5 Ways to Maximize Your Yoga Potential

ISO 400, 18mm, f/3.5, 1.3sIf you’re not smiling while you’re doing yoga, or at least afterward, you might be missing something.

Yoga has the potential to be one of the most rewarding exercises one can do. Unlike many exercises, it benefits the mind, body and soul. If you’re not doing it right, though, you’re likely going to be in some pain. Even worse, you could do some serious damage to your joints or muscles.

Like any exercise, pushing the limits can either be good or bad, depending on how you do it. You can either reach your potential or overdo it and force an injury.

Here are five ways to maximize your yoga potential:

Respect your body

Your body knows its own limits. Sometimes it knows better than your mind. Though yoga is all about pushing the limits, if you ignore the clear signs that you are doing too much, you will inevitably find yourself in some serious pain. Some people can stretch more than others, so rather than comparing yourself to others, it’s best to be cautious and only bend to your own capacity.

Smile

This is another indicator of your comfort level. While you may not be smiling through your practice, the second you overdo a stretch, you may realize your expression has gone from neutral into either a grimace or frown. If you practice regularly and learn to recognize your limits, you should have no problem improving, but it will take time. Don’t force anything in the meantime.

Breathe

Yoga not only enables you to contort your body in positions that may have once seemed impossible, but it also helps your lung capacity and breathing patterns. When practicing yoga, an important part of it is to focus on your breathing patterns and learn how your breath relates to your poses. Breathing patterns and depth can help you develop your posture as well as your flexibility.

Get the yoga attitude

While doing yoga postures, using specific rhythms of breaths links the breath and the body. It’s important to stay present, and focusing on your breath can help you achieve that. With time, you may discover the harmony that this practice can create between body and mind.

Observe

You should already benefit from a heightened sense of awareness, but when practicing yoga, make sure to pay attention to both your external surroundings as well as your internal awareness. When standing in a position, for example, make sure you notice which hand you use more often, which foot you tend to lean on more when you stand, and where your head is positioned. These small things can improve your form dramatically, and when done correctly, they can help you avoid injury.

Photo by: Sean Kelly

Anthony Sens is a consultant for Pure Water Technology of South Louisiana, a bottled water dispenser that aims to provide every business with an affordable bottled water solution.

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Disclaimer:  
The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition. Please consult your doctor before attempting any of the exercises, remedies, or health tips on this website to make sure you are healthy enough to do so.
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