Often, in life and in yoga, we assume to progress to the next level, we need to go harder, faster, stronger…that’s not necessarily true. Yes, if you’re on the cusp of moving toward the second series in Ashtanga or working to master a handstand, by all means, go for it! Just know that striking a pose doesn’t necessarily correlate to a deeper practice.
Going upside down: If your usual practice doesn’t include inversions, try shifting your focus and play with gravity. Delving deeper could be a matter of turning everything upside down! Allow Shannon Paige to guide you in Apex Fusion Inversions: Up, Under, Down & Across.
Tweak your alignment: You also don’t have to completely revamp your practice or struggle to wrap your leg around your head. Much of yoga’s power lies in subtle shifts in perspective and alignment. Transform your practice by altering your shapes on the mat. According to Kristen Boyle in her latest class, The Smallest Change, you can achieve profound results by fine-tuning your alignment. Try it and get inspired.
Intensify your intention: Sometimes the depth of your practice doesn’t have much to do with the physical asana. Empowering your practice can simply come from becoming more conscious with your sadhana or practice. In Absolution Flow: Deepen Your OM, Mark Morford instructs on how focusing on your true yogic intention can bring your practice to another level. The intentions you set on your yoga mat are often a direct reflection of your intentions off of the mat.
Japa Meditation: You’ve probably heard that physical asana was created as a path toward meditation. Opening and strengthening your physical body allows you the ability to sit still and meditate without being distracted by pins and needles in your foot, a gnawing ache in your lower back, or tight hips. As Sri Pattabhi Jois, the credited founder of Ashtanga yoga said, “Yoga is an internal practice the rest is just a circus.” At the end of the day, your yoga practice is an internal one. If you’d like expert guidance, Alanna Kaivalya offers this excellent class, Japa Meditation: Using Mantra to Focus the Mind.
We invite you to experience each of these different classes and see what resonates for you today.
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