Tips and Tricks to Get Flexible on Your Mat
What is the most asked question when it comes to yoga? Dun…dun…dun. “How do I get more flexible?”
I am here to tell you that step one is to do more yoga! There is no overnight success with yoga, which is why we call it a practice. You work towards becoming malleable. The more you do certain poses, you’ll notice that your body starts to tell your mind how to get deeper. It shows you how to make space, and your breath will help guide you in. Isn’t that incredible?
As you tour your journey with yoga you will figure out little ways to deepen your practice and ways to move your body, breath, and more to create a better on the mat experience. The more I got on my mat, the more I discovered how to unleash my practice. I’ll let you in on a few secrets I learned along the way. Let’s get flexible beauty!
SINK DEEPER INTO POSES:
Fighting sensation is going to do nothing for you. Find a place where you can be comfortable and no longer resist. Surrender to your body; listen and let it lead the way. Once you get there, shift your mind to concentrate on your breathing as you watch it be your guide. Let the sound of your breath take over and gravity will allow you to sink deeper into the pose. Each time you will notice shift happen to take on poses with ease.
LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS:
Alright, pictures on the internet sometimes get us SO excited to do yoga poses. I have been there, you see a pose, think “YEAH I’m doing that!”, and you get there and “WOW! I’m glad no one was watching!”. I’m laughing as I write this, because that has happened to me so many times. But those advanced poses come with years of practice. Yes, that practice word is popping up again. Build your practice slowly and in no time, you’ll see years behind you and wish you were still a beginner. There is something beautiful with the beginning of the journey.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT STRENGTH:
Yoga is about strengthening what you have too. I often get so lost in those feel good stretches that I forget those sun salutations that will get me feeling strong! If you can create a balance with gaining strength and flexibility your practice will grow even faster. I’ll also give you a little secret, some bodies will have an easier time being flexible and others will have an easier time with building strength. Each body is different and it is up to you to honor yours.
TAKE A BREAK:
I hear students all the time say, “I’ve been practicing this pose every day for X amount of time. I just can’t get more flexible!”. My answer is sometimes to take a break, let your body rest, and reset. Come back to the pose in a month and you might be amazed by how much deeper you get into the pose. Our bodies don’t always do what our minds say it should. Also, by doing other poses you might get flexible in the right areas without even knowing it.
There you have it! My tips and tricks on getting a little more flexible for your practice. Here are some poses to try out and see if you can get more bendy on your mat! Remember to take care of yourself and stop when your body tells you to. Give it respect and it will respect you. Most importantly have fun with your practice, after all, it’s just yoga!
See you next time on The Yogiste.