Yoga Practice at Home
Yoga has recently become popular in numerous fitness communities across the country. From professional sports teams to the average Joe, yoga is proving its beneficial powers one person at a time. Thanks to its mental and physical advantages, yoga can help destress the mind and tone the body. A common misconception about yoga is that it must be done in a studio. These at-home yoga exercises are here to prove that wrong. To do yoga practice at home, all you need is a yoga mat (like this cheap one if you are on a budget) and comfortable clothes.
Downward Facing Dog
To begin your yoga practice at home, start in a cross-legged position on your yoga mat. Your back should be straight but not stiff. Place
your hands on the mat in front of you as you uncurl your legs from the seated position. Forming a 45 degree angle at your hips, place your legs down on the mat and in line with your hands. You should feel this stretch in your hamstrings and calves. If you are not at a level of flexibility that allows you to maintain flat feet on the floor, feel free to keep a steady stance on the balls of your feet. You can even pedal your legs by alternating bends at the knee to stretch each hamstring individually. Maintain the stretch for anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute before stepping your hands up to be in between your hands and then assuming sitting position from there.
Continuing your yoga practice at home, come into a kneeling position. For an extra stretch of your feet, you may place your toes down on the mat, thus extending your foot upwards, and gently kneel back onto your heels. You should feel this the arches of your feet. After
stretching the arches for about 20 seconds, place the top of your feet back on the mat. Bending at the waist, allow your lower back to sink toward your heels while simultaneously extending your arms outward and tucking your head in toward your bellybutton. You should feel a stretch in your torso and lower back.
This pose is easy to incorporate into your yoga practice at home. Working your core, quads, and glutes, chair pose is an amazing way to strengthen those key muscle groups. Begin in downward facing dog (which you have already mastered in your yoga practice at home by now!). Slowly step your legs up to be stationed in between your legs. Allow your arms and head to hang down for a few seconds. Tightening your core and your glutes, come into a standing position. From here, bend your knees to create a 45 degree angle and bend slightly forward at the waist while raising your arms straight into front of you. Hold this strengthening stretch for 20 seconds before releasing into a standing position. You should feel a stretch in your torso as well as your core and leg muscles working.
To end any yoga practice at home or at the studio, come into a seated position on your mat, the exact same one you started in. Bring your hands together, palm-to-palm, in front of your heart. It is tradition to say “Namaste,” when finished with a yoga flow. This means, “the divine soul in me sees the divine soul in you,” and is frequently regarded as a sign of self-respect and respect for others. Congratulations for valuing your mind and body today during an at home yoga practice!