532Yoga offers a beautiful award-winning space where we have combined a zen-like eastern minimalism with a reverential, inclusive homage to teachers past and present. Contact us today for more information! 703.209.0049
Perhaps you’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition. You’ve experimented with yoga, meditation, journaling, and all kinds of other typical self-care strategies - but you haven’t experienced much in the way of benefits. It’s time to start going beyond the usual self-care tips and exploring new avenues. 532Yoga shares a few ideas for improving your mental health that you may not have tried yet.
Declutter Your Home
Creating a better atmosphere at home can definitely boost your mental health. You may not even realize how much a cluttered home can affect your mindset until you clean it up! You can begin by getting rid of items you no longer need, dusting regularly, and adding more storage options to your space.
Try Working From Home
Maybe you’re getting tired of commuting to work every day. It’s not easy to get up extra early, sit in traffic on your way to the office, and then do it all again at the end of the day. You may want to request a trial run for working from home. You’ll be able to spend more time with your family, get some extra sleep, work out in the mornings, and cook healthy meals rather than getting take out.
Begin Practicing Yoga
Are you curious about trying out a new form of fitness? Yoga is an excellent way to make a positive impact on both your mental wellness and physical health. Getting started may seem a little overwhelming at first, but you can connect with a local yoga professional who can help you begin your practice. Additionally, there are many apps and online resources that can help you supplement your practice. Plus, you’ll be able to get a full-body workout outdoors.
Getting a Pet
If you’ve ever had a pet, you know how the unconditional love they give can easily turn a frown upside down! Many pet owners find that having pets benefits their mental health. Newport Academy states that spending time with a pet can lower your stress levels, reduce feelings of depression and loneliness, and even increase your sense of self-esteem.
Before bringing your new furry companion home, be sure your living area is outfitted with all the necessary items, such as food, a bed, a crate for training, and a food and water bowl. First, go online and read up on expert and unbiased product reviews and see how they rate in terms of durability, quality and affordability.
If you can’t get a pet right now, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter or offering to pet sit for friends.
Maybe you’ve never tried birdwatching before - but you may be surprised by how enjoyable it could be! Birdwatching can actually be a great way to care for your mental health. You’ll spend time outside, deepen your connection with nature, and get your mind off of your stress for a while.
Do you have lots of photos and family mementos? Consider creating scrapbooks to preserve those memories. Scrapbooking can be very relaxing. Plus, you’ll get to focus on your artistic skills and enhance your creativity!
Your local yoga studio or massage therapy spa might offer reiki. This is an energy healing practice that can help you process complex feelings and release stress. It doesn’t hurt to try out a session or two to see how you feel afterward!
Do you feel like you need to escape from the pressures of daily life for a while? Try planning a weekend camping trip! Camping can help you leave your stresses behind. The Dyrt states that camping can improve your circadian rhythm, give you a boost of dopamine naturally, and even reduce inflammation.
Managing your mental health can be complicated. Sometimes, the techniques that work for other people won’t always work for you, and that’s okay. By trying out methods that suit your lifestyle and interests, from decluttering your house to practicing yoga, you may notice that you’re feeling a little better day by day.
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We all have those days, the ones where the clock feels like it is standing still, or the days when you feel like nothing is going your way. It happens to all of us and usually is out of our control. What you can control, however, is how you take care of yourself and your mind after a day like this. Follow along for some simple tricks on how to decompress and destress after a long day.
Make a Yoga Routine
Yoga can be a great way for you to relax your mind and body. Not only does yoga give you a chance to stay fit but it can also help you ground your mind and become more in tune with your breath. Not sure where to start? Take a class with 532Yoga; they have beginner to advanced level classes to help you understand the ins and outs of yoga poses, which will help you learn some moves you can do before bed or in the morning to connect your body and mind. The stress is bound to leave your body as you learn to breathe through beautiful yoga positions and improve your overall wellness. The more classes you take the more knowledgeable you will become and more able to ground yourself and your thoughts. Make sure you always check your alignment with 532Yoga instructors before you try anything new.
Focus On Self-Care
After a long day, it is going to feel good to take off your makeup and let your hair down. Relax your muscles with a long hot bath, or a shower, and do some self-care. Find a face wash routine that leaves your skin feeling beautiful and clean. Wash away all of the negativity from the day. These nighttime routines are for you to prioritize yourself and let your body wind down. Prioritize your hair as well. If you are in for the night, try a hair mask that will leave your hair moisturized and smooth for days after! Taking care of your skin and hair is something you can always do for yourself no matter what has happened during the day. Pamper and take care of yourself. You deserve it.
Practice Journaling Daily
Another simple way to wind down and relax after a long stressful day can be to journal. Sometimes you have so many thoughts in your head from the day that the best solution is to find a way to get those thoughts down on paper and out of your head. This way you can focus on the now and put today behind you.
While you have the journal out, it can be an excellent chance for you to think about your future goals and set some intentions for tomorrow. This could be as simple as creating a checklist of things you want to do in the next 24 hours or setting goals for a month down the road. What do you want to have accomplished by then?
If you are feeling as if your thoughts are taking too much control of how you feel day to day, then your stress could be leading to a bigger issue. As you are sitting with your thoughts before bed it might be the perfect time to assess if you should be talking to a medical professional. If you are feeling stressed every single day, it might be time for you to look into different types of therapy. Therapy might be the extra help you need to learn new strategies to handle your stressors every day. Taking the time to work with a therapist and establish new coping mechanisms for your stress will help you be able to unwind after a long day.
Unwind While Reading
A lot of times when people get home after a long day they just want to sit in front of the TV for hours and binge-watch their favorite show. Don’t get me wrong, I also have had days where I do the same thing. However, reading to de-stress can be a game changer, especially for your sleep habits, plus it also limits the amount of blue light and screen time you’re getting before bed. So grab a good book and get snuggled in bed. There are so many benefits to reading before bed, including how much it has proven to decrease stress.
Find Someone to Connect With
After a long day, finding someone to talk to and even just get a hug from can help you de-stress. Invite a friend over for a movie or game night. Maybe go out to dinner with a family member and treat yourself to your favorite delicious cuisine. Having someone to talk through your bad days with can help change your mindset before you are even in for the night.
If you live alone or just want time to yourself that works too. Perhaps grab your furry friend and get some snuggles in or go for a walk and get some fresh air? As you are walking you can try some of the breathing techniques you’ve learnt in your yoga class to calm your mind and body. Having a companion can make you feel like you are not going through stressful days alone.
We al have stressful, never-ending days, but next time you feel overly stressed and need to decompress, try out some of these techniques. Stress happens in life. It’s what you do to help yourself deal with the stress that matters. Take control of how you feel at the end of the day.
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, yoga has increased in popularity due to the many physical and mental health benefits that can be derived from it. For example, practicing yoga helps reduce stress, lowers anxiety, facilitates more awareness of our five senses, enables greater flexibility, and so much more.
However, yoga is not the only thing that has grown in popularity in recent years. Practicing yoga with your dog is not only possible, but dog yoga, more commonly known as doga, has seen a recent spike in popularity too. With that said, what exactly is doga?
What is Doga?
The practice of doga is an extension of yoga that was created in the early 2000s by a yoga enthusiast named Suzi Teitelman and her dog, Coali. Specifically, doga is a form of yoga that incorporates dog-friendly yoga poses and stretching. It includes synchronous poses, in which you and your dog are working together to create a singular pose. Doga includes asynchronous poses as well, in which you are solely posing and stretching your four-legged friend. Overall, it’s a harmonious activity that is meant to strengthen the bond between humans and their furry companions.
How Can You Practice Doga?
There are many different doga poses you and your furry friend can do to benefit from. However, before engaging in the craft of doga, you must make sure that you have a strong background in yoga. If you are not well versed in yoga, you should register for yoga classes at a local yoga studio near you. For example, 532 Yoga offers exceptional yoga classes for all levels of practitioner, including beginners. Increasing your yoga knowledge is the first step in practicing doga safely.
And, of course, make sure you and your dog both have enough room for the various poses. Bumping into something is the last thing you want to do because it’s disruptful and could lead to injury.
On top of having a spacious environment, it’s also essential to begin with basic doga poses. One basic pose is the savasana pose, in which you first place your four-legged friend on their back. After your furry friend is in the appropriate position, breathe slowly and stroke their stomach to allow them to be at ease. Another basic doga pose is the chair pose. This consists of you telling your dog to sit, then taking a hold of their front paws so they can get into a squatting position. Once your dog is squatting, slowly take deep breaths, while holding their front paws up. Make sure to constantly support your dog’s posture throughout this pose. There are more doga poses at different difficulties that can be found online, than just the ones mentioned here.
Are There Benefits to Engaging in Doga?
Similar to yoga, doga has many benefits for you and your furry friend. It allows you and your dog to become closer and more connected to each other. This is because you and your dog can bond in a meaningful activity by focusing and posing together. You are essentially making your bodies become one.
Posing with your dog will build a new sense of physical connection and trust. Consistently practicing doga can build stronger muscles and increase flexibility for both parties involved because you and your dog are challenging your body with complex poses and stretches. Of course, one last benefit is relaxation because doga is a calming experience that uses peaceful meditation and reflection throughout the process.
Is Doga Dangerous for Dogs?
Doga is not unreasonably dangerous for dogs, but as with any physical activity, injuries do occasionally occur. The most common injury for dogs that is present throughout doga is the overstretching or the pulling of muscles. Though doga is beneficial for dogs both young and old, older dogs are more prone to these kinds of injuries than younger dogs. To prevent this from happening, it’s crucial to start off every doga session with basic warm-up poses.
Even with practice and proper technique, injuries can happen. Plan ahead and see how dog insurance works for the health and safety of your pup and to keep them protected. Pet insurance will allow you to avoid some financial hardships if your furry friend does incur certain injuries that require a vet or hospital visit. Beyond getting pet insurance, it could also be beneficial to have a dog first aid kit on hand. Keep this near you when you engage in doga. And, of course, proper stretching and not overdoing it is the best way to stay safe!
Yoga is perfect to practice alone, with your family, and yes - with your furry friends too. It can’t be stressed enough that before diving head first into yoga with your furry friend, you want to make sure you are knowledgeable about yoga yourself. Luckily, 532 Yoga’s website has everything you need to learn more about the beautiful art of yoga! Take some time to check out all we have to offer.
At 532 Yoga, we believe that yoga is for everybody. No matter your skill level, we work to help those who practice yoga feel good in their bodies, quiet their mind, and reclaim their peace. Part of practicing yoga is finding the right space. Some people prefer to come into the studio and some prefer to practice yoga from the comfort of their own homes. It doesn’t matter where you practice yoga, as long as it works for you.
For those who prefer to come into the studio, we ensure that we are providing you with the best experience possible. For those who would rather practice yoga at home, 532 Yoga offers live-streaming classes that can be accessed from anywhere. When practicing yoga at home, it is important to dedicate a space in your house for yoga. This space could be in a bedroom, in your garage, or even outside. It depends on what will provide you with the best environment. Continue reading to learn more about how you can transform your outdoor space into a yogi's paradise.
Establish a Budget
Once you decide on where you want your yoga space to be, it is important to think about what you want it to look like. From there, start to put together a budget for how you plan to create this space. Some things to consider when establishing your budget are the cost of renovations, how much time the renovation will take, the cost of yoga equipment, and where to store your yoga equipment during the off months.
If you choose to create your yoga space in your backyard you should start by looking at the current state of your backyard. If your backyard is not well maintained or does not have privacy, it may be difficult to feel at peace and fully immerse yourself in your yoga session. If your intended space looks like it could use an upgrade, you should consider making some improvements.
It may seem overwhelming and costly to renovate your backyard, but the investment is well worth it when considering the value that your personal yoga space will add to your life. As a homeowner, explore all financial assistance options such as a line of credit against any existing equity. Taking the time to create a budget ahead of time, will help you with the renovation process so as to best plan for how much money you are going to be spending and where you will be allocating it to stay within budget.
When designing your outdoor space, it is important to keep in mind the layout. If you want to dedicate only a part of your backyard to yoga, then you need to figure out what type of furniture and flooring will fit your needs. It is common to practice yoga on a flat level surface because that is best for balance and stability. If you have a patio or deck, that would be an ideal place to create your space.
Along with a level surface, you are going to want to make sure that you do not have a lot of furniture outside that could become an obstacle for you when practicing yoga. It is best to find an area where you can freely move and stretch out. When you decide on a space you should start thinking about where you want to put all of your yoga equipment along with anything else that may need such as a towel or water bottle.
After finding an area in your backyard that works, you are going to want to start thinking about what equipment you are going to need for your yoga space. There are many different types of equipment that are used when practicing yoga and it is important to make sure that you are well prepared with what you need to get the most out of each session. Some of the things that you might need include a yoga mat, a yoga ball, a yoga block, a yoga strap, and a yoga wheel. All of these types of equipment provide you with the tools you need to start practicing yoga. A yoga mat is probably the most important piece of equipment because a yoga mat provides you with more traction and grip than your deck or patio would and also provides you with a cushioned surface so that you are not practicing against a hard floor.
When creating your own outdoor yoga space you want to make sure that you are creating a space that is calm and peaceful. Some ways that you can achieve this is by adding different types of plants such as low-growing sedums, alpines, azaleas, statuesque conifers, or bonsai trees. These types of plants are popular when it comes to creating a zen garden. A zen garden is a perfect way to add to the aesthetic of your yoga space.
Along with creating a zen garden, you could also build a fence to provide you with some shade and privacy. To add to the ambiance of your outdoor yoga space, you could also add a gentle waterfall or pond to include a water feature. The sound of running water can be relaxing and soothing and could be the perfect thing to add to complete your space.
Creating an outdoor yoga space is perfect for those who want to practice yoga from the comfort of their own home. It is important to remember that this space is for you and it should be created in a way that makes you happy so that you can get the most out of every yoga session.
Sometimes life moves so fast that you often forget about simple things, such as dedicating time to take care of yourself. Although we are more than halfway through the year, there is still time to take care of business and be your best self. Here are five simple tips to apply self-care within your daily routine.
Take a Yoga Class
Yoga is great when it comes to active self-care. In fact, yoga can improve and lessen the effects of many ailments impacting you every day. Implementing a daily yoga routine by taking a class can help you sleep better, reduce anxiety, fight burnout, etc. Here at 532Yoga, self-care serves as a center point of our mission to help people achieve a well-balanced life. Whether you are a beginner, or a yoga expert, we will have a class for you. Now, we offer flexible daily in-person classes and live streams to fit everybody’s schedule.
Stay on Top of Your Health
Your health is your greatest asset, and neglecting it can impose unfortunate consequences. You should see your primary care doctor at least once a year. Having a wellness visit, and a yearly physical checkup can help your physician determine the best plan of treatment for many aspects of health. Keep track of what is bothering you and come prepared to talk with your doctor. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure you have an eye exam at least every year to have the most up-to-date prescription. In modern times, you can save time and energy by easily order your contact lenses online without ever having to go to the store. This way, you can stay on top of your busy schedule and cut down on additional errands.
Besides maintaining your physical health, also look to care for your mental wellbeing, too. Over the years addressing mental health has become more accepted and while still stigmatized, there are tons of resources and tools available to help you find a good headspace. Doing something as small as using an app like Calm to help keep you grounded and relaxed can improve mental health tenfold. Calm, and other similar apps promote mindful thinking and meditation throughout the day.
Unplug from the World
The globe is now more connected than ever, and it can be overwhelming. Constantly scrolling through social media on your phone can form bad habits and affect your spatial awareness. Start by monitoring your screen time and using that as a template to reduce phone usage. Being on your phone before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. Lower your screen time by reading a physical book before bedtime. Studies show that e-reader screens can delay the natural release of melatonin and have you wake up feeling less rested the next day.
Besides unplugging at night, try to start your day free of any phone or computer time as well. Starting your day instantly scrolling the news or social media is an easy way to get in a negative mindset, especially if you see bad news. Besides seeing bad news, starting your day online is just going to push back other things that should be in your morning routine, such as making breakfast and getting active.
People may struggle practicing mindfulness as they feel they have too much going on to focus on one thing at a time. Mindfulness can help you regulate your emotions, and decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also be achieved by focusing on the previous three tips which can help you be fully engaged in life. One way to deploy mindfulness in the current moment is by eating. Eating mindfully is when we take the time to truly acknowledge the act of eating and all that goes into it. Oftentimes, people will not even remember what they ate for lunch, which shows they weren’t truly in-tune with the eating experience. When eating, we should be taking the time to breathe, and take stock of the feelings and sensations that occur when eating. These feelings can be both physical and mental. To help jumpstart your mindful eating journey, try incorporating some of these tips into your daily routine:
Besides mindful eating, there are a few other ways you can practice mindfulness. A mindful morning is another great way to practice self-care. As already mentioned, starting your day away from electronics is a great way to start your morning mindfully, but there are even more ways to have a healthy morning. A great way to kickstart each day is by writing in a morning journal to organize your thoughts and feelings for the day. As you begin to practice self-care and mindfulness you can reference this journal each day to see how you felt the day before and see if there are any patterns between your daily routines and your mental health.
Summertime is here and going outdoors is a great way to kick off your self-care routine. Connecting with nature by taking a walk after dinner can help you reduce stress. Walking is effortless no matter your surroundings, and it's possible to get out of your comfort zone without forcing yourself to go on an intense hike. Gardening is also a great way to practice self-care and learn a new hobby. Starting a garden can be great therapy where it can inhabit peace and tranquility. Beginner gardeners should try not to worry about whether or not their plant will grow, but just go out and do it and learn from there.
There are plenty of other tips to practice self-care, but these can get you started and get you on the right track to being successful in life. It can be hard to juggle everything going on, but taking a few moments for yourself each day can help you feel more fulfilled and revamp your well-being.
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Article by Dylan Foster
Many caregivers find themselves focusing so much on the health and wellness of the seniors in their charge that they neglect their own health. Similarly, many seniors become frustrated with the fact that they need a caregiver at all. For both caregivers and seniors, yoga and meditation can be a great way of eliminating stress and achieving physical fitness. Sixty and Me explains that yoga provides a gentle, balance-focused method of exercise, while meditation allows people to center their minds on what is really important.
If you are a senior or caregiver, 532Yoga provides some ways you can get started with yoga and meditation.
A surprising health benefit of yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation go beyond reducing stress and improving physical fitness. For example, did you know that yoga can promote a healthier gut? Studies continue to show that your overall health is connected to your gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of microscopic bacteria. What you eat can affect how well you digest food and how well your immune system functions. But exercise can also play a role in your gut health by improving digestion, and in turn, a happy gut can make you feel happier. It’s important to reduce your stress levels for a healthier gut, as well, and yoga and meditation can both help with that.
Start your day with meditation and stretches
Begin your daily exercise routine by meditating and stretching. Meditation, the process of clearing your mind and relaxing your body, can drastically reduce anxiety and stress while supporting your mental health. You can also incorporate deep breathing to aid in stress reduction. Your first meditation attempt may feel awkward or boring, but stick with it. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel.
To get into a more meditative state, darken your room, eliminate any distractions, and create a spa-like atmosphere. Creating a solitude space for yourself can be helpful. After your half hour of meditation, loosen up your joints with a set of stretches. Stretching is a powerful pain and stress reliever that should be part of your daily routine, regardless of whether you exercise. Regular stretching increases your flexibility and your ability to stay balanced. It is also a wonderful stress aid, releasing tension and easing pain and stiffness.
Practicing yoga in a group setting
Once you have meditated and stretched, there are two ways you can approach yoga. First, you can join a yoga studio (532YOGA has plenty of classes to choose from) OR look for a yoga group at your local recreation center. If you are a senior, check your center’s schedule for classes designed for seniors. Senior yoga classes are typically more gentle and, in some cases, provide you with chairs or stools to help you balance.
Taking classes instead of starting your yoga journey by yourself can be beneficial because an instructor can make sure that you use the correct form for each pose. Faulty form and not taking precautions can cause you to injure yourself, so taking classes may be a safer approach, particularly if you are not currently physically active. Classes also will introduce you to a community of people in your age range with similar interests. Studies cited by Mayo Clinic show that people are more likely to keep up with new, healthy habits if they have the active support of a group of friends.
Practicing yoga at home
If you do not want to travel to a recreation center each week, or if you do not have a center with the resources you need nearby, you can start practicing yoga by yourself. In order to make sure you stay safe while you work out, have a friend or caregiver exercise with you. Start by placing a soft, supportive yoga mat on the floor and make sure there’s water available to prevent dehydration. Be sure to stretch before your workout.
Finally, it is time for you to begin your yoga routine. Research online to find a yoga routine that works best for you. For your first time, try starting with several simple poses, like the mountain pose. For the mountain pose, stand as straight as you can with your hands by your sides, making sure that your weight is evenly distributed. Focus on your breathing. While simple, the mountain pose is a great way to center yourself at the beginning of your routine.
And, as with any form of exercise, don’t forget to stay motivated. It’s one thing to try yoga, it’s another to stick with it for the long term. This calls for having a good set of speakers, headphones or earbuds to listen to your favorite music or motivational podcast. Better yet, invest in devices that are Bluetooth-enabled so you can listen wirelessly, freeing you from flopping cords as you practice your routines.
Yoga and meditation are perfect for people of all ages because of the many ways they can be modified to fit each individual’s abilities and preferences. Whether you are a senior or a caregiver, daily meditation, stretching, and yoga can help you improve your overall wellness.
532Yoga is the perfect environment for your practice of Yoga; a beautiful award-winning space where we have combined a zen-like eastern minimalism with a reverential, inclusive homage to teachers past and present. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!
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Yoga isn’t your typical exercise routine. Sure, it will help you improve muscle tone and flexibility everything you want from a standard workout at the gym. What sets yoga apart is the uniquely holistic approach it takes to strengthen your body, mind, and soul. For many, yoga serves as an important retreat from a chaotic or busy life; a time to regroup, unwind and build mindfulness.
Yoga provides a myriad of both physical and mental health benefits. In addition to engaging muscle-groups in poses — or Asanas — that promote strength, flexibility, and balance, yoga also incorporates deep breathing, meditation, and body awareness. This helps decrease stress, relieve anxiety, and promote deep relaxation. Yoga is an exercise that you can practice almost anywhere and also an accessible option for beginners and a great way to build a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need much in the way of specialized equipment to start practicing in your own home yoga room today.
Why a Yoga Room?If you’re looking for a good way to work out at home but find yourself daunted by the cost of home gym equipment, a yoga room might be right for you. Yoga may be the perfect avenue to reach your physical fitness goals. It is ideal for almost every body type and will help you grow strong and limber with dedicated practice. Rather than sinking hundreds of dollars into expensive weights and treadmills, all you need for a yoga room is some free space clear of visual clutter, a mat, and an instructional video. You may wish to invest in blocks or straps down the road, but it doesn’t take much to get started.
A “yoga room” doesn’t even require you to set aside an entire room in your house; a corner in your living room or bedroom will do. The space you set aside for yoga practice is simply an area for you to practice mindfulness of your physical body. You can use this space for high-intensity, strength-building yoga exercises. You can also use this space to meditate, read, or practice self-care. Think of your yoga room as a combination of your lounge, meditation room, and exercise area. This will help you get more use out of the space. Read more about how yoga health benefits.
You should set up your yoga room as a place that inspires mindfulness and tranquility. Remember that sense of zen you feel when you step into your favorite yoga studio? These studios are often set up with elements that play on your senses to help get you into the right frame of mind. Think scented candles, calm lighting, or a smiling Buddha statue. When designing your home yoga space, incorporate elements that help you stop, breathe, and be present in your body.
How to Prepare Your SpacePreparing and decorating your home yoga space should be done with thoughtfulness and intentionality. A yoga room should be calming, inviting, and relaxing. In addition to basic yoga supplies, you’ll want to consider visual aesthetics, lighting, and sensory inputs to help you achieve the best possible yoga experience.
A clean space with few visual distractions will help you get into the right frame of mind for yoga practice. How do you feel when you come home to an apartment full of piles of laundry and dirty dishes in the sink? Clutter isn’t great for your mental health, so your yoga room should serve as a refuge. When it comes to a yoga room, less is more. Be very intentional with what items you include in your yoga space. Only leave those that are functional and beautiful.
Lighten and brighten your space
Lighting has a huge effect on your mood, energy, and overall wellness. Consider installing dimmer switches for your ceiling lights to quickly alter the mood of your yoga room. Cotton drapes are also a good tool to soften and brighten a space. They can also be used to curtain off your yoga space from the rest of the living area, filtering light and adding privacy.
You may wish to take advantage of natural light by setting up your space near a window or balcony. Doing so can help make the area feel more open and airy. Conversely, if you feel calmer in a dark environment, set up your yoga space away from windows, or consider adding blackout curtains.
Satisfy your senses
Once you have established your yoga area, it’s time to add all those little touches that make you feel calm and grounded. It may be a little difficult to decide what to place in your home yoga studio, particularly if working with a small area. To get inspired, use your five senses as a guide for items and décor that get you into that yoga vibe.
The great thing about having your very own yoga space is that you can personalize the décor according to your own style. Consider which design elements inspire your soul, mind, and body. What would you like to see and feel most when practicing yoga?
Plants are a great option for making the air feel fresh and alive. Including items of sentimental value is a great way to make space your own. Remember not to go overboard on décor. When it comes to a yoga room, less is more, so make sure to leave plenty of open space.
Assemble yoga supplies
Now that you’ve achieved that perfect atmosphere for your yoga room, it’s time to get the actual yoga equipment in order. The most fundamental piece of equipment you will need is a mat. Choosing a yoga mat with a color or design you love will inspire you to practice more often. As you progress in your practice, you may find yourself incorporating yoga blocks into your routine. Make sure you have everything you need to carry out your favorite poses.
Yoga for Your Mind and SoulUse the time you practice yoga to be consciously mindful of your day and thankful for everything going on in your life. One of the best aspects of yoga is that it has been proven to positively impact mental health. Because yoga requires you to be highly conscious of and present with your body, it’s an excellent practice to see yourself from another perspective, cultivate body positivity, and take some time to love yourself. If you are thinking of becoming a yoga teacher, check out this article with the best online yoga teacher training certifications.
Your yoga sessions are a special time to focus on your body, breathe deeply, and let go of stress, some people even say that a yoga workout is better than the gym. While there are many styles of yoga that are focused on building physical strength and balance, you don’t have to use your yoga room exclusively for physical routines you could try a few asanas or poses for a quick daily reset. A yoga room can also serve as a calm, tranquil spot to simply breathe and meditate.
Enjoy Your Yoga RoomWhile you may not make it to the studio every week, a home studio makes it easy to fit yoga and meditation sessions into a busy life. A regular yoga practice conditions both the body and mind for inner stability and centeredness; you will quickly find that this positively impacts all aspects of your daily life. Setting up your yoga space to inspire peace and tranquility is key to unlocking the myriad of benefits that come from practicing yoga daily. With practice who knows you might become a Yoga instructor right from your home or your own Yoga studio in the future.
Throughout the years, yoga has become one of the most popular disciplines in the US. In fact, TODAY reports that there were over 40 million yoga studios in the country in 2020, and 60 million yoga-related posts are generated on Instagram alone.
Indeed, though yoga has been an American obsession for more than a century, the pandemic has been driving its growth to new heights, with it being touted as a way of guarding, healing, and recovering from COVID itself. To aid them in this endeavor, yogis have literally been stepping up their game, ensuring sessions are comfortable and emphasize wellness. As previously discussed in our post on ‘6 Reasons to Start Doing Yoga in the Morning’, this will include working on enhanced focus and flexibility.
They're doing so with a simple item: shoes. Yoga shoes are perfect for those who prefer not to practice with their bare feet, or those who want the support they provide when executing particularly challenging poses.
However, not all shoes are created equal. This guide can help you find the right pair to wear for your yoga sessions.
Mishansha Barefoot Yoga Shoes
This particular Mishansha model does a great job at providing all the stability of the rubber shoe while maintaining the flexibility of the barefoot. These slip-on sneakers are beautifully breathable and even come with drainage holes in the sole, making them perfect for both yoga and water sports, or simply for those who tend to sweat profusely.
AJ 1 Mid "Mindfulness"
However, if you're comfortable with a more sneaker-like shoe, consider the AJ 1 Mid "Mindfulness." This pair was released when Nike and Jordan revealed their "Pregame Pack" Collaboration last year, and was designed with meditation and relaxation in mind. Thick-soled and tight fitting, these shoes give all the comfort you need. Its support reaches a couple of inches above the ankle, as well, meaning you're less likely to incur the strains and sprains so common in yoga.
Bloch Contour Suede Yoga Shoes
If you're bringing ballet into the yoga studio, these shoes, created by Australian dancewear company Bloch, are a perfect fit! Though first created for barre, a couple of tweaks have made these suede shoes, and they have become a favorite among yogis. This may be because of the shoes' sock-like feel which gives all the support you need to keep your balance. They're also uniquely made from neoprene, which helps them last longer.
Vibram Alitza Loop Yoga Shoes
For those who are looking for more unconventionally designed pairs, however, try the Vibram Alitza Loops. Holes for each individual toe mean the shoes have a more natural feel, so they can be worn anywhere from the grocery store to the yoga mat. Additionally, research published on Science Direct explains that shoes with EVA foam, which the Vibram Alitza Loops has, increases their durability. Therefore, expect this pair to last you years.
Kicking it off
The world of yoga shoes is large and ever-expanding, and all you need to do is go out there and explore it. From rubber shoes and sandals to "gloves" and sneakers, there are countless ways for you to bring your game to the next level. So whether you've been a yogi for decades or are just starting out, these shoes can help you step up to the mat and get kicking.
By Cassandra Rosas
Link to original article.
Whether you are an avid yoga practitioner or completely new to yoga, sometimes you just need a moment with yourself to slow-down and relax, and this practice seems to be perfect for that purpose, to reconnect with your body through your breath, attention to movement, and to the present moment. If that is your case, you may be wondering how to create an ideal space at home that helps with relaxation and focus, which is why we gathered the expert’s advice on how to achieve that vibe at home and the recommended exercises to do safely, either on your own or following an online or a virtual yoga class. So keep reading to discover what the experts told us!
Where would you set up a dedicated yoga space at home, and what do you need for this?
The ideal space to practice is usually the quietest one. You don’t need lots of space but plenty of natural light is always good. Clear the space of clutter as much as possible – even if it’s only the area around your mat or the end of the room where you are practicing. The less distractions, the better. I always like to face a window as it’s lovely to have the sun on your face or be able to see the sky or trees. You just really need your yoga mat and props if you use them. A plant or two can really help to make the space feel calm and more relaxing. Use an essential oil spray and mist the space before you start. Spend time sitting and connect to your breath.
By Nichi Green from The Yoga Space
How can you create the perfect ambience in your yoga space to help with relaxation and concentration?
In a perfect world, we would all have a room dedicated to our yoga practice -but in reality, we often have to tuck our mat between the bed and the wall. You can make the most out of your space, or lack thereof, by attending to lighting, props, and sound. Overly bright lighting can be overstimulating, so consider adding dimmers to your overhead lights or turning on a smaller light source such as a lamp. Your props will help to make your practice more comfortable, so make sure you have at least enough room to have them nearby. Ideally, you should have enough room on either side of you, not only for your props but also to take a supine twist on each side. Lastly, many people find music to be a soothing addition to their practice. Music can not only reduce the effect of distracting noises but also it can have a powerfully soothing effect on your nervous system.
By Cristina M. Kuhn from Yoga Medicine®
How would you achieve the ideal Zen vibe at home for your yoga practice?
We would say there’s not one specific answer to this question, but overall you would need to make sure you create a corner or room with a totally different atmosphere. Don’t just start a yoga class in your living room or home office without changing some stuff around. Get out of your day to day surroundings and create a space where you can get extra zen and escape from everyday life.
By Chris Bakker from Onefit
Which yoga styles are best for trying at home?
Restorative and gentle Hatha are the best for practicing at home. They are slower, so less likely to injure- Iyengar too if you know it.
Ashtanga and vinyasa are more vigorous and only should be a home practice if you have already learned from an experienced teacher who has taught correct form, breathing, and focus.
Nidra and yin can be done at home too, but it might be more beneficial to have someone guiding you online.
Kundalini is quite challenging to do on your own, so I suggest online or using manuals if you have studied it before!
Any of these forms can be found online if you are not versed enough to practice at home. However, if you are new to Yoga, the first two mentioned would be safest and very beneficial.
By Donna Amrita Davidge from Sewall House
Which aspects should we consider when picking the type of yoga to practice from home?
When practicing yoga at home, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a class.
First, I highly recommend that you attend classes with a live instructor (whether in-person or virtually) who has met you face-to-face. Visual information gives yoga teachers a lot of information about how we can help you align yourself in any given yoga position. Additionally, the relationship between an instructor and student is very important in your overall comfort and it’s difficult to build this without any live interaction. Although YouTube classes can be a great way to try out yoga, there is no denying that real progress usually comes from studying with a live teacher.
Second, make sure the class you pick won’t utilize props you don’t have. Usually, we can give some ideas for DIY props you can use at home. But if you’re attending a Restorative or Yin class and don’t have some combination of pillows, blankets, bolsters, blocks, and/or straps, the class might be very challenging for you. If you pick a Yoga Burn class but don’t have any free weights, the class may not be challenging enough. If you don’t have a yoga mat, you can use a towel instead.
Third, if you’re just starting out, very inflexible, or recovering from a significant injury, picking a very fast-paced or difficult class (level 2 or 3, power yoga, ashtanga yoga, etc.) may not suit your body just yet. You might prefer to start in a gentle, beginner, or level 1 class to get your bearings before you advance your practice so that you don’t hurt yourself. Remember, there’s no rush!
Most importantly, practicing yoga should feel good. If you ever feel pain, back off and consult with a registered yoga teacher (RYT).
By Erin Haddock from Five Keys Yoga, LLC
What is the easiest style of yoga to start practicing at home as a beginner and should be taken into consideration?
If you are new to yoga, welcome! When you first start, it’s great to work with a yoga teacher 1-on-1 so that they can access your current fitness level, help you to learn the correct breathing and poses, and help you work with any injuries or pre-existing conditions. If that is not accessible to you financially, I would recommend trying a slow flow class or a level 1 Hatha vinyasa class. If you don’t see these types of classes on your local studio’s schedule, reach out to the studio to ask them what the most beginner-friendly class is! Always make sure to let your yoga teacher know if you have any injuries or anything going on in your body so that they can help you modify poses. Once you are familiar with the basics of yoga, it’s great to try a variety of classes to see what you like most.
By Amanda Kingsmith from Mastering the Business of Yoga
What is the easiest yoga sequence for a beginner to do at home?
An easy way to start your yoga practice at home is the traditional Sun Salutation A, which is a set sequence of yoga poses that are linked to each other in order to create a smooth flow of movement.
Once you’ve found a nice and calm spot at home to roll out your yoga mat, step on the front of the mat with the feet hip-width apart. Bring your hands in front of your heart, close your eyes and take a few breaths to tune into your body.
On an inhale, open the eyes and lift the arms up over your head. Exhale and bow forward, bringing the fingertips to the ground. You can bend the knees as much as needed.
With the next inhale, make a big step back with the right leg so that you’re in a runner’s lunge position. The fingers are still on the ground, and you lift the chest and the head up.
Exhale and step the left leg back as well to arrive in the iconic position of Downward-Facing Dog. Lift the buttocks up and push the tailbone back until your ears are between the biceps. You can keep the knees bent to have more space to tilt the pelvis forward and lengthen the back. Imagine the pose as an upside-down V.
With your next inhale, shift your body weight forward so that your shoulders are stacked above the wrists, and you arrive in a push-up position. Exhale and lower the body down to lie on your belly. Lift your head and chest up with the inhale and exhale to return to Downward-Facing Dog. Feel free to stay here for a few breaths and tune into your body again.
With an inhale, step the right foot forward between your hands (or grab the foot and place it there) and lift the chest and head up again. You’re now in the same runner’s lunge position as in the beginning, just with the other leg in front. Exhale and step the left foot forward to meet the right one at the front of your yoga mat. With the inhalation, you lift the torso back up into a standing position and bring the arms overhead. Exhale to bring the hands in front of the heart again. You are now in the starting position and can repeat the same sequence starting with the left leg.
As you may have noticed, this is a closed-loop, and you can repeat it as many times as you like. This simple sequence moves all the limbs of the body in various directions. Depending on the speed at which you perform it, it also trains your cardiovascular system, raises your awareness and calms your mind.
If you’re looking for more inspiration for your at-home yoga practice, check out TINT Yoga, where you can train with the world’s greatest yoga minds and find classes for all levels.
By Doreen Stolle from TINT Yoga
What is the best advice you can give us for practicing yoga at home?
To experience the most benefit from your yoga practice, consistency is key. And to develop consistency in your home yoga practice, your best bet is to make Yoga a part of your daily routine. Many people find that the best time to practice Yoga is first thing in the morning before their children wake up, and other life responsibilities take over their day. Everybody is different, so you’ll have to figure out what works best for you. Are you more likely to be able to practice during your lunch hour, after work, or before bedtime? Spend a little time reflecting on what time will work best for you, then commit to it by scheduling it as an appointment on your calendar. Make your best effort to practice every day, but if life gets too busy and you miss your practice one day, don’t stress over it. Just try again the next day.
The second key to developing a successful home yoga practice is finding the right style for you. There are many, many styles of Yoga. You can find Yoga that is fitness-based, spiritual, gentle, strong, beginner-friendly, chair-based, relaxation-focused – the styles of Yoga are endless. Start out by trying a class or video. If you love it, great! If you don’t love it, try something else. You’ll eventually find a yoga practice that’s just the right fit. Yoga can provide so many benefits for your body and mind; it’s just a matter of finding the right approach for you.
By Zelinda Yañez from The Yoga Room
What kind of props do we need to have at home for a restorative yoga session?
Restorative Yoga is an incredibly beneficial tool, especially for busy, stressed, or very active people. On our 4-day Restorative Yoga Course at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre we teach participants how to use an abundance of blankets and bolsters to correctly set up positions to support their bodies to allow them to fully relax in each pose. While there is an abundance of websites and shops selling a myriad of yoga props, you can always just make do with soft furnishings you have at home.
If you are practicing some Restorative poses at home, you can use any blankets or cushions you have around the house and adapt by rolling or folding them to meet the needs. You don’t even need a yoga mat! You could use a blanket, a rug, or just a carpet as your base. If you choose to, then I would say the number one prop to invest in is a yoga bolster. This will make it easier for you to set up for and be properly supported in key Restorative poses.
One of the most beneficial Restorative poses is legs up the wall. You simply set yourself up at right angles to a wall, torso on the ground, sit bones up against or close to the wall, and – as the name suggests – legs up the wall! All you need for this pose is a blanket to lie on … and a wall.
Restorative Yoga can help with physical, emotional, and mental issues by restoring balance. Practicing just a few key poses regularly can assist those working with conditions such as high blood pressure, adrenal and chronic fatigue and is particularly useful for women’s health and for pregnant women. Restorative Yoga offers supported postures that facilitate the passive release of tension stored in the body, activates that parasympathetic nervous system, and allows for deep, nourishing rest.
For more information on the 4-day Restorative Yoga Course go to Byron Yoga Retreat Centre
By Becky Buckwell from Byron Yoga Centre
Which tips can you give us to create a yoga sequence to practice at home?
Cultivating a home practice is an important part of developing an authentic relationship with Yoga. Practitioners can create simple sequences at home that help them intuitively connect to their breath and their body. When we develop the skills to create sequences for our home practice, we strengthen our bond with Yoga. Follow these steps to create safe and accessible sequences for your home practice.
First, find a place to roll out your mat. You want the space to be bright, clean, and relatively quiet if possible. You might want to bring in items that help you connect to your practice like blocks, bolsters, blankets, and a strap. It’s nice to add little touches that help you connect to the five elements like incense, crystals, singing bowls, or salt lamps. If you have space and the supplies to make your yoga space your own, you will be more likely to practice.
Next, you want to start slowly. Explore your range of motion in the hips, shoulders, and spine. Notice where you are tight, where you are more flexible, and where you feel unstable. You might start in a tabletop position or flat on your back; from here, you can move the legs, arms, and spine to notice where there is sensation. Link your movements to your breath. If you are looking for energy, you can use your inhales when you expand and exhales when you contract.
An example of this is cat and cow poses. When you inhale in cow you are bringing breath into the body when the spine is in extension. When you exhale in cat, you are releasing breath when you contract and flex the spine.
Keep moving with the breath and adding on postures that increase flexibility in areas where you feel tight and adding postures which build strength in areas that feel more flexible. When we build strength and flexibility, we increase stability overall. An example of a pose that invites flexibility in the hips might be Warrior II and an example of a posture that builds strength in the pelvis is crescent lunge. Listen to your body, resist the urge to push yourself to your edge. We actually want to work within our range of motion so that our range of motion and strength will build over time. When we lean into our edge, we can invite injury.
Take up space and express yourself as you feel appropriate. A home practice is a beautiful way to develop a deeply personal relationship between yourself and your body. Listen to your body, honor your body, and use your breath to bring your awareness back onto the mat when you get distracted. Over time, your practice will help quiet the mental chatter that distracts us from our present moment. When this happens, you can start to notice how your body responds to certain postures; you can use your breath to regulate your nervous system and maintain balance and peace of mind.
Developing a home practice and sequencing intuitively is easy to do when you listen to your body through a process of self-inquiry. Over time, this will help you take these valuable skills off the mat and into your life.
By Michelle Young from My Vinyasa Practice
Which tips can you give us to make time for our yoga practice at home and stick to it without losing motivation?
When it comes to practicing at home, we realize that it can be tough to stay focused. That is why we have a few recommendations that will help you find focus and clarity as you work to build your home practice:
By Jess Bycraft from Torch Yoga
Which yoga postures do you recommend practicing to ease the fatigue of working from home?
One of the greatest challenges of working from home is inertia. We’re spending a lot more time seated with fewer reasons to get up, get supplies, move to another room for meetings, or interact with co-workers. This can lead to sluggishness and mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon lag. Movement is a natural neuromodulator and can help improve focus and productivity, so get up and try this simple sequence once or twice a day.
You can check this YouTube video to help guide you with the movements.
By Sara Curry from Blaze Yoga & Pilates
Which asanas do you suggest doing for pregnant women who want to do prenatal yoga at home?
Yoga is great for pregnancy, but one has to be careful that they don’t ‘overstretch’, which can happen because the body produces ‘relaxin’ in preparation for birth. Once overstretched, ligaments cannot go back to ‘normal’.
In my experience, having taught many prenatal yoga classes, there is one particular pose that I would specifically recommend….
This pose helps not only stretch fascia, but can help with a common pregnancy condition; plantar fasciitis, and help prepare for the ‘discomfort’ of labor, enabling the practitioner to ‘breathe through the discomfort’.
Come to all fours, bring knees together and curl toes under behind you. Reach back to curl any reluctant toes under.
Have a folded blanket handy, which can be placed between the calves and back thighs if necessary, so there is no discomfort in the knees
Bring the sit bones to the heels and roll the inner thighs towards the floor. Take one hand at a time to the kneecap and lift the knees slightly to release any tightness around the knees. Lift the pelvic floor muscles and draw the lower abdomen (between the pubis and naval) back to lengthen the flesh of the buttock down towards the toes and avoid overarching the lower back.
Sit up straight with a long spine, take a deep breath in, and open the arms to the sides in line with the shoulders, palms facing forward. Draw the arms back to open the chest, but careful not to overarch the lower back.
With a full breath out, sweep the arms forward, place the palms together and tuck the chin towards the chest so you get a stretch in the upper back muscles and lengthen the whole back of the spine.
Repeat as many times as possible – 10 times if possible, then lower the hands, and untuck the toes.
We call this pose ‘Toecrushna’
By Suzanne from 532Yoga
What kind of asanas do you recommend for a pregnant woman to do at home?
Modified yoga poses and movement can really ease the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy. Try a “down dog at your countertop” by placing your hands on the kitchen counter or a table with arms straight. Move your feet back about 3-4 feet and lean your chest forward until your torso is parallel to the floor, and you feel a nice stretch in the shoulders.
By Jess Pierno from Yoga Heights
Which items and props would you suggest having at home for practicing yoga with kids?
The only thing you need at home to practice Yoga with kids is space to move. A yoga mat is nice, but not necessary.
We suggest eliminating, or at least minimizing, all distractions (especially screens), including props, until children are in their teen years. What’s needed most working with growing bodies, brains, and hearts is presence. Your full attention – playful, calm, and connected. This is the greatest gift you can give.
Parents and children of all ages can breathe, move and rest together modelling nature’s teachers like mountains, stars, trees and animals or download our IYK® High 5 Method for all ages. These healthy, happy habits help you be Your Best YOU and create a Positive Force in our world.
By Michelle Wing from It’s Yoga Kids
What are the best yoga poses to teach kids practicing from home?
Would like some new quick, and easy tools for calming your kids? Perhaps you see the impact of stress and anxiety on your children and want to help? Or maybe you do Yoga and would love to share the benefits with your family.
Welcome to the world of teaching yoga to your kids and to the community of thousands of parents all over the world who are not only doing something fun together but also taking care of the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their children at the same time.
Take just 10 minutes at the beginning of your day to get those little bodies moving, energize them in a calm way, and clear the brain for a focussed, calm, and happy day.
Do this together, and you will both enjoy the benefits of increased health and greater connection.
Top Tips For Yoga With Your Children
Enjoy the magic of seeing your children grow in confidence as their sense of self builds.
If you see the immediate benefit and impact on your children and want to learn more, then come join our kids yoga online training course. It can be one of the most rewarding things you do.
By Loraine Rushton from Zenergy Yoga
Now that you have all the insight and advice from experienced yoga professionals, you can create your special yoga space at home and start putting to practice some of the exercises, postures, and sequences proposed. You’ll see that in no time, you’ll have your yoga routine all settled down.