When I do the Backward Handclasp, I imagine that I am stretching my arm way up high and touching the clouds (yes, I really do!)
Use Imagery and Practice With Eyes Shut
Every so often, it's useful to review simple techniques that can really enhance your home yoga practice. This morning I put my energy into amping up two techniques I have spoken about in the past that make yoga even more fun and rewarding. And wow - I felt super energized and blissful after my practice!
The first technique is to use vivid imagery as you move and stretch through various poses. The principal benefits are that 1) the images make the practice more fun and creative and 2) you may notice that you can stretch farther more easily and quickly.
When I do the backward handclasp as shown above, I imagine that I am extending my arm up as high as possible so that I could touch a cloud. And guess what, I really f - e - e - l the stretch in my arm and around my waist as well. And, it adds a childlike spirit to the practice! Likewise, when I do a backward stretch, I see myself swimming the backstroke in and stretching back as far as possible to reach and touch the end of the pool. As a result, I stretch f- a- r- t- h- e- r than I would otherwise.
The second technique is to practice yoga poses with your eyes "wide shut." Granted, I can't do this with poses such as the Eagle that require a lot of balance and for which I usually fix my gaze on a spot on the floor to help be balance. However, it is possible to practice with your eyes shut for many poses. What you gain is 1) a greater inward focus because you have no visual distractions and 2) as a result of number 1, you become more attuned to how you feel and how you move.
Consider using these two techniques regularly to keep your practice fun and most effective!
Laura Venecia Rodriguez, the Beginner's Yoga at Home Coach