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Explore The Deeper Benefits: How Yoga Improves Balance, Flexibility, and Strength"

Whether you’re discovering your love for yoga for the very first time or you’re looking to renew your commitment, the best way to enhance your practice is through knowledge.

Yoga is so much more than balancing and stretching. The practice certainly can improve balance, flexibility, mobility, and strength, but it also helps enhance your connectedness to your body, mind, and surroundings on various levels.

Yoga can be used as a tool to deepen a spiritual connection, explore your sense of self, and so much more!

a yoga teacher

Using Yoga to Help With Alignment

The goal of alignment is to prevent injury and allow you to take your body within its unique limits. However, it’s important to realize that while alignment is essential, there is no such thing as perfect alignment. 

The beauty of yoga is that every time we practice, we have the opportunity to learn something new. No matter how long you’ve been practicing yoga, you’re always a beginner in a sense. This is because every time we step onto our mats we are a different person from the last time. Whether your physical body has changed, your mental state, or your emotional self, we are never the same person we were yesterday. 

Focusing on alignment involves the process of improving each pose, each breath, each movement, and essentially each moment. Alignment has as much to do with awareness as it does physically moving your body and adjusting to its needs.

If you’ve approached your practice with the goal of ‘perfecting’ a posture, you’re missing the essence of yoga. Alignment is about feeling a change in the current moment. It’s not an end goal. As you move through your practice, alignment gives you a gauge to determine where you are today and helps you move along your path.

a group practicing yoga

Action Step- Use Alignment to Better Your Practice

The way to use alignment to improve your practice is to make subtle changes and ask yourself how each one feels. Notice not only the physical sensation but any emotional changes that come about during adjustments as well. 

Use your breath to deepen stretches gently and FEEL the effects of each adjustment. Always be patient with yourself and your body if it doesn't move the way you want or expect. When your balance is off or you can’t get as deep into a pose as you have in the past, consider what might be holding you back or getting in your way. 

It's Time To Surrender

The need to feel in control is natural. However, it can also hold us back. We’re taught that we’ll be what we want and get what we want if we just work hard enough, but this doesn’t just happen, it requires tons of planning, hard work, and gaining control.

a woman practicing yoga by the ocean

Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work in yoga. The more we try to control our thoughts, the more control we lose over our breath and our physical body. Instead, we must be willing to surrender. 

The word “surrender” can trigger negative perceptions of quitting, giving up, or throwing in the towel. Yoga requires us to yield to a new definition of “surrender.” Surrender is not a failure, but a chance to let go, yield to experience, and go with the flow. 

Surrender frees us from relying on ego and the thinking mind and allows us to get in touch with something deeper. For some, this may translate into a religious figure or a universal power; for others, it can be something deeper within ourselves. 

Surrender frees us to be open to experiences.

Action Step- A Surrender Practice

Here is a vinyasa flow to help you surrender: Here is a vinyasa flow to help you surrender:


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