Here are five ways to start the process of improving your Yoga practice:
Focus is the gateway to getting your mind and body in union with each other. When you have 100% focus, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Our thoughts and our reactions to the world happening around us get in the way of our progress being easy and effortless. Before you start your class or before you start your posture, set your intention. Practise focusing one point in front of you. When you ?nd your mind wandering, return to that one point of focus.
Awareness is the first step to mastering focus. Start to notice the things that are stealing your focus and concentration. What little habits do you have or have you developed over time? Do you break your focus between postures? Do you drink your water or wipe your face because you think you need to? Are you still doing a modi?cation for an injury that has already healed? Notice any other habits you have and start to send them on their way. Now you will be able to hold your focus and concentration for longer periods of time.
Precision. When your focus and concentration have improved, you will have access to being able to practise your postures with more precision. You will start to hear your teacher’s instructions more clearly. Things that they have probably said every class you have attended will ?nally make their way into your body. Things that you understood intellectually now actually take form in your practice. You receive more information because you have cleared your mind of all the clutter and distractions. The little details will transform your entire practice.
Intensity. By intensity, I mean the amount of effort you are putting into your postures. If you are feeling stuck, like you are not making any progress, you might have stopped turning up the dial. Once you become comfortable, it’s time to turn it up a notch. If you want to continue to improve your strength and flexibility, this is important. You will need some determination. Make sure you are listening to the thoughts that are saying “Yes, I can” and “Yes, I want to do better”. Maybe, a little smile to ease the tension in your body. Let your intensity come from a place of effortless ease using your breath.
Faith. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in the process. There will be good days and there will be bad days in your practice. You will learn something important from each experience. Just make up your mind to never give up.
With focus, awareness, precision and intensity, your Yoga journey will take you on a road that has so much more to see and discover. Self-realisation being your ultimate destination. Enjoy the ride.