can be dripping with sweat and I still don’t budge from my poses. Get the mat. Pay the money. You won’t be sorry.