Getting Started with Home Yoga
Topic – Getting Started with Home Yoga so Let’s get real, folks. Even in the best of times, few of us commit to regular exercise and nutrition plans. But now that we’re sheltering-in-place and practicing social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, chances are you’re either exercising less or not at all.
Setting Up Your Room
The first thing you’ll need is space. You can do yoga on a mat on your living room floor, but it’s better to have a dedicated space in your home where you can practice regularly. Wherever you decide to do your yoga, make sure it’s convenient and comfortable—and that it has enough natural light (or electric light) to see by as well as make yourself presentable for when you want to venture out of your home during an emergency.
Choosing a Mat
It’s surprising how many people don’t realize how important a yoga mat is. It can make or break your session and is one of the most essential parts of your home yoga practice. It needs to have just enough traction so that you don’t slip around, but it also shouldn’t be too rough on your skin either.
Picking a Strap
Just like investing in a yoga mat, you’ll want to pick a strap that is best suited for your body type and experience level. Many straps are made of cotton or synthetic materials; there are also leather and hemp options. The most common length is 5–6 feet, but if you’re very tall or have long arms, 6–7 foot straps may be more comfortable.
What About Blocks?
When we’re talking about home yoga, one question that often comes up is whether or not you should use blocks when performing poses. In short, it depends on your personal preferences. Blocks certainly can make a pose more stable and easier to perform, but they’re also good for practicing advanced poses, too.
Your home is equipped with a few items that can get you started on your yoga journey. They may not be traditional yoga props, but they’ll give you everything you need to practice at home! Let’s take a look at these items.
Accessories & Other Yoga Supplies
A yoga mat will be your first purchase, but don’t forget to pick up a few other items to complete your yoga at home experience. You’ll want a towel and water bottle, as well as a strap or resistance band. You may also consider investing in a pair of foam blocks or hand towels to elevate hands and feet above floor level during certain poses.
Yoga Teachers Workshop – Bending Basics
When it comes to yoga, bending seems pretty straightforward. After all, we’ve been doing it since we were kids! While in class, you might feel like a bit of a goof when you bend improperly or struggle to get your body into a pose that everyone else seems to have mastered.
Start in a wide-legged stance, and open your right leg to about 90 degrees, or as wide as you can manage. Press your hands together at chest level in front of your heart center. As you inhale, move your torso up and forward while straightening both legs; exhale and fold over at your hips to lower down into warrior 1 pose, keeping both legs straight. The crown of your head should be directly above your shoulders, which are stacked directly above hips that are stacked on top of knees.
Extended Side Angle Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose is a fairly challenging side-angle pose for both beginners and advanced practitioners. To begin, begin standing on your yoga mat in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Stand tall, with your feet parallel to each other and hip-width apart. Then step back to Standing Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana), turning your left foot slightly inward and keeping your right foot pointing straight ahead.
Chair Sequence – Sun Salutations A
To get started, all you need is a yoga mat and some space. To do Chair Sequence Sun Salutations A, simply stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Move into Downward Facing Dog by hinging at your hips and pressing your hands firmly into your mat as you step or hop back. As you step back, move into High Lunge; feel free to bend each knee separately and place each foot on its corresponding outer thigh.
Chair Sequence – Sun Salutations B
Standing flat on your feet, inhale and slowly raise your arms to chest level, lifting your palms toward each other. Then exhale and lower them as you bend forward from your hips, palms facing down. Inhale and lift up until you’re standing upright again, then exhale as you return to start position. Repeat for 6 to 8 breaths.
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