Stress Proof your yoga practice

Here are five ways to keep your dedicated yoga practice stress-free:

1) Refrain from eating for a couple hours before you work out. IF you must eat, eat lightly, like whole wheat toast or a piece of fruit

2) Honor your body. If several modifications are offered in a mixed level class, try out each one. See what you gain and what you lose in each incarnation of the pose. For example, if you can reach your toes only by overstretching your ligaments, straining in pain, red faced with a rounded back – you are losing much more than you are gaining. Back off and reach for the ankles instead, while maintaining a fold at the hips, a straight line of your back, a gentle stretch behind your legs.

3) Get good gear What’s more annoying than sliding forward on a downward facing dog? Having your shirt fly up in your face! Avoid both problems by purchasing a sticky mat and wearing clothes that stay close to the body. You want to be able to move with ease.

Long johns, pajamas, sweatpants, leggings or shorts are all fine if you don’t feel like spending $$$ on specialty yoga pants. A close fitting stretchy t-shirt or tank top, bike shirt or running shirt is fine for the top.

4) Practice with regularity Incorporate yoga into your everyday life. Sting likes to chant in the shower. He and his wife Trudi Styler have been doing yoga for two decades! There are many stretches you can easily do at work, after a long plane trip or first thing in the morning. If you don’t have 1/2 an hour, make a five minute meditation your habit.

5) Fuel your body Whether it’s yoga, running or any other sport, once you start to work out regularly, eating well is ever more important. Eat whole grains, fresh fruit, adequate protein. It’s not the carbs that are your enemy, it’s fiberless over processed, sodium salty, high fructose corn syrup laden products!