Looking to advance your yoga practice?

So you’ve completed your beginners yoga course and you’ve been going to classes to beat the band. After initially making great strides you feel your yoga practice has since plateaued and you’re now looking to bring it to the next level. Don’t worry! This is a common issue that a lot of yogis experience. The good news is that all it takes is some small commitments to advance your practice.

Here’s a couple of practical tips that should have you advancing your practice in no time:

1. Practice

This is the obvious one. You really can’t advance the depth of your yoga practice without having the discipline to practice as much as possible. As you can imagine, those more advanced postures come with time and dedication.

Everyone can do a handstand or a headstand. It’s all about finding which part of the pose is working for you in any particular point in time. Doing a headstand doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get your feet off the floor. Instead, it might mean you spend some time with your head on the floor and your legs in a Down Dog position.

This can be especially true when you go to a class where the instructor is teaching a more advanced pose, find the piece of the posture that you can do, instead of getting upset about the parts you can’t do. Arm balances and inversions require a lot of strength, flexibility, and will. Allow yourself the time and space to build up those things, and don’t worry too much about quickening the process anymore than you naturally want to take it.

2. Read

Thanks to yoga’s popularity, there’s an ever expanding amount of yoga literature you can get your hands on. You can get books on every topic from anatomical specifics (yoga for every physical ailment) to the history of yoga’s journey from India to it’s expansion to countries around the world. You should pick your books carefully since they tend to be either directed at the deeply initiated or the very beginner. You’ll find a good array of books in most Dublin libraries.

3. Try new teachers and new styles

One of the realities of yoga is not every style suits every student. Each teacher can also brings their own unique experience and style to class. That’s why The elbowroom offers a number of different styles such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Iyengar and the recently added Kundalini Yoga. Find a style that you enjoy and you’ll find it easier to make progress with your practice. I would also suggest in trying to find a balance with the different styles. If you’re doing a lot of Vinyasa try to balance your practice with some Yin classes.

4. Rest days and be present

We live in a world where bigger, stronger, faster is a message that is drummed into us on a daily basis. You might like to take 1 or 2 everyday but it’s not all about the asana, another important part of yoga is tuning in and listening to your body. Sometime this can be the hardest part of your practice, especially if you’re a competitive athletic type. Your body needs to re-energize and re-vitalize. Rest days allow you to absorb the wisdom of you practice. It’s also good to slow down your practice from time to time. Treat your mind and body to a Restorative Yoga workshop. Restorative Yoga can be a great benefit to those suffering from stress, illness or injury.

The elbowroom is hosting a number of Masterclasses over the coming months starting with James Higgins this weekend. Rohan Hennessy will be starting a 6 week Advanced Yoga Course on Monday 9th November and we’re delighted to be hosting Timo Jimenez from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th November.

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