Like the very popular saying ‘There’s always room for improvement’, you too can aspire to achieve higher yogic goals by taking your yoga practice to the next level; even if you do not harbor any intention to reach the ultimate goal of ‘Samadhi’. It is imperative to understand that to reach these stages is not easy and takes years and years of practice combined with sattvik diet, healthy lifestyle, positive thoughts and lots more.
For starters, learning the forms, right techniques, and even remembering the names of the postures may seem the only thing on the mind. But as you begin mastering the postures one after another, the urge to learn new asanas and even difficult advanced ones may keep you going but unless you are watchful you may get stuck in the cycle of only performing asanas and perfecting them.
While performing asanas, is an essential aspect of yoga, it’s just the preliminary stage; as asanas develop the habit of discipline and ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation.
The next stage is that of Pranayama, which means control of life force through control of breath for attaining higher states of awareness.
It is then followed by withdrawal of senses to avoid any distraction, next by concentration leading to the stage of meditation.
Below are a few practices to take it to the next level:
- Challenge yourself:
The idea is to improvise . Challenge yourself with advance routines and postures. It will be difficult initially but once you’re on the path, every hurdle will be a cakewalk.
- Shift your perspective:
If you practice in a studio regularly, it might be advisable to change the environment.. Try doing yoga in natural surroundings. You are likely to feel much calmer and one with nature…
- Close your eyes:
Keep your eyes closed whenever you can comfortably do so. It will help keep attention internally which in turn will make you more aware ofyour breathing rhythm and evoke your senses . This internal guide is the best teacher you will ever find. During your next yoga class try not to look around and evaluate otherstudents instead focus on yourself and let your inner teacher emerge.
- Hold Poses Longer:
Gain better strength and stamina by holding your poses beyond just a few breaths. This may be difficult in a class setting where the pace is not set by you, but works great for a home practice. Set aside some time at home to practice and hold so you can maximize the benefits of each pose.