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5 tips to improve your yoga practice - Christian Ralston

5 Tips for New Students 1. This may seem daunting but get in 15 minutes before the class starts find out who the teacher is, say hello and introduce yourself. The teacher will be very happy to meet you and will know to keep a special eye on you because you are new. 2. Find a spot in the middle of the room where you can see the teacher but also see other students. Visual cues to go with the teachers instructions can be very helpful. 3. Leave your phone in the locker. Your time on the mat is the perfect opportunity to give yourself a break from technology and reconnect with you. 4. After class, say goodbye to the teacher and make sure you ask any questions you have. They’re there to help you! 5. Go to as many classes as you can in your first month. Try different times and different teachers to give the overall yoga experience the best possible chance to work so when the intro pass comes to an end you can make an educated choice about becoming a member.

5 Tips for regular Yogis 1. Be mindful of how you can make the yoga experience better for the people around you. This might mean smiling and saying hello to people around you, and also saying goodbye on the way out. 2. When you’ve set up a great routine that lets you get to a yoga class often (5x times a week) it’s important to be aware that you are not just going through the motions. Stay enthused with your practice! If this fades, it won’t take much to knock your rhythm and your regular practice will fade away. 3. Each month choose an area you find challenging and spend extra time working on those poses - maybe before class or as a major focus for self practice. When something in class comes up you find difficult, try to approach it with excitement rather than frustration or dread. It’s an opportunity to be humble and overcoming challenges and persevering provides the best personal growth. 4. If you’re attending the same classes regularly or seeing the same teacher, ask questions if you feel like you need to know more about something. You could even make a request if there was something that you wanted to work on that you think might benefit the class as a whole. 5. Choose something to work towards. Have a pose to work towards that you would really love to do. Something that scares you and that you think would just be amazing if you could do it. Something that would leave you smiling for days if you achieved it. Set the bar high, a big picture pose. Something that is goal oriented helps keep you focused and passionate about your practice. Once you get that first hint that you are moving closer towards achieving new unstoppable enthusiasm enters your practice.

Looking to take your Yoga practice even further? If you dream of handstands, I am your man! Handstands are my thing and I can help any student on this challenging journey. Book a one-on-one session with Christian. Photography by Leeroy Te Hira


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