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Boost your yoga practice

I wanted to give you all some tips to encourage you to enjoy and relax in your yoga journey that little bit more. Many times I have been contacted with yoga wouldbe students anxious about not being flexible enough, or the wrong shape or size prior to joining a class. I tell them this - that yoga is not actually about touching your toes, or how flexible you are. It's not a competition to see how skinny you can become or how many Sun Salutations you can do before collapsing in a sweaty heap on your mat. Yoga should not be painful. Yoga should be relaxing. And it's not about whether you eat more organic food than Sally or John. But if organic eating is your vibe, then great! Yoga is about your journey to going within. To live life mindfully. To be still, present and mindful of where you are - in the now, with life. To challenge yourself, through a moving meditation, using Pranayama (breath work) to strip down the layers of you, to the real, authentic you. To stop that internal chatter. To remove yourself from murky thoughts and get out of the monkey mind. Liberating the soul. The asana's that we use at Rock Beam Yoga are designed to help you do just that. Same for the meditations we use, energy clearing sessions and Reiki healing and so on. So you see, it's not about getting that perfect posture or yoga asana, it's about finding yourself through the process. Connecting to the real, authentic you.

My top tips for reaching this state are enclosed below:

- Use your breath to anchor yourself. When you reach the 'edge' of your posture, use your breath to relax yourself and see if you can reach or stretch that little bit further

- Switch off from your neighbour. This is your practice, your journey and your process. It doesn't help to compare yourself to 'Ann' who is on her own ever evolving yoga path

- Realise that small progress is good progress! Don't be discouraged if progress is slow, that is envitably the best progress. Steady and strong

- Don't be afraid to ask your teacher questions, to repeat a posture, we are here to help you learn. Just flowing through a sequence and not learning hinders your learning. If you feel to shy, save the question for the end of class

- Use the props we provide! We offer straps, blocks, blankets, crystals and chakra oils :) Don't feel ashamed for using blocks, straps, props. Reach out and grab them! These are there to help you and even the most seasoned yogi's use props to help them get into the most advanced postures

- Release. LET GO.......really

- B R E A T H E - don't hold your breath, make sure you are making a conscious effort to breathe as you practise yoga.The harder the pose, the more you should anchor into your breath to help support your effort

- Give yourself enough time to get to class early! Rushing because you are late will mean you bring stress into your practice. Leave plenty of time to arrive to class on time, to settle into your space. And on the same token, leave time after class to travel mindfully to your next appointment

- Home practice, get on YouTube in between studio classes to help further your understanding of certain tricky postures and to encourage more hours on the mat per week

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