10 Yoga Goals To Expand Your Practice

We go beyond mastering a pose in this article!

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If you’ve been hitting the gym or the yoga studio for any length of time and are feeling a little stagnant, or having a hard time staying motivated, it may be time to set some yoga goals to expand your practice.

Yoga asana is very beneficial for the body, mind, and spirit, and is one of the main entry points for hundreds of people into the practices of yoga.

There is much more to yoga than the movement portion and, learning more about the other limbs of yoga can be very transformative.

In this article:

Let’s explore some ways to evolve in your practice by setting some new and exciting goals!

three illustrations of a woman in yoga pose against an orange yellow background

Reasons to Create Yoga Goals To Expand Your Practice

Setting yoga goals can be a transformative and empowering process that goes beyond the physical postures on the mat.

While yoga is often associated with flexibility and strength, creating goals for your practice can enhance various aspects of your personal growth.

Here are several compelling reasons to establish yoga goals to expand your practice:

  • Personal growth
  • Physical benefits
  • Mental benefits
  • Community engagement

5 Asana Based Yoga Goals

Setting yoga goals can be a transformative and empowering process that goes beyond the physical postures on the mat.

While yoga is often associated with flexibility and strength, creating goals for your practice can enhance various aspects of your well-being.

Here are several compelling reasons to establish some new asana-based yoga goals to expand your practice:

1. Master a Challenging Pose

I remember the first time I saw someone perform crow pose (Kakasana) right next to me in one of my first-ever in-person yoga classes. Although I couldn’t understand the physics of how that person was able to hold themselves up on their arms while curled in a little ball, I knew I wanted to learn to do it.

Perhaps for you, it’s not the intricacies of an arm balance, but rather another posture that piques your curiosity, one that you find both intriguing and challenging.

It could be a so-called advanced posture, which may be an inversion, like a headstand, an arm balance like Eka Pada Koundinyasana, or maybe you’re interested in trying some of the more pretzel-like asanas out there, like Compass pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana.

2. Improve Flexibility

Whether it’s touching your toes, – which by the way, you can probably achieve right now by bending your knees deeply – going deeper into your favorite backbend, or enhancing the flexibility in specific muscle groups, setting goals to improve your flexibility can lead to not only a more spaceous body to practice in, but also to live in.

Work on targeted stretches and incorporate flexibility-focused poses like Uttanasana (Forward Fold) and Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose) into your daily yoga routine.

3. Explore Different Yoga Styles

Expand your yoga horizons by exploring different styles of yoga beyond your comfort zone.

If you’re accustomed to a vigorous Vinyasa flow, try a grounding Yin yoga class or delve into the precision of Iyengar.

Exploring various styles enhances your practice by exposing you to new techniques, philosophies, and approaches to asana.

Here are some styles for you to consider:

  • Ashtanga yoga: if you’re looking for something invigorating, regimented, and with the exploration of challenging asanas.
  • Iyengar yoga: for those hoping to improve their alignment and interested in working with a wide variety of props.
  • Restorative yoga: Get ready to relax and let go in this gentle style of yoga designed to give you space to release tension and let go.
a restorative yoga pose class using a bolster

4. Improve your mind-body connection

Yoga is a holistic practice that intertwines the mind and body.

Enhance your awareness and presence on the mat by setting goals to deepen your mind-body connection.

Incorporate mindfulness practices, focus on your breath during each pose, and explore meditation to cultivate a more profound sense of inner harmony.

5. Try something new

Challenge yourself by incorporating new and unfamiliar poses into your practice.

Whether it’s a pose you simply haven’t tried, or inversions, arm balances, or advanced poses that have been outside your scope, embrace the opportunity to expand your repertoire.

Trying something new not only adds excitement to your practice but also fosters personal growth and resilience.

Embarking on these asana-based yoga goals opens the door to a more enriching and diverse practice.

Embrace the journey, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the multiple benefits that these goals bring to your life.

a yoga class doing areal yoga on green slings

5 Yoga Goals beyond the physical practice

Setting yoga goals can transcend the physical postures on the mat and delve into the deeper dimensions of the practice.

While flexibility and strength are often the focal points, incorporating goals beyond the physical aspects can lead to a more holistic and transformative journey.

Here are five yoga goals to expand your practice, encompassing the mental, spiritual, and lifestyle aspects of yoga:

1. Explore Meditation and Mindfulness

If you like the physical practice of yoga yet find it challenging comes savasana because your mind “won’t be still”, we invite you to try meditation and mindfulness practices.

Even though it may seem daunting at first, especially if your mind tends to race or you are prone to anxiety, meditation can transform your mind into a calm place to inhabit.

a yoga class with people meditating cross legged with their eyes closed

2. Create a Home Practice Routine

While attending regular yoga classes is beneficial, establishing a home practice routine can deepen your connection with yoga.

Designate a space in your home for practice and commit to a regular schedule.

Developing a home practice not only allows for flexibility in your routine but also fosters self-discipline and self-motivation.

It’s an opportunity to explore postures, sequences, and styles that resonate with you personally, creating a customized practice that aligns with your needs and goals.

3. Incorporate Yoga Philosophy into Practice

Delve into yoga philosophy by studying ancient texts like the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali or the Bhagavad Gita.

Integrate the principles of yamas (ethical guidelines) and niyamas (observances) into your daily life.

Reflecting on these teachings can bring about a profound shift in your perspective, fostering a sense of mindfulness and compassion both on and off the mat.

a silhouette of a woman with a sun un her head

4. Establish a Regular Pranayama and Meditation Practice

Pranayama, the practice of breath control, and meditation are powerful tools to explore the more subtle aspects of yoga.

Incorporate pranayama techniques into your practice, such as alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) or deep diaphragmatic breathing.

Establishing a regular meditation practice can help calm the fluctuations of the mind, enhance concentration, and promote a sense of inner peace.

These practices not only complement the physical postures but also contribute to overall mental well-being.

Try alternate nostril breathing with this free YouTube video:

5. Attend a Yoga Workshop or Retreat

Taking your practice beyond the familiar studio setting can be transformative.

Attend a yoga workshop or retreat led by experienced teachers to gain fresh insights, refine your skills, and connect with a like-minded community.

Workshops often focus on specific aspects of yoga, such as alignment, anatomy, or advanced poses, providing an opportunity for in-depth learning.

Retreats offer a more immersive experience, allowing you to unplug from daily life and immerse yourself in a supportive environment that nurtures both your physical and mental health.

Nowadays, you can both take in-person as well as online yoga retreats, making it a bit more accessible for you to have it as one of your yoga goals to expand your practice.

Other Yoga Goals To Expand Your Practice

Here are a few more ideas for yoga goals to expand your practice:

  • Partner Yoga Exploration: Foster connection and trust through collaborative practices, can be a wonderful way of deepening your yoga experience and your connection with a loved one or even someone new!
  • Therapeutic Focus: Embrace the healing power of yoga with a focus on restorative poses, or dive into yoga therapy.
  • Gain some knowledge: Enhance your practice by delving into some of the most iconic yoga books and grow your practice.
  • Cultivate Gratitude: Develop a positive mindset by cultivating gratitude and self-love, extending the benefits of yoga beyond the mat.
  • Chanting and Mantra Meditation: Integrate healing vibrations and sound into your practice by incorporating chanting or mantra meditation into your routine.

To Close

Expanding your yoga practice involves embracing the diversity of its elements—physical, mental, and spiritual.

Setting these goals opens up a path to a more holistic and fulfilling yoga journey, enriching not only your time on the mat but also your overall quality of life.

Yoga is a lifelong exploration, and each goal you pursue contributes to a deeper understanding of yourself and the profound teachings of this ancient practice.

We hope that this article has inspired you to consider establishing new yoga goals to expand your practice.

If you are looking for a little extra inspiration, dive into the sister science of yoga, Ayurveda, next:

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Laia is an Afro-Catalan accessible and inclusive yoga & meditation teacher. She has trained in hatha, vinyasa, trauma-informed yoga, yin yoga, and restorative yoga and holds E-RYT 500 and YACEP accreditations with the Yoga Alliance. Additionally, she is a freelance writer and translator, publishing in Catalan, English, and Spanish. As a former professional athlete who lives with a chronic illness, Laia has gained valuable insights into the benefits of self-care and the importance of pausing and slowing down. She is dedicated to sharing accessible and sustainable practices of yoga and meditation to help people create a more harmonious life. Being a black and chronically ill individual, her mission is to empower non-normative yoga teachers to find their unique voices and develop tools to make wellness practices accessible to the communities they serve, thereby taking up space and creating a more inclusive and diverse yoga industry. Furthermore, as a writer and creative, she is passionate about supporting other creatives and innovators. She fosters a genuine community dedicated to finding balance while staying productive and inspired. Laia has developed unique techniques that intertwine yoga and meditation with writing, journaling, and other accessible methods to help each other stay creative and mindful.

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