3 Secrets to Making the Most of Yoga

3 Secrets to Making the Most of Yoga

This week, our resident yogi, Jesse James, gives us some inside info on how yoga can change you on and off the mat, whether you're just getting started or practice every day:

You can practice yoga your whole life and never stop discovering something new about yourself. Here's 3 secrets I've learned that have helped me keep growing and appreciating what yoga has to offer.

1. Yoga doesn’t get easier: It actually gets harder… but that's a good thing!  The deeper you get into yoga, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more it challenges you. Consistent practice just keeps introducing you to muscles you didn’t know you had! Gaining strength and coordination gives you a new intelligence about your body. The challenge to master that move keeps you growing, mentally and physically, so try not to let struggles discourage you. Instead, let it inspire curiosity and a sense of adventure.

2. Yoga is like a relationship: Sometimes it's a whirlwind romance, sometimes it's an old-fashioned courtship--either way, there's no going back once you fall in love with it!  You can start yoga as something to do once or twice a week to compliment the usual exercise, like cycling or weight training. It won't be long before you start to see how the changes in your strength and flexibility affect not just your workout, but also your everyday actions. You realize how different you feel once you miss a session, so you “up the practice”...and suddenly you're on the mat five times a week! Like any good relationship, it inspires commitment and requires work, but you'll be better for it.

3. Yoga has benefits that you won't see: ...But you'll definitely feel them! One of the great gifts of yoga is that it reminds you how much your mind and heart affect your body. The more you practice, the more integrated these elements of your life become (for better or worse). Pushing your physical limits can expose your emotional and mental blocks. A deep backbend might be the last thing you want to do if you've had a long night with a fussy baby, and that deep hip stretch could stir up stress from your workday. With patience, persistence and faith in yourself, however, you'll soon start to open up those joints and your mind, too!

With yoga, being the best you that you can be isn't necessarily easy, but the journey is as rewarding as the results.

Jessica James

Over the course of 12 years as a yoga practitioner, Jessica James has completed 3 yoga alliance certified teacher training courses. Her yoga sets are developed to sculpt the body and clear the mind. She has also developed a unique fitness-based prenatal yoga program inspired by her second pregnancy. Jessica currently lives in Los Angeles with her family.


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