Millions of people around the world have woken up and realized that yoga can literally change their lives. The change process can occur on multiple, intersecting levels with the end result being optimized productivity in the personal and professional settings. Also note that many people who stick with their yoga practice have attained deeper and deeper dimensions of self-knowledge, a greater sense of gratitude, and a heightened awareness of how material realities like water and the air sustain their lives. In attaining these life-enhancing benefits, many individuals decide that they want to deepen their practice. If this is the case for you, know that you can implement some or all of the following techniques to take your yoga practice to the next level:
This strategy seems so simple and obvious that it is almost not worth mentioning. Yet the reality is that many people love yoga but do not practice enough to see substantive results. In light of this reality, people who are serious about deepening their practice need to implement strategies which will ensure that they’re practicing consistently. One great way to realize this objective is through the development of SMART goals. These goals will keep your mind on yoga so that you’re constantly thinking about how to practice in a manner that helps you realize objectives like mastering difficult asanas or learning to breathe through your entire practice. The outcome is that the presence of the goal keeps you going back to the gym so you can realize the objective!
2. Read Yoga-Related Books.
In addition to setting yoga-related SMART goals, make sure that you begin reading yoga-related books. Like the previous strategy, this technique keeps your mind thinking about yoga so you don’t become cognitively preoccupied with other tasks that will lead you away from your practice. Some of the most interesting yoga-related texts out there are those that explicate the nature and function of the human ego. The ego is thought to function as a barrier to consciousness and consciousness expansion because it seeks to maintain a sense of self that is separate and distinct from others and the world at large. Additionally, the ego typically identifies with thought and summarizes personhood in terms of the mind alone rather than acknowledging the integral, important role that the body plays in shaping the substance and scope of individual identity. The yoga practice is diametrically opposed to the maintenance and valorization of the ego because the exercise modality is predicated upon the principle of interconnectedness. Thus the dualisms of mind/body, self/other, and nature/culture that are maintained by an egocentric understanding of the universe seem irrelevant and ultimately inaccurate within yogic systems of thought. Learning more about yogic systems of thought and praxis is a wonderful way to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of what yoga is all about and how you can use the exercise methodology to develop a deeper, less dyadic lens of viewing yourself and the world around you.
3. Optimize Your Eating Habits.
One final technique that can really enhance your ability to deepen your yoga practice is optimizing your nutritional intake. Doing so will empower you to continually ingest all of the vitamins and minerals your body requires to keep you feeling energetic, limber, and mentally alert while completing asanas. Note that reading up on topics pertaining to nutrition is a wonderful way to begin the dietary optimization process. To begin your reading journey, consider reading the article The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. This book will provide you with key information and insights regarding the ongoing debate about the role that saturated fats may play in precipitating degenerative diseases.
If you possess the internal will and motivation necessary to deepen your yoga practice, now is the time to get started. Use the information discussed in the body of this article to remain on track to cultivating an increasingly progressive, powerful yoga practice!