How to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Sessions


Yoga is brilliant for your wellbeing, and can even help to prevent major health concerns, but how do you get the most out of your sessions? Wellness coach, homoeopath and nutritionist Grazilia Khatri has the answers.


1. The Mat Space is Sacred: ‘Begin with owning a good yoga mat,’ Khatri instructs. ‘I’m sorry but towels, picnic mats or folded bed-sheets are not a substitute for a yoga mat. Before you invest in one, look around, do some research and use a couple of other mats at your class to see which kind suits you best. Once you’ve found one that suits you, don’t forget to care for your mat. You lie on it [often with your face down], breathe close to it, sweat on it, meditate on it and then… roll it away, stack it in its assigned corner and not bother about it till your next class. It’s funny how we often overlook this fact: Mats. Need. Cleaning. Also, avoid flipping your mat—stick to always using the same end of the mat for your feet and the other for your face. You don’t want your face to lie where a few minutes before your feet were rested…Never place your phone on your mat. That’s your space. Books and yoga props are allowed but phones… are a definite no-no. Keep your phone on silent and away from your mat during class. Imagine trying to stay focussed on your breathing in Dhanurasana while also trying to read a text message.’



2. Always Dress for the Occasion: Khatri asserts, ‘It does not matter where you are coming from [or for that matter where you are headed after class], when on the mat, dress right. If you’re thinking, “Just this one time, it’s alright, I’ll wear my jeans and tank top to class, so that I can head out straight for that dinner with friends,” my advice is, skip the class. When you wear something ill-suited to your class, you miss the whole point of yoga, which is about stretching and allowing free movement. Besides, you often end up distracted and spending energy saving your modesty or fighting discomfort.’



3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: ‘We’ve compared our pose to the others’ in class,’ Khatri admits. ‘We have inflated with pride when we were the only one who could to touch our toes in Standing Forward Bend, or turned pale in guilt for not being able to pull off a full lotus, while that lass to our right did it like a pro. There’s a popular yoga quote that goes: “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” Curious about you, not the other girl or guy in your class. There will always be someone who is better than you and someone else who is worse. But that’s their concern, not yours. If you keep comparing yourself with them, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose track and end up either getting discouraged or feeling arrogant, neither of which is aligned with yoga. Another danger of looking at others in your class is that you may end up learning the technique wrong. If in doubt, it’s best to seek out your trainer.’



4. Commit from Beginning to End: ‘Yoga practice begins with Aum and breath awareness, and it ends with Shavasana and relaxation,’ Khatri details. ‘Now you may think that you don’t need this and only want to get to the real action—the asanas, the inversions, the head stands. But, breath centring, warm up and relaxation are absolutely vital to making yoga work for you. Even if you think you don’t need them, stay till the class concludes. If you come in late or leave mid way, it not only disturbs the flow of the class but is also disrespectful towards the teacher.’


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