From rehabilitating your body to rejuvenating your mind, yoga helps you slow down and live a healthier life. Recent studies link yoga to health benefits like stress relief and pain reduction. Yoga may also ease symptoms of mental conditions like PTSD and even schizophrenia.
Many people who practice yoga do so at a yoga studio, under the careful supervision of a certified yoga instructor. However, an at-home yoga practice can be equally beneficial. You’ll save money by practicing in the comfort of home, and you can modify your practice to suit your unique needs. From props like yoga blocks to modern tools like iPhone apps, it’s easier than ever to level up your home yoga practice.
Whether you’re looking to improve flexibility, ease lower back pain, or master crow pose, try these tools.
Download Yoga Apps
Are you too busy or don’t have the funds to make it to class? Smartphone yoga apps are a convenient, affordable way to continue practicing at home.
Here are some recommendations:
- Daily Yoga lets you plan your workouts and filter available courses. It’s an exclusive iOS app, so you’ll need a newer-model iPhone.
- Android users will love Down Dog and 5 Minute Yoga, both of which are among the best Android yoga apps, according to Android Authority. If you have an older device, you may need to upgrade it to get the most out of your app.
- YogaGen is an upcoming app that will use your smartphone’s camera to ensure your yoga poses are safe and correct. You can use the app’s feedback to track your progress over time, correcting your posture and alignment as needed.
- Downloading YouTube’s app to your phone will make it easier for you to access guided yoga and meditation videos from certified instructors around the world.
When it comes to using smartphone apps, there’s one catch. Most apps only work with newer-device models. If you’ve been using a device that’s a few years old, it may be time for an upgrade. Look for a newer smartphone model that works with your data plan, has all the features you need, and suits your budget. Is your plan expired? No need to worry; some providers offer discounts on the purchase of some newer models, along with an unlimited data plan.
Practice with Yoga Props
The right equipment improves your home practice. There’s always a risk of strain or injury with any movement practice. Yoga props like blocks, straps, and bolsters can all aid you in safely easing your way into the poses.
The yoga wheel, for example, helps you gradually ease your way into a backbend. This prop can be a creative way to improve flexibility, massage your spine, and ease tension in your back, shoulders, and neck after a long day of staring at computer (or smartphone) screens.
Use Towels and Rugs
Most people are familiar with yoga mats. Yoga towels and rugs are less well-known, yet equally helpful. Placing a cushioned yoga towel or rug atop your mat protects your joints, preventing injuries. These lightweight props are perfect for home or the studio.
Do you practice hot yoga? If so, invest in a moisture-wicking towel or rug. The quick-drying material absorbs sweat, keeping you dry and preventing slips or falls.
Create a Relaxing Space
If you’re setting up a home practice, find a quiet space away from distractions and activity. Add some indoor plants and some calming artwork, and let in as much natural light as possible. If your windows are dirty and in need of cleaning, search for “window cleaners in my area” to find capable window cleaning professionals. Keep in mind that you may have to pay extra if you have hard-to-access windows.
In-person classes are particularly helpful for beginners because yoga teachers can keep a mindful eye on proper alignment and injury prevention. Once you’ve mastered the basic poses, however, continuing to do yoga at home can help you take your practice to the next level. If you don’t live in close proximity to a studio or don’t have the money or transportation to attend classes, consider investing in some yoga props and downloading a smartphone app. You might be surprised at how easy it is to do yoga each day from home, thanks to modern technology!
The Embrace Your Wobbles book will teach you how to accept and be grateful for the yoga wobbles you experience on and off the mat. Buy it today!
Guest Blogger Melissa Howard of stopsuicide.info