Flexible and Centered: 5 Ways to Increase the Benefits of Your Yoga Routine
Just because you are practicing yoga multiple days a week doesn't mean you are getting the most out of this unique discipline.
In order to enjoy long-term benefits, you must take some time to create the perfect atmosphere for your routines and fuel your body with healthy foods and supplements. Taking the time to create a peaceful setting is paramount.
Other things, like taking the correct health supplements and eating nutritious foods can also help increase what you get out of your yoga routine.
Create the Perfect Environment
Even though you can overcome outside distractions with enough practice, you shouldn't make your yoga routines any harder than they need to be. The setting should be as quiet and comfortable as possible with little stimulation and distraction from the outside world. Unless you might have to deal with an emergency, all of your electronic devices should be completely off or outside of the room.
Other things you can do include: lighting candles for atmosphere, turn on some soothing background music to get you into your "Zen zone," and making sure the lighting isn’t too bright or dark. An overly-bright or too-dim setting can annoy the eyes and thereby distract the true yogi inside of you.
Warm It Up
Some yogis like to warm their area before they start their routine. Space heaters can be easily utilized to achieve this. Especially in the cold winter months when most people do yoga indoors.
You can also simply turn up the thermostat, but space heaters work better because they allow you to heat only your area to the proper temperature, instead of heating the whole house. Being warm enough to break a little bit of a sweat before you even do your first sun salutation may seem extreme, but it can be a great aid that will help you throughout your entire session.
Putting on some warm layers of clothing and going for a brisk walk can also help get the blood flowing and warm the body in preparation for stretching and toning during your yoga regimen.
Yoga is a low-impact practice, but that doesn't mean your body isn't being pushed to the limit. In addition to a healthy diet, you should also consider supplementing to take care of any nutritional deficiencies you are suffering from.
Having the proper nutrition to back up your workout is essential to any yogi’s success. Some companies, like Modern Therapy, know that options such as Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, immune boosters, and multivitamins will provide you with a wide variety of key vitamins and minerals.
These supplements can also reduce your recovery time after each workout and lower your risk of becoming injured due to overworking your body.
Try to Practice at Sunrise or Sunset
According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, exercising either first thing in the morning or immediately following work tend to be the two most beneficial times.
Those who participated in this study had much lower stress levels when working out at these times and burnt more calories.
Many yoga practitioners get up a little earlier and do their routine before heading out for the day. This helps get the blood flowing and the mind ready for the day’s activities. It clears the mind, leaving it open to make the day more productive and beneficial.
Take Your Time
Trying to practice yoga while you are in a hurry will increase your risk of injuring yourself and reduce the benefits you receive from this practice. Remember, yoga is about focus and concentration, not about hurrying through the workout.
In the West, we have the mentality that everything has to be fast-paced and we live on a sense of immediate gratification. These sort of ideas should be changed or at least put on the shelf during your routine.
You should also try to give yourself a few minutes to relax just before you practice yoga and immediately following your session. This will emphasize the benefits of yoga and allow you to emotionally prepare yourself for the rest of the day. As a general rule, you will need at least 30 minutes of peace for each routine.
Those who don't prepare their bodies and minds for yoga can spend years carrying out this practice without making changes to their health.
These few steps should help you maximize the results every time you take a class or enjoy a quick routine at home.