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How to deepen your yoga practice in 2019

December 28, 2018 4 min read

How to deepen your yoga practice in 2019

The New Year is upon us and everyone is rushing to set resolutions for 2019. If you are among those who started making a list of the things you would like to achieve in the next 365 days, I would like to stop you here…for a while. 

Setting up resolutions for yourself is not such a bad idea, but have you noticed that almost all of them are stating the end results? Such as losing weight, changing jobs or learning a new language. What if this year instead of setting resolutions, we would place intentions? The difference between those two is that with resolutions, we put pressure on ourselves to reach that final result no matter what, whereas intentions are inviting us to enjoy the journey regardless of the timeline.

In 2019 we are inviting you to open the door for new opportunities and new experiences! It doesn’t really matter whether you start your journey on the 1st of January or the 14th of February – in spirituality the process of learning and the joy of experience is the one that counts. Being a yogi is an exciting journey and we would like to share with you a few tips that will help you deepen your yoga practice next year! (or anytime later):

  1. Try Different types of Yoga

When we turn to yoga, most of the time we already know to which yoga class we would go or which type of yoga we would practice. Decisions are usually influenced by personal reasons: maybe you had an injury and attending a restorative yoga class is everything you need to heal, maybe you would like to learn those awesome twists from Ashtanga or maybe your partner convinced you to try acroyoga! Regardless of which yoga style you practice or are planning to practice in 2019, every practitioner will tell you that it’s very easy to fall in love with your favourite yoga style and stick to that one yoga teacher. There is nothing wrong with it, on the contrary, it is great, but did you know that there are more than 20 different types of yoga which are very popular nowadays?  If you love your yoga studio as much as I love mine and you don’t feel like going anywhere else because it feels like cheating, then go through the schedule of the yoga classes that are offered and start signing up to new ones. Be mindful, though! If you are attending regular restorative yoga classes then maybe jumping into Ashtanga would be too drastic. Consult with your teacher or read about the class prior to signing up, but stay curios and try new yoga styles in 2019. This experience will help you understand why different people get attracted to different styles of yoga.  

Next year we will start a series of blog posts about different types of yoga: starting from the slow ones like Ying and Yang and finishing with the ones that make you sweat! So stay tuned and let us guide you through your yoga journey!  

  1. Learn different types of breathing techniques (Pranayama)

Every yoga and meditation teacher will tell you that breath is life. You probably already noticed how our breath changes during the day: when we are stressed and scared, we have shallow and fast breathing. When we are relaxed and happy, we take long, deep breaths. This is where the expression “master your breath, master your Life” comes from. When we learn how to control our breath, as a consequence we take control of our Mind. This, as a result, has an impact on the quality of our Life (for example, we don’t make rational decisions when we are angry but rather take the time to calm down and think again).

The most common among yogis and meditators is Ujjayi breath, also called Ocean’s breath. Even though you can find a lot of information online on how to learn Ujjayi breath, if you are new to yoga and meditation, I recommend you learn it correctly from a teacher. Alternate Nostril breathing is used for calming the mind and most of the time is practiced before meditation or as a closing breath after a yoga/meditation practice. Bahstrika is known as an energy bomb! Few rounds of bahstrika will give you the boost of energy that you need to accomplish your boring tasks (who doesn’t have them?). Complete Belly Breath is a practice which everyone does without being aware of it. We all breathe and while we breathe in, our belly is rising, and when we breathe out – it is collapsing. Complete Belly Breath involves your awareness of the moving breath while one of your hands is placed on the belly and observes the movement. That’s it. It is that simple. Try all of them and then slowly incorporate them into your yoga and meditation practice. I personally love Ocean’s breath and most of the time I am finishing my sadhana with Nostril breathing. 

  1. Implement one of the eight limbs of yoga per month

Yoga is not only a physical practice and it is far beyond a hobby. Years back people used word “yoga” to show off: I can make a difficult twist, look I am standing on one hand, I am learning a headstand in my yoga class. As explained above, there are different types of yoga and everyone turns into yoga for different reasons. However, just because we do yoga at home or carry our favourite yoga mat to the yoga studio, it doesn’t mean that we are yogis. It takes a little bit more than simply owning yoga gear to call ourselves Yogis. Yoga is a Lifestyle. It is the way of thinking, living, eating, and sharing. Respecting the philosophy of yoga on a daily basis is as important as our daily yoga practice.  The eight limbs of yoga from the yoga sutras of Patanjali guide us towards the yogic Lifestyle and help us understand what a yogic lifestyle is all about. 

Whether you set New Year’s resolutions or spiritual intentions in 2019, or you don’t, it’s  important that you enter the new year with no weight on your shoulders! Be kind to yourself, listen to your inner voice, and enjoy the journey till the finish line! 

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