Try Online Classes Even If You Already Have A Home Yoga Practice
Even if you regularly practice yoga and have a knowledge of postures, the whole point of practicing is to turn off your mind, and that can be hard to do if youre constantly mentally sequencing your own flows.
As time goes on, youll build up an internal encyclopedia of yogic knowledge, and organically sequencing postures will start to feel more natural. But even after that day comes, its helpful to leave the sequencing to online teachers and allow their words to guide you to the teacher within.
The experiences of learning from a teacher in a studio and learning from a teacher at home are not all that different. Sure, theres no one there to tell you if youre practicing the postures incorrectly, but even in the best IRL classes your teacher wont always be able to give you personalized attention. Plus, sometimes personalized attention can be majorly distracting to your practice. Especially if youre like me and have difficulty receiving criticism about your body.
In my opinion, online classes are much more low pressure than IRL classes. In online classes youre not distracted by the other practitioners in the room. Youre not concerned with what anyone else thinks. You dont have to strain to hear the teacher depending on your mats location, and you dont have your view of the teacher obstructed by other students. You dont even have to find childcare, because your kids can join you on the mat.
But At The Same Time Cut Yourself Some Slack
For all its benefits, practising at home can, of course, sometimes be more challenging than going to a studio. If finding time to squeeze your yoga practice in between work and family commitments causes you more stress than going to an external class, then thats fine too. The key thing is that you just show up on your mat open, present, accepting and curious wherever it happens to be.
Extended Side Angle Pose
This posture strengthens the lower half of your body and offers a deep side stretch of the upper body. Also, this posture relieves tension in the back and shoulders and opens the hips and chest.
How to do it:
From a high runners lunge with your right foot forward, spin your back heel down so your toes of your left foot are at a 45-degree angle to the short edge of your mat. Bend into your front leg, creating the same foundation as in Warrior I and II.
Make your way into Warrior II. Then, on an exhale, bring the front elbow to the front thigh. Extend the other arm overhead, reaching toward the front of your mat.
Press your front elbow firmly into your thigh to lift the torso and open the chest with a slight twist. Turn your top temple toward the sky to keep your head aligned with your spine.
Come out of this posture by planting your hands on either side of your right foot, then stepping back into Downward Facing Dog. Repeat Extended Side Angle with the left foot forward.
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Extended Hand To Toe Pose
This pose might be a bit ambitious if you are just beginning your yoga practice but give it some time and practice, and you will notice improved balance, flexibility, and focus.
This posture strengthens all of the muscles that stabilize your standing leg, from your ankle to your hip. It is a deep stretch for your hamstring and opens the arm and shoulders as well.
How to do it:
Begin by standing in the mountain pose. Set your gaze on a non-moving point and root down into your left foot.
On your inhale, raise your right knee up towards your chest. Grasp your right big toe with the first two fingers of your right hand. As you exhale, rotate your bent knee and right arm out to the side.
Straighten the right leg and arm on your next inhale. Keep your gaze and breath steady.
To come out of the posture, bring the leg back in front of the body, and gently release it to your mat.
Executing An Asana Practice
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Physical Benefits Of Yoga
The most common misconception around yoga is that it’s all about stretching. While working deeper into the length of ligaments and muscles can be an aspect of yoga, there is an equal emphasis on strength and agility, Young Riboldi tells us. This strength-building aspect is so important as it helps your body maintain the various poses in the practice.
Yoga is a form of strength training, that can have huge benefits particularly for women over 50. As you age, you naturally lose bone density and muscle, by practicing yoga you can build strength and reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Youll feel strong and powerful as you move through the yoga poses which can also be a big confidence booster. The mindful practice can also help you with how to breathe better, says Young Riboldi. Regular practice allows you to breath deeper, strengthen the diaphragm, and allows the lungs to work more efficiently, she adds.
Tips For Starting Your Own Yoga Business
If you want to start your own yoga business, then be prepared to meet all the aspects of running a venture successfully. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice for optimum physical and mental well-being. But when it comes to turning the practice into a thriving source of earning, you have to follow some time-tested principles of business.
Yoga is booming business with more and more entrepreneurs entering this field and the number of customers is also increasing by each day. According to seatleyoganews.com, the number of yoga practitioners in the U.S increased by 15% to 36.7 million from 20.4 million in 2012. Here are some more interesting fact revealed by the site.
In next 12 months, 80 million Americans or 34% of Americans are more likely to practice yoga at some point of time.
Yoga practitioners spent over $16 billion on equipment, yoga clothing, accessories and classes, which is up from $10 billion in 2012.
Yoga practitioners spent an estimated amount of $5.8 billion in yoga classes.
They spent an estimated amount of $4.6 billion on yoga clothing.
These stats reveal that starting your own yoga business is a surefire way of earning money on regular basis. But you must pay heed to some business tips.
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Ancient But Not Foreign
Yoga is tied to ancient Indian philosophy, so yoga poses have both Sanskrit and English names adho mukha svanasana is more commonly known as downward-facing dog, for example and you may hear both in a class.
But even if you have never tried a yoga class, you may already be familiar with some yoga poses. Ever tried a plank? Youve done yoga.
Trainers and fitness classes around the world, not to mention college and professional sports teams, are including yoga into more traditional workouts as a potent form of mind-body conditioning, helping athletes to breathe better and increase their focus.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Yoga For Beginners
Yoga is wonderful for people with lower back pain, with arthritis, with carpal tunnel syndrome.
It helps you improve your respiratory and circulatory health.
We live so much of our lives, inflection, crouching over our phones, hunching our backs and all of that actually weakens our cores.
That extension that you experienced during your physical yoga practice helps you build strong, stable core muscles and helps you better support yourself.
Eventually, your alignment on the map will translate into your life off of the mat as well.
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Check In On Your Alignment As You Go
If youre new to yoga or new to practicing on your own, its a good idea to make sure youre getting into positions that are safe. Dont be afraid to rewind or pause an online class so you can take a second look at what your teacher is doing. If youre flowing on your own without an online class, cross-reference your postures with books, websites like Yoga Journals Pose Library, and YouTube tutorials by teachers like Kino Macgregor.
If you want to watch your practice in action, you can practice in front of a mirror or even record photos and/or video footage on your phone or camera. I know, it can be kinda weird to watch your body at first, but its a dope tool for checking alignment. This is how Ive refined my own postural alignment for years, and its the whole reason I started .
Want To Leave It To The Pros
Below, Ive designed a progressive total body circuit training workout that you can begin right now to build strength, flexibility, mobility, and endurance. There are three sets of circuit workouts with three stages each. Perform each stage of the program once or twice a week for four weeks. Once you have mastered the first stage easily, move on to the next one.
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How To Begin Practicing At Home
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The first day of my two-year teacher training program, I experienced something akin to an existential crisis. It didnt have anything to do with awakening kundalini or realizing my true Self. Sadly, it was much more mundane: It hit when I realized that in order to participate in the program, I had to agree to the mandate to have your own home practice.
A few days later, when I unrolled my sticky mat at home alone for the first time, I wanted to bolt. Up until then my idea of yoga was attending a class, which is kind of like being chauffeured around town, sitting comfortably in the back seat, enjoying the scenery. Practicing at home was totally foreign to me. It was as if someone handed me car keys but no map. I recognized great potential for freedom in my journey, but I was reluctant to go it aloneI was scared that Id get lost.
Since that day of reckoning, Ive talked to enough friends and students about the dreaded home practice issue to know Im not alone. Many of useven after we realize the benefits of a personal practiceseem to resist it. We tell ourselves that we dont have enough space or time or that we dont know what to do. Or we hold a romanticized vision of the perfect home practice and feel guilty when our reality doesnt match the fantasy.
Different Styles Of Yoga
There are many different yoga styles that exist, and each have their different benefits. As a beginner, there are nine prominent styles of yoga that you may like to know about:
Hatha is traditionally a catch-all term for all physical yoga practices . That being said, classes that are labelled as hatha yoga are typically aimed at beginners and are more gentle than other yoga styles.
Ashtanga is a style of yoga that includes performing the exact same poses in the same sequence every time you practice. It does not deviate from these poses unlike more fluid forms of yoga and can be physically demanding.
Vinyasa yoga often includes fluid transitions between poses and can be physically challenging like Ashtanga. However, the main difference is that each class is unique rather than performing the same set of poses in every practice.
Hot yoga is yoga that is set in a sauna-like room. It typically gets you very sweaty, and isnt a style that you will be able to practice at home, as it requires strong heaters.
Bikram yoga is a popular style of hot yoga that consists of the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises performed in the same order every class for exactly 90 minutes.
Iyengar is a structured style of yoga that focuses on accuracy of poses, timing, and commonly uses props such as blocks and bolsters. The classes are often less fluid and slower than other styles like Vinyasa.
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Understand The Core Of Yoga
Yoga is not about extreme flexibility or contorting your muscles and spine into fancy shapes.
It’s about breathing, finding inner strength through meditation, and creating freedom in the body with basic yoga poses.
It’s truly that simple.
So dont worry about losing weight or bending over backwards . Instead, understand that yoga is a process and a lifestyle. The physical practice is only one of the eight limbs of yoga.
How To Check In With Your Body Follow Up On Progress And Measure Success
The definition of progression is the process of developing or moving gradually toward a more advanced state. To measure progression within yoga practice, you must first define what a more advanced state means, and this is personal to each practitioner.
So, what would success mean to you? Is it to tone up or de-stress? A balanced approach to checking in will include an overall look at your well-being.
When 30-something athlete Alysia experienced a severe concussion, yoga played a huge role in her recovery. She notes that, Yoga was the foundation that helped me be more mentally stable in a very emotionally up and down rehabilitation.
Alysias progression was documented over one and half years and focused on physical aspects such as balance, mindful transitions to avoid triggering headaches or dizziness, and strength building to counter muscle atrophy. Yoga allowed her to be more compassionate with herself as well as her recovery.
To measure physical improvements, look for:
To measure mental improvements, look for:
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How To Do Yoga At Home: Your Guide To Practicing Outside The Studio
This guide will teach you how to do yoga at home.
How can I do yoga at home? Its a question thats popped into the mind of every person who has experienced sticker shock from the price of a studio membership, fought traffic to make it to class on time or had their zen tested in a crowded class.
The benefits of visiting a yoga studio usually outweigh the hassles. You can tap into a community of likeminded yogis, connect with a teacher who helps you grow and soak up a serene atmosphere designed for the mind-body practice. But with studios across the country closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, theres never been a better time to finally build an at-home yoga practiceone that will complement the classes at your favorite studio once it finally reopens, or replace them altogether.
An at-home practice can provide you the opportunity to create a more intimate relationship with yourself, but it also requires a lot of discipline. Its easier to stick with it when you have a teacher watching over you than it is when you can just click the space bar and walk away, said Adriene Mishler, founder of the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel, which has more than 7 million subscribers and hundreds of free online yoga classes.
Austin-based yoga teacher Adriene Mishler, founder of Yoga With Adriene
Yoga With Adriene
Heres what you need to know about how to practice yoga at home.
Establishing An Initial Yoga Practice
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