You can put more ‘aah’ into your yoga practice with a little pre-class planning. Give one of these three simple ideas a try before the next time you come to practice.
- Hydrate in advance. It’s common for students to grab a bottled water when dashing out the door for consumption during class, but a recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that it took participants 45 minutes after ingesting 600ml of water to become fully hydrated and ready for physical exercise. Said differently, to make sure that you’re fully hydrated for your yoga practice, drink a couple of glasses or a medium-size bottled water 45-60 minutes before the start of class. This will prepare your body for exercise far better than sipping water during yoga class.
- Keep your cell phone someplace else. Consider leaving your electronic device in the car, or stowing it in your purse or shoes in another room…but don’t consider having it next to your mat. Just having a cell phone visible and nearby may distract a student’s attention from complex tasks, according to a new study detailed in the journal Social Psychology. College students were asked to complete different motor tasks with the study leader’s cell phone visible. They also completed motor tasks with their own cell phones in sight. In both cases, performance on complex tasks suffered when compared with control groups with no visible cell phone. Practicing yoga requires your full attention in order to perceive and process mind/body information, as well as to execute movement. Your personal practice will be enhanced by the elimination of any distraction from the task at hand. The reality is that cell phones are very self-sufficient— they’re happy to take messages for you to collect AFTER you’ve finished your yoga session.
- Leave the house or office five minutes earlier. “Stuff” happens. The traffic is bad or there’s an unexpected, new road detour…and then you’re later than you intended. You dash into the yoga studio, toss your mat on the floor and push your frantic mind and body into the yoga practice. Why not plan on potential delay? Give yourself just five extra minutes to get to class on time. If you need the extra time, great: you haven’t missed a minute of that precious, peaceful time on the mat. If you get to the studio five minutes ahead of the start of class, that’s great, too: you can use them to stretch, flex or meditate. Arriving early is a win/win that helps assure your yoga experience is a relaxing one.
Post written by Dianne Ochiltree.