As many of you know, Dr. Vella at Palm Desert Chiropractic is a huge proponent of the practice of yoga. This is because of the numerous health benefits of yoga, a daily practice helps lubricates the joints, reduces muscle spasms and inflammation, it strengthens muscles and increases range of motion. For those who practice yoga regularly, their chiropractic adjustments maintain their alignment for longer times, need less chiropractic care overall and respond more quickly to their chiropractic adjustments.
For many people, getting started with yoga is the hardest part. There’s a level of strength and flexibility that basic yoga flows take for granted. Take, for example, a Sun Salutation, a basic flow introduced in many yoga classes. It’s considered a yoga fundamental, but even this can be intimidating for someone who doesn’t have the flexibility to nail downward-facing dog or the strength to transition through the standard flow.
As Yoga U points out, doing too much, too fast puts you at risk for injury, potentially setting your practice back further. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and technologies available that can help you gradually build the strength and flexibility you need to prosper. In addition to receiving chiropractic care from Palm Desert Chiropractic in order to prevent injury and strengthen your spine, here are other ways to maximize the benefits of your yoga practice.
Props, such as straps, blocks and wheels, can make a world of difference for the yogi just starting off. These tools allow you to modify poses, creating additional transitional stages. For example, you can ease the stretch of downward dog by supporting your upper body on blocks, rather than directly on the floor. This allows you to carefully improve the flexibility of the back legs without risking extra strain or discomfort.
There has never been an easier time for new yogis to connect with yoga pros all over the world. Online communities can be an incredible resource – after all, everyone was new once. If you’re struggling to achieve a specific pose or you’re unsure what, exactly, is holding you back, consider asking a question on a forum online. You’ll get tons of helpful feedback, but remember, take all advice with a grain of salt; after all, anyone can post on a message board.
You can also take advantage of online yoga tutorials and smartphone apps. Not only do these give you the ability to practice outside of class, but they also let you take your yoga routine home. There are many virtual learning opportunities for adults -- and many virtual classes cater to kids, too. These age-appropriate classes can get children interested in yoga so that they may reap its many benefits when they become adults.
In yoga, you are always encouraged to check in with your body and feel how you’re managing in a pose. That said, this isn’t always useful advice for beginners who haven’t yet learned how to distinguish between pushing limits and risking injury. Sometimes, particularly when you’re just starting out, it’s easier to see what you’re doing wrong than it is to feel it.
Yoga Basics explains a large mirror can allow you to check out your positioning as you go, so you’re able to tell if you’re making the right adjustments in tricky poses or transitions. You can also record yourself with a phone or video camera, but it may be harder to incorporate observations after the fact. Mirror or camera, it’s important to still focus on the feeling of moving through your flow – simply use the visual information to put those sensations in context.
Be mindful of your mental state as well. If you’re having trouble concentrating or feel anxious during your home practice, the state of your house could be to blame. When you’re living in a space that’s disorganized and full of clutter, it can be a breeding ground for stressful and negative emotions and thoughts. Decluttering can make you more optimistic, mindful, and capable of focusing on your practice.
One of the most important parts of trying to improve is actually tracking your progress. When you track the incremental progress along the way, you can look back on how far you’ve come, set goals, and celebrate successes. In turn, it’s a motivation to continue building your skills and developing further growth.
You can use any blank journal or notebook to keep track, or you can invest in a yoga-specific journal. If you’re going it on your own, be sure to make a note of how different poses feel, where you feel more comfortable over time, and your mood before and after practice. Along those same lines, MatMat suggests monitoring the duration of your poses, as well as repetitions, so you recognize where you’re making progress. This will allow you to see the many benefits you’re getting from your regimen, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Yoga is a great way to stay fit and connect with your body. Getting over that starting hump can be a challenge, but one that brings plenty of rewards.
To enhance your yoga practice and overall health, consider getting regular chiropractic treatments. Doing so can not only take you practice to the next level, but also help you prevent injury by ensuring your musculoskeletal system is in the correct alignment so you can safely perform the postures of your practice. Contact Palm Desert Chiropractic to make an appointment.
Photo Credit: Pixabay