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We love our yoga here at Keep it Cleaner but it hasn’t always been that way. When Steph and Laura first started practising yoga, they both really struggled! Because Laura is a runner, she tends to have quite tight hips and struggles with flexibility. And when Steph first started, she found it a little overwhelming to learn all the different names and moves. This made it difficult for her to relax into her practice. But the beautiful thing about yoga is that it really is a journey – and one that is different for each person! So with that in mind, we wanted to share a few little tips that helped us go with the flow (get it? lol – sorry!).
It can be very easy during a yoga class to spend half the time looking around to see how everyone else is doing (or during a KIC video to focus too much on what Steph and Laura are doing). But if you’re too busy comparing yourself with others, how will you ever truly become one with your breath and completely invest in your own practice? Try to remember that everyone’s bodies are different, and will look different during the class. If you can stop worrying about how other people look and what they can do, you’ll find it easier to focus on yourself and what you can do.
Following on from the point above, what would your practice be like if you could let go of expectations? What if you stopped trying to impress other people or prove something to yourself? How different would it feel if you approached each flow and posture with a neutral mind? We’re not saying you shouldn’t push yourself, because sometimes yoga is hard and you do need to challenge yourself. But an important part of yoga is learning to overcome your ‘ego’, which means your personal desires, expectations and gratifications. So try not to focus too much on what you can achieve physically and instead let your soul shine through.
The learnings we make in yoga have the power to transform not just our practice, but our entire lives! Examples of intensions you can set include ‘express gratitude’ or ‘cultivate self-love’. This acts as a sort of mantra that you can come back to when you find your mind wandering. By focusing on a particular area of our lives we want to improve, we’re able to improve not only our yoga practice but take these learnings off the matt too.
When we get into a power flow, we typically do one move, one breath. It’s all too easy to focus too much on the next move and forget to take a breath! Equally, as Karen always tells Laura, shut your mouth girl. A yoga breath (or Ujjayi breath if you want to get technical) involves breathing through your nose and completely filling your lungs each time. When you can properly master this breathing technique, your yoga practice will improve massively – we promise!
Shavasana (literally translated as ‘corpse pose’) might look easy but weirdly a lot of people find this the hardest to master. We typically close out a session with Shavasana and the purpose of this is allow your body and mind to process the benefits and teachings from the class. You’re doing a lot more than just chilling out! But some people find it extremely hard to shut off their thoughts and are tempted to skip through this powerful pose altogether. Yoga really is about so much more than the physical moves, so use this precious time to shut off all that inner noise and simply be present in the moment. Trust us – it’s harder than it looks!
We hope these tip help you deepen your individual yoga practice. If you’re not already a KIC member, sign up today to start your 7 day free trial – www.keepitcleaner.com.au