Guest Blog by Sheila Johnson
Is your yoga regimen feeling a little stale? If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while now, it might be time to consider upping your game. There are plenty of ways to do just that, and it all starts with you.
Do a Self-Check
Maybe the reason yoga seems pretty same-old-thing is because it is. Of course, leaving your comfort zone and trying new things can challenge your confidence. After all, you’re probably pretty comfortable with how you’re doing right now. Why risk failing at something new and more difficult?
The answer to that lies in knowing that failure is okay, and in fact, it can lead to growth. It’s been said many times that the only way to really fail is not to try. What’s more, Self explains that doing something new is healthy. Not only does it stretch your body, it stretches your mind. Even if things don’t go smoothly, trying, doing your best, and moving forward will give you a confidence boost. So give yourself the gift of trying something new and challenging!
Yoga Props and Accessories to Try
If you’re going to up your yoga game, you’re going to need some more equipment. After all, you’ve probably done everything you can with your current yoga gear. Besides, there’s something inspirational about using new gear. It practically begs you to try out new movements with it!
A knee pad provides extra cushioning that aging or damaged joints need. It alleviates painful pressure on your weight-bearing joints so that you can practice more comfortably. It’s also handy for practicing outdoors, so you can enjoy a more versatile routine.
Ready to aim higher in a literal manner? Yoga Journal notes standing on sturdy yoga blocks can make your balance poses more challenging and even exhilarating!
A stability or balance ball allows you to add variety to your practice and improve your balance while doing it. Using one regularly will also improve your core stability and posture while increasing your strength and flexibility. Sitting on a ball engages multiple muscles in a way that static sitting in a chair can never match. Heck, you can even tote it to the TV and snag a workout while bingeing your favorite shows.
A portable suspension device allows you to challenge yourself with those sometimes scary advanced poses. Secured within a sling, harness or hammock, you can concentrate on proper alignment and balance without worrying about falling. Working in a suspension harness is also great for improving your flexibility and strengthening your core.
Add Technology to Your Yoga Routine
Adding a great yoga practice app like Yoga Studio or Pocket Yoga to your phone will let you practice whenever, and wherever, you find yourself with a few minutes to spare. There are also apps to inspire and encourage you. You can even set weekly or monthly yoga goals on your smartphone and use it to keep track of your progress toward them!
Today’s smartwatches and fitness trackers do much more than just monitor how many steps you take. Devices like the Apple Watch Series 6 can precisely measure your workouts (including your yoga routine), and you can stream relaxing music. Or the Fitbit Zip is lightweight and can track how many calories you burn during your routine.
Putting It All Together
Gather your new yoga gear, put on some great music, pull up today’s lesson on your favorite yoga app, and start practicing. Your body and mind will both thank you for your efforts on their behalf! They’ll also thank you for the deep relaxation after a challenging workout. And wasn’t that the whole idea of yoga in the first place?
Belle Meadows Fitness is offering the Boom – Mind class, which provides practitioners with an intermediate to advanced mind-body workout by fusing the best of yoga and Pilates!