5 Tips to Intensify Your Yoga Practice

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If you aren’t wobbling or falling out of poses from time to time, you aren’t growing your yoga practice, and the physical benefits of yoga may have temporarily plateaued for you. Take your yoga to the next level by challenging yourself with the following tips. Sample these ideas and see which ones resonate with you. Play and have fun!

1. Shift Your Visual: A tip to increase your balance in yoga is to stare at one spot. So to challenge yourself, shift your gaze up, glance around the room, or close your eyes. Start to play with this in mountain pose, then warrior poses, and finally balancing poses.

2. Adjust Footing: A good portion of yoga poses have a flat foot foundation. So to challenge yourself, lift your heal, lift your toes, or alternate between your heal and toes. Start to play with this in forward fold, the front foot in warrior and pyramid poses, and finally tree.

3. Add Pulses: Any yoga pose that has a wide stance like goddess, warriors, or crescent lunge can have a pulse added to increase difficulty. Pulse your hips slightly up and down to fire your leg muscles.

4. Add Push-ups: Challenge yourself to add push-ups every time you pass through chaturanga. You can add one to seven, increase by one each round, or decrease by one each round. Your knees can always be down as needed.

5. Add Low to High Transitions: Transitioning from a low pose to a high pose will challenge your legs, your core, and your balance. Try yoga squat to balancing half moon, Shiva squat to standing split, or dragonfly twist to crescent lunge twist. You can increase the intensity even more by moving low to high and then back, high to low, three to five times.

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