The benefits of yoga are well documented, from increased flexibility and strength to improved energy and mental endurance. If you have been doing yoga for a while but haven’t been able to practice due to stay-at-home orders, it’s time to make a home practice work for you. By incorporating different props, technology, and methods, you can maintain your yoga practice and maybe even take it to the next level.
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To help give you set up a home practice, turn to technology so you can keep up with your flow. Your best bet is to set up a spot near your TV so you can stream live sessions or tune into different yoga channels. If you’d rather use your phone or tablet, look to mobile yoga apps that inspire and motivate you with hundreds of poses, guided classes, meditation sessions, and workout plans.
A yoga bolster is one of many props and tools that can enhance a home practice. A bolster is similar to a body pillow, but it’s firmer and generally circular or rectangular in shape. Sometimes bolsters are used by beginners as work-arounds to make things easier. However, they can also be used to advance your yoga practice as they challenge your stability and coordination. For example, you can lie down with the bolster under your stomach to support you during child’s pose.
Using an exercise ball in yoga is a great way to kick things up a notch. The lack of stability of the ball forces you to use different muscles, increasing your balance and strengthening joints. In the beginning, you’ll probably feel extremely wobbly and may need to prop the ball against the wall until you become accustomed to it. You can do a number of common yoga poses, such as upward and downward dog, with your torso or back on the ball. You can also use the ball for stretching exercises to improve your core strength.
Yoga straps can be used by beginners as well as experienced yogis. Straps are typically used for stretching, allowing users to achieve a wider range of motion. Challenging poses and balancing postures can be obtained and held with the assistance of the strap. A yoga strap can help you practice proper alignment and try difficult poses that you don’t yet have the flexibility to do, making them very rewarding tools. And whether it’s a strap, exercise ball bolster or all of the above, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to gather these beneficial accessories. Check out reviews for budget-friendly choices, turn to deal sites and look for stores with free shipping (like Rakuten’s marketplace).
If you’ve been sticking to the same routine or style of yoga for months, now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. For example, if you’re used to power yoga, or power vinyasa, it might be time to try something that provides additional benefits. For example, yin yoga targets deep connective tissue through a series of sustained poses, while restorative yoga poses can boost meditation and relaxation, helping you achieve a sense of calm.
You probably started taking yoga classes with the aim to improve your posture, flexibility, and core strength as well as boost overall emotional, mental, and physical health. Lockdown doesn’t have to get in the way of this. By embracing a home practice and incorporating different technology, prompts and styles, you can stay on track and take your poses to the next level.