My Top 5 Tips To Enhance Your Asana Practice (Part 2)

3) Remember To Breathe

Knowing when to inhale and exhale can  allow you to enter a pose more easily. For example when you are doing a forward fold, you  exhale . When you exhale, the lungs empty, making the torso more compact, so there is less physical mass between your upper and lower body allowing you to do a deeper fold.

Consistent breathing also aids you to hold a pose longer and in that way  you can enjoy the full benefits of a particular asana.  I am definitely one of those people who are guilty of holding their breath during a difficult asana.  For me, this happens when I am just too focused on getting the asana right and I end up forgetting to breathe. Soon after, I would be out of breath and wouldn’t be able to hold the pose any longer. Reminding myself to breathe ensured that I was getting enough oxygen into my body so I could maintain my poses. Focusing on my breath also helps my mind focus and in turn allows me to hold the pose longer.

4) Balancing Your Body Weight

Knowing where to balance/shift your weight during an asana ensures that you are not injuring your body and that you are not tiring out certain body parts which in turn allows you to maintain the pose longer. For example, when in a downward dog your weight should be evenly distributed between your legs and your arms. This prevents injury to your wrist and ensures that you do not tire your arms out. When you do this you will be able to hold the pose longer as more than often it is a resting pose. Another example would be any warrior pose. I would always find myself naturally putting weight in the front leg but when I started to also put weight on the back leg, the pose became less tiring.

5) Remember Your Gazing Points

This straightforward tip actually had a bigger effect on me than I thought it would have. Knowing where to look when you are in an asana ensures that you are not distracted by your surroundings and therefore aids you in focusing your mind on the pose.  I found this to be particularly helpful during balancing poses such as looking straight ahead when doing a tree pose ensured that I wasn’t distracted and this allowed me to maintain my balance for a longer period of time.

By Rhadhika 

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