How to enhance your yoga practice

Jul 22, 2021
Posted in: Featured, Fitness, Well-being   Posted by: Ragdale Hall Spa

Yoga is all about unity and may help to heal body, mind and spirit, leaving you feeling recharged and rebalanced. Regular practice can come with an abundance of wellbeing benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, improving and protecting spinal health, building strength and flexibility, better bone health, improving your balance and posture, boosting your immune system and developing your spirituality – you might even notice that you’re sleeping better! In this blog, we’re looking at the ways you can enhance your yoga practice, to really get the most out of it and start reaping the benefits ­– there’s never been a better time to switch off from the trials of daily life and step onto the mat.

Set an intention

At the start of your practice, think about what would you like to achieve, explore or discover. Is it to explore a sense of playfulness? Maybe you want to feel more energised to start your day, or if it’s in the evening, perhaps your goal is to unwind for sleep.

 

Be gentle with yourself

Practice cultivating a sense of compassion, and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you stumble out of a pose ungracefully, learn to laugh, smile, and try again! (It happens to even the most experienced yoga practitioners!)

 

Release expectations

Learn to honour your body and let go of any expectations of where you should be in your practice, easing into acceptance. It really doesn’t matter if you can’t touch your toes yet – you’ll get there in time. The most important thing to remember is that you took the time to step onto your mat, and just giving yourself this moment of self-care is enough.

 

Explore different styles of yoga

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to yoga, and there’s so many different styles of yoga out there, it can sometimes be overwhelming. Why not practice a different style of yoga every week for a month? From Ashtanga, to Vinyasa, power yoga, relaxing Yin, or Hatha, there’s plenty to choose from and experiment with.

 

Connect to your breath

Never underestimate the importance of breath work. There are so many different styles of breathing you could incorporate into your practice, such as Lion’s breath to help you destress. Find out more about breathing techniques in our blog. Deep breathing can also benefit your practice by allowing you to get deeper into certain postures. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to go deeper into the pose.

 

Use modifications, props or blocks

Sometimes our ego will get in the way and tell us that we don’t need help to get into certain postures – don’t listen! It can be incredibly beneficial to take things a bit slower, modify poses and use props such as blocks or straps to help you get the most out of poses which might not yet be accessible to you.

 

Savasana

At the end of your practice, after all your hard work, nothing will be as satisfying as a Savasana. There are a few variations, but the most popular is to lie on your back on the mat, with your legs and arms outstretched, palms facing upwards. Take this moment as an opportunity to express gratitude, whether it’s for your practice, for your body, or how you were able to calm your thoughts and still your mind.

 

Take your practice off the mat

Yoga doesn’t have to start and finish on the mat. Meditate, journal, start a yoga diary, practice gratitude, and find ways to incorporate your practice into your everyday life, to really start to reap the wellbeing benefits.

 

Yoga can be about becoming the best version of you, in real life. And there’s no better teacher of this than founder of Real-Life Yoga, Meg Jackson.

“Yoga is about being curious, not a contortionist. It’s about using amazing practices so that you can become the best version of you – in real life. If we want to live a truly healthy and happy life, it’s essential to get every bit of us working in harmony.”

Challenge yourself and feel zen on the Real Life Yoga Break hosted by Meg Jackson, founder of Real Life Yoga, and discover how you can become the best version of you, both on and off the mat. With dates now released for 2022, (Sunday 30th January – Tuesday 1st February 2022 – Un-Bendy Beginners, Saturday 7th May – Monday 9th May 2022 – Building On The Basics and Saturday 3rd September- Monday 5th September 2022 – Finding Your Flow), you’ll be able to choose from three experience levels, depending on your ability. Prices start from £208.50 per person per night. Each Real Life Yoga Break includes a welcome and introduction to the Break by Meg Jackson, including how to get the most from it and five yoga sessions with Meg plus a mindfulness session before bed on the first night. More information is available here.

*Prices quoted are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to change.

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