Monday, April 28, 2014

Two Habits to Make Your Yoga Practice More Fulfilling

Many Americans practice yoga as a form of exercise; however, yoga encompasses so much more than great abs and superior flexibility. Looking into yogic philosophy, we learn that yoga evolved as a way to cultivate a union or oneness with the world around us. Some yogic scriptures also recognize yoga as a path to bliss. Whether your next yoga class is more spiritual or it’s a boot camp class filled with yogic push-ups, consider incorporating these two habits into your practice.

Develop an intention. Many yoga teachers start class by inviting students to choose an intention, such as peace, love, or balance. The intention serves as a personal theme to which students can devote energy and compassion. Students can also think of an intention as a sort of prayer for themselves, their loved ones, or the world at large. Integrating an intention into your practice will help you calm your mind and connect more deeply with yourself and others.

Focus in on gratitude. The next time you’re in chair pose and your thighs start burning, consider adopting a more grateful mindset. Be grateful that your legs are strong enough to hold you in this uncomfortable pose; be grateful that you showed up to care for your body through yoga. Once you start turning the challenges in your yoga class into opportunities for gratitude, it quickly becomes easier to incorporate gratitude into your daily life.