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Practicing yoga is filled with health benefits and good vibes, and it targets pretty much every area of your body. For example, it improves flexibility, increases blood flow, strengthens muscles, and promotes better sleep, all while helping you feel more relaxed and happy. But what happens when you reach the intermediate level and you run smack-dab into a plateau? When you first start yoga, it's exciting. You're conquering new challenges weekly, and you can really feel the progress. But, at some point, those "beginner gains" start to turn into an intermediate crawl.
Here's the thing: You can dominate that latest yoga hiccup and progress to the next level. Even if you feel lost, all you need is your smartphone and some amazing apps to climb right back up that yoga mountain. Here's how you can boost your practices and continue gaining with the help of technology.
1. Take Risks
You know the one yoga pose you're hesitant to try because it seems so difficult? Do it! When an area of your life starts to feel routine (e.g., work, relationships, etc.), it's time to take a risk. Did you know that taking risks fires up excitatory cells, which boosts your ability to learn and adapt to new situations? Here's where that smartphone comes in handy. Consider using apps like MeetUp or Eventbrite to find local aerial silk classes, goat yoga, paddleboard yoga and thousands of other comfort-zone-destroying classes. They may just help you conquer that next stretch.
2. Give Yourself Permission to Practice for Just 7 Minutes
Keeping consistent with practice without experiencing the dopamine release of "gains" can be incredibly difficult. Don't worry! There's an app for that. Try using apps like Daily Yoga, Pocket Yoga, or the aptly named 7 Minute Yoga Workout to give yourself time to do a few exercises a day. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Just stay consistent. That consistency will eventually pay off in the form of progress — sweet, sweet progress.
3. Find a Well Trained, Enjoyable Teacher
Having the right teacher can make a world of difference. Ideally, you want to find someone who understands the unique difficulties associated with advancing into mastery levels. So, how do you find them? You use an app! Turn to apps like Thumbtack to search for local teachers in your area. Read some reviews, check out their skills to make sure they’re certified, and book a session.
4. Set a Goal
Here's another tip where your smartphone comes in super-handy. Try setting a goal for yourself each day that's easy to follow and semi-easy to achieve. You can use apps like Coach.me. It lets you set up goals and slowly turn them into habits. Eventually, these habits will become second-nature. But until then, simply having the ability to check them on your phone is a lifesaver.
Upgrading your yoga game with your smartphone is easy, simple, and intuitive—if you have a smartphone that can run all of these apps easily. If you need to upgrade your device, many providers offer trade-in deals or money toward a new phone when you sign up for a new plan.
Don't let those intermediate troubles end your yoga journey. Whip out your smartphone and start downloading some apps. Sure, those old-school yogis didn't have smartphones, but we're willing to bet they would have used them if they did. Between yoga-specific apps and goal-setting apps, there are plenty of ways to boost your practice and your life.
Posted by Sheila Johnson on January 30