Yoga has long been recognised for its benefits on both the mind and body.
Physically, it develops muscle tone, strength, balance and flexibility.
Mentally, it offers stress relief, deeper relaxation, better focus, improved concentration and also greater self-awareness.
But to benefit holistically, you must prepare holistically – both the mind and body.
Preparing the mind
Your mindset is the foundation to yoga practice success.
At the start of your practice, take a few minutes to calm the constant chatter of your ‘monkey mind’ – a Buddhist term meaning ongoing unsettled, indecisive and restless thoughts.
To do this, focus on a single point in the distance. This is known as drishti, or the focused gaze, and is a tool to strengthen your dharana (concentration) and pratyahara (sense withdrawal).
With patience and practice you’ll strengthen your ability to tune out distractions. Stop your eyes from wandering and direct your energy appropriately.
In this restful state, you can focus more deeply on your pranayama (control of the breath) and also asanas (postures or poses).
Preparing the body
Firstly, physical preparation starts the night before – get a good night’s sleep so you’re not tired.
On the day of your practice, also ensure you’re well-hydrated. Drink at least two glasses of water before, or more if doing Bikram yoga (‘hot yoga’, practiced in a room heated to 35-42°C). Eating a light snack 1-2 hours before also keeps your energy levels high and prevents you feeling dizzy or faint.
Also, consider a supplement from the Yoga Naturals range. When taken 30 minutes before a class, the natural blend of vitamins, minerals and herbs optimises your practice by preventing fatigue, boosting energy, enhancing flexibility and also promoting recovery.
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