5 Ways to Make the Most of Your In-Studio Yoga Practice

“In-Studio” because I will be sharing another bunch of tips for home practice.

Practicing with a room full of bodies moving in sync and having someone telling you what exactly to do and when exactly to breathe is a beautiful way to reenergise your body and mind. It offers company yet space, guidance yet freedom. Here are five ways that can help you make the most of your practice:

1. Arrive early and don’t skimp on the breathing and grounding at the start of your practice.

It gives you time to clear your mind and catch your breath so that you can easily.

2. Check in with your energy level and work with that

Take time to feel how your body feels – which areas feel tight, which areas feel like they would like some work and how you are breathing.

3. Take only cues that serve you

Give the cues that your teacher offer a shot. If they feel right, take them. If you feel pain (especially sharp pains), don’t take the cue.

While cues are great, not all bodies are made the same so do take cues with caution especially in a large class. If you are unsure about certain cues, ask your teacher after class – most yoga teachers will be happy to share more.

4. Remember that it is not about the postures

The purpose of coming to your mat is to feel great in your body and mind, not to force your body into a certain shape that it is not ready for. Here’s what happens when you stop chasing postures.

5. Always acknowledge your achievements

Taking time out to step onto your mat, commuting to the studio and having the resources to allow you to do that are great accomplishments in themselves. Taking the entire class asana by asana should not be undermined as well. Thank your legs for carrying you, your arms for enabling you to embrace your loved ones, and your mobility that enables you to enjoy movement.

Extra bonus if it was a hot class – here’s a list of what you MUST after hot yoga!

What Happens When You Stop Chasing Things, People & Yoga

I used to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful people doing amazing things with their bodies. They were standing on their hands, floating from one shape to another. Others had perfectly sculpted bodies, perfect faces, beautiful clothing. I wondering when it would be me. When would I float, when can I fly, when can I be like them… heck. I wanted to be way better than them.

I used to chase yoga postures. First it was Crow, then it was Firefly. When I managed headstand, I wanted forearm stand, I haven’t mastered the forearm stand and I was chasing handstands.

The desire to do impressive things became my motivation to come to my yoga mat every single day. And boy, was the motivation strong.

On the yoga mat we chase postures, off the mat we chase money, people, emotions, food, entertainment, attention…

The interesting thing about yoga is that, if you observing close enough, it’s a metaphor of our lives. Whatever happens on the mat is often a reflection of how we live and treat ourselves off the mat.

A shift happened in my yoga practice.

About a year ago, on that morning when all that I could manage was cuddling up in child’s pose with a bolster supporting me. I wasn’t able to move as strongly as I used to. As I laid on my mat, letting go of whatever I was holding on to, I subconsciously created space for my heart to heal and my mind to accept new ways of bringing my yoga to a deeper level.

My practice went from chasing yoga poses to being in tune with what my body and mind needed. It has been a year and so much has changed.

Chasing things is not the problem. The problem happens when we get attached to what we are chasing. We glorify the object of desire and we start to think that we can only be truly happy and fulfilled if we get what we want.

The liberation I felt when I stopped chasing poses is the same liberation I experienced as I stopped chasing people – maybe for you, it is wealth, fame, adrenaline or something else.

Chase, do your best, but be open to other possibilities. The end result could be different and different doesn’t mean better or worse. It simply means that there’s a world of possibilities out there, unexplored, unexpected, waiting for you to discover.