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  • Embracing Failure on Your Yoga Mat

    As humans, no one likes to fail. We have all been taught from a young age to aim for success. We are taught to win in a game, to always go the extra mile on the track, and to push to lift those extra five pounds in the gym. And when we don’t succeed, when we do mess up; we have the tendency to get down on ourselves. We often talk poorly about ourselves and our performance. Striving for perfection typically leads to this detrimental thought process, and it is most definitely not a healthy one.

    The same thought process can happen in our yoga practice. We strive for perfection on our mat. We want to hold poses the longest that we can. We want to learn how to do all of the cool inversions; we want to be able to stand on our hands or on our heads without shaking or falling down. However, one of the most important things we need to realize when we step on our mat is that it is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to fall out of a pose. It is okay that one day you feel a bit more off than the previous day. You don’t have to get down on yourself about it.

    You don’t have to get discouraged or quit because you may not necessarily be doing your best one day. That’s the beauty of life; that is the beauty of yoga. Some days we are spot on with everything, and other days we simply are not. We have to ride the waves in life and our yoga practice. Some days we may feel on top of the world and so strong. Maybe we can hold our crow pose and it makes us feel empowered. But then the next day, we have to ride the low wave. Maybe it’s slipping into a pose, not being able to get down in your split. These high and low waves in life, these failures that every human faces do not define us. They show us one thing: we are human and we are perfectly imperfect.

    Our failures on our mat should never discourage us to stop coming to our mat. They should make us more motivated to keep trying our best to succeed. Our failures should not make us want to quit, they should keep us determined to continually put in our best effort. Whether you are an all-star yogi, or just started yoga a few weeks ago; mistakes are unavoidable in this practice. Sure, the all-star yogi who has been practicing for ten years has improved tremendously in her practice, but it doesn’t mean she never makes mistakes.

    Learn to give yourself some grace when you step onto your mat. Rid yourself of the negative thoughts that may pop up in your head when you mess up. Eliminate your preexisting beliefs that failure is the worst thing in the world. In the times when we do fall down or make a mistake, we learn from those mistakes. And that is such a beautiful thing, one that many often forget. Make your yoga practice unique to you. Accept and embrace failure, and never, ever, give up.

  • Things You Might Not Know About Practicing Yoga

    One mistake that people make when they want to be yogis is that they just go with the flow when instructions are given. They rarely ask why they are making specific moves and only perform them because the instructor said so. Some have been practicing yoga and they cannot explain the reason they do it while barefoot or why they make the prayer hand sign. There are various facts that a yogi should understand about yoga.

    Are You Experiencing Wrist Pain During Downward Dog?

    You may notice that sometimes your wrists hurt when performing new poses. This can be reduced if you take the proper precautions. You should spread your fingers wide when holding the floor in order to reduce soreness and strengthen the wrists. One thing about this sensation is that you should not try to attempt anything if you feel a shooting pain. You should see a doctor. Taking rests in between classes also helps with wrist pain.

    Why Half Lift is Popularly Performed?

    There are two main reasons why yogis practice the half lift. It prepares your body to get into Chaturanga, helps you step back into plank and it also lengthens the spine. Performing this move helps you bear the weight that comes with Chaturanga and plank. It is a move that opens up your chest, lengthens the spines and engages the core.

    Why Are Prayer Hands Popular in Yoga?

    At the start or the end of a yoga class, many practitioners end up making the prayer hands sign which they combine with the phrase “Namaste”. What does all this mean? While many think that a yogi probably says a short prayer, this is not the case. The prayer hands sign is known as Anjali mudra which is of benefit to the body. It engages the shoulders, broadens the upper back and the collarbone and opens the chest. The phrase simply means that the light in me honors the light in you. These are spiritual and important aspects of yoga.

    Why do Yogis Practice Yoga Barefoot?

    When practicing yoga, one of the rules is that you should do it barefoot. Your feet contact the floor better, you stand without issues and you even stretch better. The way your legs are during practicing affects your posture and alignment. The most important thing of this aspect is to strengthen the ankles, the feet and the lower legs.

    There are various yoga aspects and rules that people assume. Whether it is the signs, the words or specific moves, they all have meanings and it’s good that you understand them. When it comes to your yoga mat, they should be cleaned thoroughly as often as you use it. This is for your own health. Each move that you make has its sole purpose. Some will relieve stress, others will lengthen your spine, others will strengthen your lower body and others will boost your recovery from an injury among other benefits.