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September 14, 2017

There comes a time for many yogis when it’s time to switch things up. This may mean finding a new style to practice, a new teacher or studio, or maybe searching for a new set of yoga-based goals. For some, this may be considered a way of taking your practice to the next level. So what do you really need to consider before making this move?

What is missing?

When you’re looking to take things to the next level, there’s a good chance it’s because you feel as though something is missing from your current practice. Maybe you’re ready to graduate from a gentle class to a hatha practice. For some it may be finding more stillness, like a meditation or a restorative practice rather than always working on fast vinyasa flows. Take some time to meditate, journal or talk it out with a friend or teacher about what it is you’re looking for now from your practice. Get real with yourself, and be willing to try a few things out before you land on what it is you’re looking for.

What are you looking for?

This question is similar to the last, but just different enough to get a fresh take on how to kick your practice up a notch. Once you’ve discovered what is missing from your practice, ask yourself what it is you’re looking for. Do you want to find more stillness, work on flexibility, or find new ways to take your practice off the mat? It’s also worth questioning whether or not what you’re looking for is realistic. This isn’t meant to sound discouraging, but if you think that handstands are missing from your practice, consider thewhy behind that conclusion; Are you just looking for new poses for your Instagram account, or do you want to delve into the practice of inversion, literally seeing the world from a new perspective by controlling the breath and body? If you have a solid reasoning, then it’s time for the next step.

Time to Take Action

Now that you know what you need to take your practice to the next level, it’s time to devise a plan of action. Considering what it is you need and your new goals, write out how you can reach them. This could be simply switching up your regular classes for different styled-ones, or classes taught by a different teacher; perhaps you’ll sign up for an energy-exchange program or send off some emails about becoming a brand ambassador for a yoga-related company or organization (ever consider becoming an Inner Fire Luminary?). When you’re figuring out your next moves, keep an ear to your heart and make sure that all decisions feel like the right ones. If you’re getting some funny feelings in your belly, it may be a good idea to start back at the beginning and reassess your needs.

When on the path to improving yourself and your practice, always keep in mind that this isyour practice, and that it is apractice. This is to say that you gotta do you. Trying to impress others or live up to outsiders’ expectations is not going to benefit you or your practice. And always be kind and patient with yourself. What you’re looking for may not come to you right away, but it will in time. We wish you well and good luck!