If you guys are new to the Kayli Wanders rodeo, you may not know that I fell in-love with yoga last year. I’m not one of those ya-ya raindancey types, so I mean this in the most sane way possible: yoga has done more than physically alleviate my pains (I’m 20 going on 80 with my back pains, you guys). It helps relieve my stress, center my inner voice + remember all of the good that my life holds.
I’m not going to lie though, sometimes it can be hard to get in the groove– your neck is sore from sleeping wonky the night before, your mind is all over the place with your over-extended todo list and the last thing you want to hear is your instructor correct your downward facing dog one more time.
Alas, on the days I force myself to go, I leave feeling like I can take on the world, ready for a good nights rest and thankful for all that I have– and all that my body is able to do.
Here are 10 Tips to help better your yoga practice and get into your groove a little bit quicker.
1. Disconnect a hour before class
Ditching the phone/iPad/computer will help your body recognize it’s time to calm down + help you forget some of the troubles that the day may have caused and unnecessary stress that may come from being connected online. You won’t be able to dwell on that awful Facebook picture your friend tagged you in if you never saw it!
Stretching will help your body limber-up and physically prepare you for the class ahead. Even 10 minutes does the body good and you may be hurting a whole lot more during Warrior 3 if you don’t.
3. Set an intention
Setting an intention for the class will help you stay focused and let go of the negative thoughts you may have stuck on the brain. Take 5 minutes before you practice to write down your intention– what it is, why you chose it + the good it will bring into your life. If setting an intention isn’t your thing, make a gratitude list! Then, focus on the elements you wrote down during class.
4. Stay hydrated– but don’t gulp the water down
Drink a tall glass of water one-hour before your practice. You want to stay hydrated for any form of exercise and yoga is no different! Don’t drink too much, however, or you may find yourself cramping-up.
5. Listen to calming music
I like to play some calming music on the drive to my yoga studio. It helps me calm down and start to get relaxed for my upcoming practice. Rap and KissFM can wait until after!
6. Remember that you’re a student of the Universe
Remember that you are always learning and no one– not even your instructor who can get into Scorpion pose in, like, one-second — is done being taught. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll find yourself open to the instructor’s corrections and the sooner you’ll find yourself having better practices. You might even get into a headstand one day! (A girl can dream, right?)
7. Use mat cleaner
Yep. It will literally stink when you finally get to sink into Savasana and realize that the nasty smell that’s been bothering you throughout class is your mat. You can buy a cleanser here for cheap or make your own! Side note: This especially applies to those of you that practice Bikram! Don’t be that guy.
8. Eat a protein bar
There’s seriously nothing worse than getting side-glances in class because your stomach is being Mr. Grumbly. Don’t fill-up on a whole meal before class, but having a protein bar will help sustain any hunger and also give you an extra blast of energy.
9. Bring a friend
Bringing a friend with you can help motivate you to do your best + having an accountability partner to-go every week (or day or weekend or…) is even better. The best part? You have a built-in partner to grab
wine a juice with you after!
10. Do deep breathing
Pausing to take some deep breaths throughout the day will help you find your center and prepare you for the class to come.
Do you have any tips for bettering your yoga practice?
Photo Credit: Sara Bishop Photography