4 Simple Resolutions to Improve Your Yoga Practice
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine, Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals and Certified Kundalini Instructor
Let’s begin this new year off on the right foot and make resolutions and commitments to ourselves to improve our yoga practices. It’s important to keep learning, growing and challenging ourselves as yogis. So here are 4 simple resolutions to help us move forward in a positive direction.
- Try a new type of yoga every month.
Often, we get stuck in our comfort zone with the same class style and we don’t venture out to experiment with new styles, poses and breathing techniques. Trying something new expands your practice so you can learn and find new methods to enhance it. There are so many varieties of yogas it may be difficult for you to choose which one, but that’s alright because there are 12 months in 2019 so you can try quite a few new classes!
If you are into an athletic style of yoga that is fast-paced, then try the complete opposite of what you are used to. Yin Yoga is an example of a class that is very slow with long deep stretches and is very relaxing and at the same time increases your flexibility. Here are some other suggestions:
- Kundalini Yoga: Intense Breathwork and Techniques
- Aerial Yoga: It’s not just for girls! Hang upside down, sideways, and stretch further than you ever thought possible.
- Acro Yoga: Bring a friend or your partner. This yoga combines fitness with the play of acrobatics, balance and healing.
- Laughter Yoga: It’s just what it says. You laugh and laugh and it’s an incredible workout for your core and sides. It’s also sooooooo much fun!
- Wall Yoga: Using straps and belts you hang on the wall in a variety of poses. It combines strength with balance and is a great way to lengthen your back muscles and spine.
- Buti: This is a fast-paced asana class incorporating primal movements with loud upbeat music. It will help you get in touch with your feminine side.
- Crazy Yoga Classes: Give one of the funky and fun classes a whirl. There are Yoga Classes with Happy Hour and others that glow in the dark. We can’t forget about Goat Yoga and Puppy Pilates. Even though these classes may seem really far fetched to you…it doesn’t matter! They are meant as ways to meet new friends, have fun, laugh and play.
- Experience new teachers and studios
Of course, we all have our favorite yoga studio we will always be dedicated to and our favorite teachers but give new places and different teachers a try. Exploring new teachers and places can strengthen your practice. They may offer a different variation to your favorite pose or even a great modification. Each teacher has their own sequences and different sun salutations. You may learn a new breathing technique or tidbit of wisdom you can take back with you to your favorite studio and share. Realize the yoga world is a big place with many possibilities. Don’t get stuck…explore!
- Learn or Master a new pose every month
It’s difficult to put a time frame on learning new poses. Some poses may come easy to you while others seem much more difficult. Before you begin to practice new poses learn the proper way. Often people see a pose and they jump into it without finding the safe and correct way of practicing it. After class, ask your teacher for help or take a private lesson. If it’s a difficult pose they will show you ways to learn it in small steps until your reach the full pose. Ask about using blocks, props and straps and study videos if necessary. Remember…practice, practice, practice!
- Learn something new about the history of yoga regularly
The history of yoga is not only fascinating, but it will help you understand your practice more. Read books about gurus, swamis and India. They are filled with such wisdom and clarity you are sure to learn from their inspirational stories. One of the all time best selling autobiographies is Yogananda’s “The Autobiography of a Yogi”. It’s interesting, entertaining and insightful. We are fortunate to live in a time where there are many workshops, seminars and speakers about yoga. Find a seminar or even a book on the Eight Limbs of Yoga and start implementing them in your life. All yogis should be familiar with the Eight Limbs. Don’t wait to learn more…fly out of your net and expand your knowledge of yoga.
- Meditate More
Most people don’t spend enough time meditating and this year is a great time to implement it more in our lives. Learning to meditate and go within ourselves is an important aspect of yoga and it tends to be left out in many practices. Even if you start with just 5 minutes of quite time a day then you have made a start. Reach out for help with your meditation practice. Once again, there are many classes, seminars and workshops available to assist beginners to the most advanced. Even if you meditate regularly and are a pro, we all can learn new techniques and expand our practice and knowledge. Once you have learned meditation and utilize it in your daily life, your yoga practice will change entirely…for the positive. You will be growing spiritually…the most sacred purpose of yoga.
About the Author:
“AJ” Amy Jo Crowell is the Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine and Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals. She has been in advertising, marketing, publishing and large-scale event planning for over 20 years. She was also certified in Kundalini Yoga in Samadhi ashram in Rishikesh, India. AJ leads Kundalini workshops and sound meditations with crystal singing bowls. She is a Magnified Motivation Mentor and has been in recovery from addictions for over 30 years. AJ is also a co-host on Ken Goldberg’s Law and Disorder show on Tuesdays at 6pm (central time) aired on YouTube and Facebook LIVE.