Yoga at Home
Expert Tips: Health and fitness
We are living in stressful times. I don’t need to tell you why! It’s imperative now more than ever that you learn how to deal with stress, and one way to do that is with Yoga. Indeed, Yoga is a two-pronged method to deal with that stress.
Using Yoga relaxation techniques developed through the centuries, you can “center” yourself, wash away the stresses of the day and prepare yourself for the stresses of tomorrow. You don’t have to have studied Yoga for decades to learn these techniques, either. It may take you a few weeks of practice though… simply to learn how to relax.
Your Yoga routine each day, therefore (or every other day, whatever fits your schedule) comes in two parts. Spend ten to thirty minutes just relaxing. Then spend thirty minutes or so performing Yoga postures to develop your flexibility, balance and strength.
One Relaxation Technique
Dress in loose fitting clothing that will keep you warm, and place a yoga mat on the floor to keep you off a cold floor. Prepare yourself with a couple of pillows, one for your head, one for behind your knees if necessary. Turn off your cellphone, and make sure that no one will interrupt you for at least thirty minutes.
Now, lay down on the floor, face upwards, resting your head on the pillow if necessary. Stretch your arms out at your sides. Then, close your eyes and just lie there, unmoving. That’s the hard part - you’ll be surprised how hard it is to lay still for ten minutes, let alone thirty! It takes practice, both mentally and physically to just lie there and become in tune with your body.
Relax, think of pleasant sensations like running on a warm beach, sitting and watching a soothing rainstorm, and so on. After fifteen or thirty minutes, rise leisurely, stretch, and go about your day.
Yoga Postures at Home
Also set aside at least thirty minutes for your Yoga posture practice. Again, you want to be alone in a room so that you can remain calm and not distracted.
Dress in loose fitting clothing, or a leotard that leaves your arms free. But make sure you’re in a warm room - you don’t want to get cold as that uncomfortableness will spoil your mindset.
Whether you’ve got a hardwood floor or carpet, always use a yoga mat. This defines your space, as well as ensures your comfort.
When you’re first starting out with yoga, you want to proceed very slowly. While Yoga is a non-impact activity, you are working on your flexibility, and if you force things too quickly you could injure your tendons, which is counter-productive. In Yoga, there is no such thing as “no pain, no gain.”
Although, eventually, you will want to perform each Posture perfectly, with perfectly straight legs and back and so on, to begin with you will want to use what is called “Forgiving Limbs.” Give yourself permission to slightly bend your legs or arms, to make the Postures easier to achieve. After weeks and weeks of practice, you will become supple enough to perform the Postures without such artificial aids.
There are hundreds of different Postures in Yoga, from those where you’re sitting or lying on the floor, to those where you’re standing. Develop a program that is right for you , with a half-dozen postures per session, and work on each one slowly and steadily, until you master it.... mentally as well as physically.
After even just a couple of weeks of practicing Yoga, you will begin to notice a chance in both your physical and mental health… for the better.
You can take a class at a local yoga studio or purchase a book about yoga to learn which postures you are interested in dedicating some time to learn.
October 30, 2008 Bookmark and Share