By Jenny Park
Ready for a Yoga challenge? Spring is the time for changes and nothing freshens up a Yoga practice like changes and challenges. If your classes or your own practice feels stale, try making a commitment to do something new. Here are some ideas to inject new life:
• If you have been practicing on a weekly or semi-weekly basis, try practicing every day, if only for 15 minutes. Trying to practice every day, even if you’re “not in the mood,” may give you new insights.
• Try one new asana in every yoga practice, or do the opposite and try doing the same flow every day for a week. Think about how your sensations change each time you do it, even if the actions are the same.
• Make it “Yoga Appreciation Month,” and bring one new friend to a class every week. Think of something that you really like about Yoga and post it in a social media forum or on a web discussion.
• Try the Yoga challenge in a new medium: practice in a group if you usually practice alone, or at home to a video if you never do it that way.
• Make a list of intentions and set a new intention each time you practice yoga. We frequently experience “intention stagnation,” where we set the same vague intentions each time or neglect to set them at all. Be mindful about your intentions.
• Do at least one practice of entirely restorative Yoga poses. Honor your body and let it rest from time to time!
• Try a mental practice, where you visualize doing asanas and flowing from pose to pose.
• Flip your schedule and practice in the morning if you usually practice at night and vice versa.
• Try mudras or nostril breathing if you do not usually do them.
• Research the history of your favorite yoga asana: why is it so named? What benefits does it convey?
• Change your “class geography”- if you usually teach or practice from one position in the room, change it 180 degrees. You may be surprised at the different feelings this inspires.
• Try thanking yourself for the good things you do for your body all day long, such as when you eat a nourishing meal, or take a break from your desk. Try to visualize namaste with each person you see, from your local Starbucks to the office receptionist.
• Get a literal fresh start by cleaning your mat and props with a gentle vinegar solution. Make an eye mask with calming herbs like lavender or sage inside a sock, and let your practice clothes dry outside in the sunshine instead of putting them in the dryer.
One last thought: Outside practice is healthy. Depending on your climate, extra layers of clothing may be required, but an outdoor Yoga challenge with fresh air is a possibility and a morale booster for all. Some of you can go outside easily, but some of us have to prepare accordingly, because our daily temperatures fluctuate from freezing to mild temperatures.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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