Home Yoga Practice Tips for Beginners
Yoga at home has become extremely popular over the past few years, and for good reason. It offers a variety of benefits including the ability to avoid the high cost of expensive classes or gyms, as well as offering an alternative at any time or day of the week. You can also work out from the convenience of your home without the interruption of traffic or other distractions that may stop you from meditating properly. If you have been thinking about trying a home yoga practice, you will want to read on to find out exactly what it involves, how to go about doing it, and the types of equipment or props that you will need.
There are many different styles of yoga, but the one that is gaining in popularity and is most easily accessible is Hatha yoga. This style of yoga combines many of the aspects of traditional yoga, such as vigorous stretching and physical postures, with breathing and meditation techniques to create a stress-free, restful way of life. To get the most out of consistent home practice of this type of yoga, it is important to choose a high quality mat, a comfortable place to perform the poses, and accessorize accessories that will help you stay in proper form.
The first thing that you should do before setting up your home yoga practice is to choose a comfortable mat. While the mat may be the item that people most notice, it is only one part of the equation. The actual mat should fit properly and not be too loose or too tight to avoid causing harm to your back. Loose mats encourage slipping, and too tight ones will put unnecessary stress on your body as you attempt various poses.
Next, you will need a comfortable chair or table to perform yoga from. Chairs made of hardwood, vinyl, or other similar materials will give you the support you need while you work on your mat. A thick, plush cushion is also helpful, as it will allow you to comfortably rest against as you perform the poses. It is a good idea to use a blanket, pillow, or comforter to provide additional comfort as you practice. A portable floor lamp may also be useful for the best night of sleep during your home practice.
Once you have selected the right mat, chair, and accessories, it is time to start your home yoga practice. Begin with some warm-up stretches, such as those used during a workout at the gym. Lie on the mat in your usual position, then cross your arms over your chest and raise your left arm over your shoulder, allowing your shoulder to drop down and rest on the mat. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then return to your starting position. Repeat this pattern several times.
You can increase your home yoga practice by learning more difficult poses, either before you begin your practice, or while you are still learning the basics. In these more advanced poses, you will want to keep your upper body very straight, with your elbows resting on the mat. Your hands should be at your sides, with your wrists crossed over your heart. As you learn new poses, switch to using a thicker mat, and add any additional props or blankets to increase the difficulty of each pose.
To increase flexibility and strengthen your muscles, you should perform standing poses frequently. Standing poses include the sun salutation (aka, the Sun Wheel poses), the half moon (aka, the Half Moon pose), the upward facing dog (aka, the Upward facing dog pose), and the crab (aka, the Crab pose). These poses can be practiced anytime, but especially when practicing yoga in the early morning, while driving to the office, or after working out at the gym. If your mat is too thick for practicing standing poses, you may want to consider purchasing a thick mat that will allow you to perform all of the Standing poses comfortably.
As you begin to learn and practice yoga poses, you will find that your body begins to lengthen and stretch in all directions. You may not see this happening immediately. However, if you do a slow and steady posture for 30 minutes each day, the effects will become visible over time. It may take a month or two to notice a difference, but practicing regularly will gradually stretch your body and prepare you for further yoga practice. With regular practice, your body will become stronger and your fitness levels will increase.