8 Yoga Tips for Getting the Most From Your Practice

Whether you’re just starting a yoga practice or have been practicing for a while, you’re probably eager to get the most out of your yoga practice. Here are some yoga tips for making the most of your time on the mat.

  1. Dress comfortably. You don’t need designer yoga clothes, but be sure that your attire doesn’t hinder your practice. You’ll want clothing that’s comfortable enough to move in but not too loose. It’s also a good idea to make sure pant legs are not too long or too wide so you won’t trip over them or have them slide down your legs when you do inversions. Your top should be snug so your head won’t end up caught in your neckline when you’re upside down.
  2. Don’t practice in socks. You’ll benefit from the direct connection between your feet and the ground, and you’ll also be safer. It’s too easy to slip if you practice with your socks on!
  3. Listen to your body. “No pain, no gain” is not a principle of yoga. If you feel any discomfort in a pose, back off. Try a modified version of the pose, use a prop, or rest in child’s pose. And don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for help.
  4. Don’t compare your practice or your progress to anyone else’s. This is the yogi’s version of keep your eyes on your own paper. It’s one of the yoga tips you’ll hear often, and it will often be difficult to follow. It’s tempting to look around and try to emulate what other students are doing, but if you’re not ready for a pose, you’ll just end up frustrated, or worse—injured. Remember, your practice is your own journey, no one else’s.
  5. Choose a class style and level that’s right for you. It’s great to challenge yourself, but if you’re still working on downward dog as a resting pose and you’re in a class where handstands and difficult binds are typical, you won’t get much out of the practice. Don’t worry. You’ll get to those poses when your body is ready for them.
  6. On the other hand, step out of your comfort zone once in a while. The flip side of a practice that’s too challenging is staying with beginner classes long after you’re ready to move on. Practice at your edge, but not beyond it. The poses you avoid may be the very ones you need to practice.
  7. Stay until the class is over. Just as you wouldn’t leave work without your paycheck, you don’t want to leave a yoga class before getting paid—that is, before experiencing final relaxation, or savasana. This resting posture is truly the goal of the practice; it’s what you’ve worked for since the class started.
  8. Practice at home. Unless you have time and money to go to a yoga studio more than a few times a week, you’ll get more out of your yoga practice if supplement studio time with a home-based practice. Practicing at home will also help make yoga a part of your overall lifestyle, and you’ll certainly benefit from that!

Remember these yoga tips are guidelines. You won’t be able to do everything “right” all of the time, but with commitment to putting your best foot forward every time you step on the mat, you’ll find it much easier to make the best of your yoga practice and your life.

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Maria Kuzmiak

23 thoughts on “8 Yoga Tips for Getting the Most From Your Practice

  1. Annie Frances says:

    I’ve never tried yoga until my sister-in-law invited me to join her in a class. Now I’m hooked! I definitely agree that choosing the right class is essential. I personally like my beginner yoga class, but I know I should move up soon. Great post!

    • Maria Kuzmiak says:

      Thank you, Annie. Remember you can always try a different class once. You don’t have to give up your beginner class before you’re ready, but you might be pleasantly surprised by something different!

  2. Sarah Smith says:

    I’ve always wanted to do yoga and am trying to find a local place for me. I’ll have to remember to not wear tight clothing and to listen to my body so that I don’t over stretch. I’ll also have to do research and find a teacher that is certified in several types of yoga so that I can get a variety.

  3. John Carston says:

    I’m new to practicing yoga so this post has given me a lot of info that should help me to get the most from my practice. It makes sense that there are yoga poses that may be too advanced for me as a beginner so I’ll keep that in mind as I keep up with the class. Although I’ll also push myself out of my comfort zone to be able to become more advanced in my yoga practices. Thanks for the helpful info.

  4. Brooke McAvoy says:

    I like your tip about not practicing while wearing socks. This is a mistake that I have made, and like you said, I kept slipping! The only trouble is, sometimes it is difficult to move my feet over the mat. The friction makes my movement harder, if you know what I mean. Do you have any solutions for this? Thank you!

    • Maria Kuzmiak says:

      Hi Brooke! Thanks for your comment. I do know what you mean. I think moving over the mat gets easier with practice, but it’s also possible that a different mat will help. Some mats create more friction than others.

  5. Jackie Oliver says:

    I like what you said about stepping outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. Yoga is so amazing, and has so many different benefits. I’ll be sure to start trying different classes, so that I can find what I really love.

  6. Jay Jorgenson says:

    I really like what was said about dressing comfortably when it comes to doing yoga. A few years ago I took a personalized yoga lesson where I dressed too warm and it ended up not being too enjoyable for me. Once I started dressing comfortably, I started progressing!

  7. yoga philosophy says:

    Thank you for these helpful tips, I am a yoga practitioner since 2013 and I keep reading blogs and I am also passionate for yoga history and philosophy so I found this blog very interesting.

    Thank you so much for giving all this to yoga lovers like me!

    Peter

  8. John Ferrell says:

    I like that you said that the poses that you avoid may be the ones that you need the most. I think that if I was going to do yoga then I would want to know which poses would benefit me the most. I think that if you don’t try different poses then you might not have the results that you want.

  9. Trudy Roberts says:

    Maria, No-4-Don’t compare your practice or your progress to anyone else’s is really important for me to follow because accept this, all other tips I knew before today! As a new yogi, I have to follow your guideline as much as possible to get the best result in the end. Personally, I practice yoga in my class near my house as well. I have two friends also. Thank you so much, Maria, and have a good day! 🙂

  10. Szymon says:

    I think that the last one is crucial. You can’t expect a lot if you go just for 1-2h per week in the studio. You need to focus and try to do more at home. That worked for me hard!

  11. Gloria Durst says:

    I like how you say that you would want to find a yoga style that is the right level for you. It would make sense to find a class that is right for you because it would be easier for you. My sister is looking for a yoga studio, so she’ll have to find one that is the right level for her.

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