All Posts by admin

Stay Mobile and Pain Free, with Yoga for Seniors

Ice is nice, heat is neat, but motion is the lotion! 

Any physical activity is an investment in our future and current selves. Maintaining a functioning body that can support us for years to come is vital. Once we start to enter our twilit years it is especially important to stay mobile and pain-free. Yoga for seniors could be the best type of exercise available to maintain a healthy body and mind in preparation for the future. What we put into it, is exactly what we will get back. Yoga keeps your joints mobile, keeps your spine supple and increases balance in the body.

 

Reduce stiffness and inflammation while increasing flexibility through the practice of yoga.

The one most discouraging issue we face when we age, is joint stiffness, and inflammation throughout the muscles. Whether arthritis is the instigator, as it occurs to the masses regardless of what we try to do to prevent it. Inflammation can lead to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and other countless age related illnesses as stated by Ron Glasser, Ohio State University professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics.

Synovial fluid is a natural bodily secretion that is found in joints such as our hips, knees, wrists and elbows. With regular practice, various poses help to increase and distribute synovial fluid to joints, allowing for smoother movement as stated by Ken Stanfield, Geriatric health enthusiast and blogger.

 

Preventing and reversing muscular atrophy with weight bearing exercises

 

Muscular atrophy occurs when there is limited maintenance of our muscles. They quite literally shrink and weaken into an atotrophic state. It is caused by natural aging, being immobilized after an injury, or many years of leading a sedentary lifestyle.

When starting a yoga class, let your instructor know of any health issues so he or she can help you to make modifications to lessen any discomfort. Classes where yoga is performed on a chair are becoming increasingly popular. Sometimes I will resonate with a specific style of an instructor and I find myself following them around to various locations, it can take a bit of effort to find your fit.

As we age, gaining back muscle mass memory becomes more difficult to attain. That being said you can restore deteriorating muscles with an excellent yoga regimen. There are some poses such as the cobra which works your back and arm muscles, as well works your spinal column. There by improving your posture as well. Another favorite pose for myself is the pigeon pose, it helps to open up your hips. I find myself throwing in a pigeon pose in the morning when I stretch before I get my day started.

Maintaining balance as a way to prevent falls and further debilitating injuries or illness.

Osteoporosis is a risk factor as we age, several factors contribute to developing osteoporosis, however, one factor that we do have control of is being sedentary, When you are sedentary, your skeleton doesn’t receive the required stress needed to stay healthy and keep you in a weight-bearing state.

 

When you take to an ongoing Yoga regimen, you will be strengthening your core and assisting with your center of gravity. You will be strengthening and toning your muscles, which in turn helps to protect bones.

Yoga helps to loosen up the muscles and in doing so releases any built up tensions. You will soon see after a commitment to a regimen a large increase in your range of motion.

Because of yoga’s cardiovascular benefits, you can possibly help prevent yourself from a life altering stroke.

 

Gout is another issue that arises in health and that is when there is a buildup of uric acid in the extremities. Practicing yoga can help to alleviate pain associated with gout.

Yoga decreases blood pressure as well as strengthens your immune system, it gets the blood circulating and pumping, distributing crucial nutrients and oxygen to vital organs and muscles.

Yoga often brings a sense of community and a mind-body wellness.

 

According to Journals of Gerontology, there was a 13% memory and recall improvement within older adults, who practice yoga 3 times a week. The study was based on an eight week time frame, with 3 classes per week.

Yoga is such a win- win for many reasons, the benefits are endless. Not only do you reap all the benefits of endorphins, which secrete into your body when doing dynamic poses. Here by giving you a dose of nature’s own pain killers and helping you attain a general sense of well-being. Yoga has proven to strengthen the mind, body and spirit connection.

I love to go to a class and set up my mat and my space for the next hour. It is so calming, just the ritual of getting my blocks and my bolster organized. I think because yoga is done in bare feet, it helps to make us feel grounded and is soothing.

Anxiety and depression is something that many people deal with, in our older community sometimes depression can become more common due many things, families moving away, grieving the loss of a loved one and facing our own mortality. Yoga can lessen these symptoms and helps to keep the mind clear as possible.

You will find yourself in a like-minded group which in itself is a community of wellness. Having a support system that is based upon health and wellness is priceless, and you may just make some new friends too.

Best Yoga Poses for Seniors

 

Forward Bend

  • Start in Mountain pose
  • Breathe in as you raise arms over your head
  • Exhale as you bend forward from the hips- bend knees
  • Take hold of legs or feet
  • Place hands onto your hips as you inhale back to standing

​Cat Pose

  • Begin on all fours, place the hands on the floor beneath the shoulders. Knees place under the hips.
  •  
  • Inhale as youraise the head and tail bone. Lower back becomes concaved
  • Exhale as you lower the head and arch the spine
  • Through out the movement arms and thighs should be vertical to the floor
  • Repeat 5 times
  •  
 
 
 

Downward dog Pose

 
 
  • Begin from the hands and knees on the floor- tuck the toes under
  • As you inhale, raise hips and buttocks while straightening the legs comfortably 
  • Breathe out as you lower the heels towards the mat,  lower your head between the arms
  • Breathe raise the heels and head 
  • Breathe out lower knees, release the toes, bring the buttocks towards your heels and rest in the childs pose
  •  

Child Pose

 
  • Begin kneeling
  • ​Lower you buttocks towards your heel, lower your abdomen towards the thighs
  • keep forearms on the mat and either place the forehead on a pillow or the mat
  • Bring the arms by the side of the legs with palms upwards 
  • Breathe comfortably and relax

Half Camel Pose

 
  • Start from standing on your knees
  • Breathing in raise arms sideways to shoulder level
  • Breathe out as you twist to the right bringing your right hand towards the right heel while at the same time moving the left arm out in front
  • Breathing in return to the start
  •  
  • Repeat opposite side
  • Come to finish in child pose

Why All Champions use Visualisation in Sports ?

The most dominant surfer in history Kelly Slater has used visualisation or mental imagery it to win major tournament after major tournament. Future Hall of Famer and who many consider to be the greatest quarterback of all time Tom Brady practices it to win super Bowl after super bowl and set numerous records along the way. Visualisation in sport has been an under rated aspect of sport that all champions have in common with each other.

Visualisation in sport

The best hockey player of all time and a prolific goal scorer Wayne Gretzky did it to completely revolutionise the game and to secure records that may never fall.The undisputed greatest basketball player of all time, his Airness himself Michael Jordan, used it to dominate on the court, win six championships, and establish himself as the best player to ever step on the court.

Connor Mcgregor is using it now to becoming the biggest name to ever come in MMA ( mixed martial arts ). He is using mental imagery to visualise the way he will to win each fight, and even more amazingly picking a specific time in the fight that the prediction will happen.

And guess what? It is working to such an accurate way he has become famous for it. McGregor is visualising the fight taking place before it has evened happened. He has visualised the battle of endurance and damage he needs to over come to be the champion.

Mental imagery helps create champions

When McGregor enters the battle his mind is mentally prepared for what it has to endure. In the highest level of competition all the athletes at the top are all in amazing peak physical condition.

It is often that its the mental preparation that can separate the winner from the loser. If an athlete can add an extra 1% through mental preparation that can quite often prove the difference.

The bottom line Is that all Champions seem to use Mental imagery or visualisation

Visualisation in sports is powerful and has helped the greatest achieve the success at the highest level. You’d have to be at least a little bit crazy not to seriously consider taking advantage of everything that visualisation has to offer you – regardless of whether or not you’re a professional athlete or weekend warrior.

The best athletes say that they always visualise succeeding in their sport they are about to undertake in before it happens. This allows for their brain to comprehend and understand what it is needed to do and achieve.

The Truth About Visualisation in Sports

A lot of people are under the impression that the active visualisation and the results that athletes are able to enjoy are nothing more than airy fairy, hippie nonsense” and as far from hard science as humanly possible.

Literally nothing could be further from the truth.

Mental Imagery gives the upper hand

Sure, there’s a lot more to performing at the highest possible level in athletics than just visualisating yourself dominating every facet of your game, but at the end of the day there is real power in visualization or mental imagery – and that’s why top athletes all over the world and across history have used it as a tool to achieve greatness. You need to have a reference to visualise.

Visualisation is actually a mental rehearsal of an event that you create in your mind. This allows you to practice as many times as you want, at any time in any place. At little as five minutes a day can have a huge impact. Simply spend five minutes away visualising yourself being successful in your sport. What ever the goal is that you are aiming to achieve.

2

The key to being successful through visualisation is to visualise that you have achieved what you want. Not that you are hoping to achieve it or that if you keep training hard you can achieve this goal in the future. You have to use this mental trick to live and feel yourself succeeding.

Mental preparation can separate winners from losers

 

On the one hand you will know that this is a mental practice. The important thing to understand about the mind is that the sub conscience mind cannot distinguish between visulisation projections and what is real. The power of the sub conscience mind will learn, grow and progress from the scenarios you create through mental visualisation regardless of whether the events occurred in reality or your imagination.

For example in surfing if you are a surfer trying to surf huge waves and up until this day the biggest wave you have caught is 6 feet. You will not be going straight into surfing 30 feet waves. Your mind does not have the reference to visualise succeeding in such a huge step in skill levels.You will also need to develop your skill set to meet the challenge at hand. Like developing flexibility and strength, you also need to work on developing mental strength.

 

What is more realistic is going to 8-10 feet waves and first visualising yourself catching an 8 foot wave drawing on the reference of the skills you have developed in surfing 6 feet waves. Then continue the visualisation as you continue to progress in surfing larger waves.

1

So much more than simply a imagining things going well, visualisation – when done deliberately and systematically – is almost as rock solid as actually practicing and going through the physical motions of achieving the goals that you visualise in the first place.

Visualization is Scientifically Proven to Produce Incredible Results

Research conducted by Duke University (research that has since been duplicated at prestigious institutions all over the world and is now accepted as scientific fact) showed the real power of visualization in sports.

 
Three groups took part in this study:

1) The first group never practiced shooting free throws but was asked to shoot 50 at a time whenever they felt like it over a three-month period of time

 

2) A second group that practiced 30 minutes a day shooting free throws four times a week over a three-month period of time

 

3) A third group that visualized shooting free throws every morning for 30 minutes four times a week over a three-month period of time

 

Unsurprisingly, the control group that never practiced shooting free throws did the worst and the group that actually practiced 30 minutes a day did the best – but the third group, the group that only visualised shooting free throws almost did as well as those that physically practiced.

In fact, they did almost 80% as well as those that physically practiced, lending credence to the fact that there is real power in visualization when it comes to athletics.

At the end of the day, if you are an athlete of any skill level – regardless of whether or not you are a professional or the particular sport that you enjoy most – you are going to benefit considerably from smart visualization.

​It's hard to believe but it actually works

 
 

Not only are you going to want to visualise yourself achieving the athletic goals that you have set out to conquer in the first place, but you’re going to want to visualise yourself “going through the motions” on your road to achievement.

This is where the biggest benefits are going to show up, has your brain is going to have a tough time differentiating between the physical memory and the psychological memory – which is why you’re able to get upwards of 80% of the same results simply visualising your practice.

Give it a shot for a couple of months. It won’t take long until you start to see real and tangible results.

By then you’ll be a convert to the reality of visualization in sports.

Where did Visualisation Get to Where it is Today ?

Guided Imagery or visualisation is an old tool that was developed by Yogis thousands of years ago. Since then it has become a popular tool within the alternative and conventional medical communities.

1
Yoga started visualisation

Visualisation in sport has not just appeared by itself. The mind and body connecting is being documented through medical science more and more . One of the latest examples that has been proven is the study in The Cleveland Clinic where it was proven that using the mind to only imagine specific muscles contracting every day for weeks resulted in an increased level of strength with-in the targeted muscles.

Roger Federer, one of the greatest tennis players in history visualises each match before he has even stepped foot onto the court. As he steps on to the court each time Federer has already visualised winning the match countless times. This can then be broken down onto winning each point. All time great Jack Nicklaus and Roger Federer both famously practice mentally each big moment of their careers before executing and accomplishing.

Today you will find that most of the best athletes and sports stars in the world visualising winning and performing as a champion movements before any given event. Visualisation in sports is just starting to be given the recognition with-in the professional sporting circles.

You can bet you will be hearing a lot more on visualisation in sports into the future.

How Flexibility and Stretching Actually Changed My Life

2
 
 

There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as stiff, tight and sore muscles. I’ve dealt with tight muscles and muscle soreness for years. My quality of health has been saved by the fact that I've been able to develop a stretching routine to control the problem of tightness.

I feel it would be valuable for people to hear how I’ve incorporated flexibility training into my daily routine. I’m a naturally stiff person, so I need to consistently stretch in order to maintain any sort of flexibility. It seems to be a common story that I’ve heard from a wide range of people, all of us have had to make adjustments to our lifestyles due to low levels of mobility and flexibility.

 
 

Flexibility exercises and daily stretching has since become a part of my life to keep a pain-free healthy body. There is a huge percentage of the population would benefit from incorporating stretching, yoga, and flexibility exercises into our daily routine in order to to maintain a pain-free lifestyle.

Side stretch
 

I have an active surfer and also played every other sport I could find time for. This has been the dominant interest of mine for as long as I can remember.

We should learn to look after our bodies from a young age

Stretching exercises while playing soccer and rugby when I was a child involved a few leg stretches, often touching our toes and a basic warm up before games and training. Unless they’re stretching daily most young people are going to stiffen up as they age. Because of all the sports, and the lack of stretching over the years, my muscles became overly tight and stiff. By the time I turned fourteen, I was incredibly stiff and developing lower back pains. Each time I came in from a surfing session I would be experiencing pain and soreness.

How could it be that a healthy fourteen-year-old boy was developing lower back pain? That’s supposed to problems for the elderly isn’t it? It appeared not. Muscle pain and back problems can affect anyone at any age, and I found this out at a young age.

A Painfully Stiff Back Can Affect Anyone at Any Age

 
Back pain

I was lucky enough to know an excellent physiotherapist who was able to point me in the right direction. We were able to develop a stretching routine to help improve my flexibility and eliminate the back pain I was experiencing. Within a few months, I had improved my flexibility a huge amount by performing stretching exercises daily combined with visiting a yoga school.

Yoga classes were a huge factor in improving my flexibility. I began attending yoga classes twice weekly where my mother was teaching Hatha Yoga. The first classes I attended were very difficult as I couldn’t manage to sit with my legs stretched straight out in front of me. My hamstrings had almost no flexibility. These first few months of stretching and yoga were extremely uncomfortable and painful, due to my leg muscles having almost no flexibility.

 

With the twice daily stretching and flexibility exercise, combined with the two weekly yoga classes, I was able to totally eliminate all my back pain and stiffness. I actually became flexible. I didn’t think that would be possible for an ultra-stiff guy like me. When I first started, my hamstrings were so stiff I could barely touch my knees. I went from the stiffest kid in my school to the most flexible in under a year of disciplined training involving my stretching routine and Yoga.

As I started to enjoy this new found flexibility, I attended the Swami Sarivarti Yoga Teacher Training programs to continue learning and to continue progressing in my flexibility and Yoga training. This was a great learning experience, I started to really understand stretching, flexibility and the 8 limbs of yoga.

Arm stretch

When I was eighteen, I noticed that muscle stiffness was a common problem among young people. I realized that I wasn’t the only one dealing with these issues. There was a group of friends from the local gym that were fit, strong, and healthy, but they all had difficulties maintaining any type of flexibility.

I knew how much your life could improve once you developed flexibility and were able to shake off aches and pains so I started a stretching, flexibility, and yoga class at a local gym to help my friends improve flexibility. It can greatly improve your quality of life when you increase your flexibility, and it can allow you to live free from stiffness and pain.

 
1
Relax the back

It wasn’t until l was in my early twenties that I began to take my flexibility for granted. I started to stretch less and sometimes not at all. I stopped doing my yoga classes and got sucked into the trap of working too much, traveling constantly, and not listening to my body’s signals that it needed stretching and flexibility exercises to keep it healthy and subtle.

I want to keep getting barrelled

When flexibility goes from bad to worse

 

In 2009, I had returned to Australia from Brazil and was working in construction, trying to get back on my feet in Sydney. I had totally stopped stretching and was in a routine of working, sports, surfing, and going out with friends. I was living a great lifestyle but I had totally ignored all the warning signs my body was giving me. These signs were pointing out that I was getting to a stage where I was at an increased risk of injury.

I began feeling my lower back and hamstrings stiffening over the months. I knew that I had been neglecting my flexibility, but I was living a fast-paced lifestyle where I had put my body’s health and flexibility on the back burner. It felt like my hamstrings were stopping my lower back from being as mobile as it should be.

Brazil sunset

My friend and I had been surfing all morning and were relaxing on the beach with a group of friends, kicking a football around and checking the waves. I bent over and twisted to pick up the football and I felt a pop and felt a seizing sensation in my lower back. I knew immediately that I was in trouble.

My hips and lower back were totally seized up, leaving me with a sharp shooting pain down my right. I was barely able to work, surfing was out of the question, and even driving a car seemed to cause immense pain.

I started to get back a few of the aches and pains that I had managed to sort out with some basic yoga and stretching techniques. Unfortunately, I still ignored all of the warning signs that I was putting my body under too much pressure. I was working long hours in construction, surfing, playing soccer, practicing jiu-jitsu and traveling. I had not been listening to any of the signals that had begun to develop.

I knew that I was becoming really inflexible again, but as my life had become busy and my priorities changed. Unfortunately, it seems to become very common to put our health and fitness low on our list of priorities while we are working hard, and doing things for other people seems to end up on top of the list.

Seated spinal twist

After weeks of speaking with and getting treatment from doctors, osteopaths, yoga teachers and physiotherapists I learned that I had pinched a nerve. This was the result of too much physical strain and not continuing to stretch, engage in yoga practice, or really any kind of training to maintain flexibility. All of the muscles in my hips and legs were incredibly stiff.

I knew that I had made a huge mistake as by ignoring my stiff body. It had been trying to let me know that I needed to maintain my flexibility. It became too easy to just ignore all the signs while I was caught up in my busy life.

I was frustrated with myself. I already knew how to maintain a healthy back and body. I had been working on my flexibility since I was a teenager after all. I had totally ignored all the signs that I was becoming too stiff and in danger of an injury and because of it I was back to square one again.

Massage is great for mobility

Luckily for me, I had the help of my physiotherapist. We were able to come up with a stretching program designed to loosen all the required muscles in my body. It especially targeted my back and legs in order to loosen the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve. I was able to develop a great stretching program that relieved the pain I was feeling. When you are afflicted with nerve pain it can be difficult to imagine ever being pain-free again, but as soon as I began the twice daily flexibility training I began to feel the pain begin to slowly subside.

Keeping a busy schedule requires a flexibility program in order to maintain a healthy body
 

Why is flexibility so important?

 

Flexibility is all too often the most undervalued aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone’s lifestyle can benefit from flexibility training.

Flexibility is great for surfing

Flexibility can help maintain good posture, minimize muscle soreness, enhance joint mobility, and prevent injuries. As you work on progressing with a stretching routine you will develop a greater range or motion in the joint and surrounding muscles.

Anyone who is active in sports should be aware of the benefits surrounding flexibility training. There are a lot of case studies that prove that the chance of injury will decrease when people incorporate flexibility training into their fitness routines. This is due to the greater range of motion that is developed in their muscle and joints.

When flexibility is incorporated into a well-designed training program, you will become more in-tune with your mental and physical state. This allows you to know their limits and to know how far you can push yourself safely. It is also a great way to achieve an active relaxation that will help with your physical and mental recovery.

What if you are not a top level athlete, is flexibility really so important?

 

Of course. It is probably even more important than to the everyday person. If you are an athlete performing regularly there is a good chance you are already involved in some sort of stretching routine into your training to avoid injury.

Spinal twist

For the everyday person with a busy life schedule of work and families, it is easy to let your flexibility deteriorate. I definitely know how easy it was, my flexibility had taken a back seat and fallen back on my priority list. This common story never has a good outcome.

Flexibility is as important to elite athletes as it is for a busy mother or a fifty hour a week office worker. Flexibility is especially important to prevent injury in everyday life. Day to day activities such as getting out of bed, bending over to pick something up, carrying your child, or cleaning the car can all lead to serious injury if you are excessively stiff.

We tend to fall into bad posture habits and our muscles and joints can lose their mobility. Once flexibility and mobility deteriorate to a certain point, all our beloved activities become more and more difficult until you’ll find yourself dealing with muscle soreness, and eventually this can lead to injury and pain.

BJJ and flexibility

Once you leave it on the back burner for too long and allow yourself to become injured, the road to recovery is a long and painful. The reward for maintaining flexibility is that you can live a healthy pain-free life up until your twilight years. All it takes is spending that little bit of time on yourself required to keep your body flexible.

It is widely known that maintaining a flexible body will greatly reduce the chance that you develop debilitating chronic back pain. If you ever have the chance to speak to anyone who is suffering from back pain, ask them how the pain affects them. They are willing to do just about anything to solve the problem and live pain-free again.

The problem is that once you have let your mobility deteriorate to a certain point, it will be a strenuous and difficult journey on the path to becoming pain-free again. This often leaves people requiring strong analgesics or possibly going into surgery to try and solve the issue.

Maintain Flexibility to Keep Doing What You Love

I have just spent the winter in Hawaii, pushing myself into surfing the biggest waves of my life. This was an ‘El Nino’ year, the currents warm up in the northern hemisphere which creates huge swells in the northern hemisphere.

Surfing waimea

This year led to one of the biggest and best seasons in history, there seemed to be constant, massive swells hitting the Hawaiian Islands and making huge waves that crashed into the Hawaiian shoreline. Especially in a famous place called Waimea Bay.

 
 

There are always professional surfers in the water at Waimea Bay, testing themselves against the waters. They all have their own stretching routines to warm up for the huge waves and are in peak fitness, as you would expect.

What I did not expect though was the group of fifty to sixty-year-olds surfing magnificently and even outdoing the professional surfers. There are twenty to thirty-foot waves, the might of the whole Pacific Ocean behind them and they move at incredible speeds. When you fall from these waves you can be thrown around violently. You will be underwater with little control of what happens to your body. Limbs can be pulled in all directions and you will be pushed deep under water.

Waves in Indo

These guys have managed to stay in peak physical condition well into their sixties, and they continue dominating some of most difficult surfing conditions in the world. They have all lived them through their lives maintaining their flexibility through stretching and yoga training. They are a great example of what is possible if you maintain your flexibility and mobility into the years you previously thought were for complaining about aches and pains from a rocking chair.

When you speak with these guys, you realize that the one thing they all have in common is that they have all continued their regular stretching exercises to maintain mobility and avoid injury. This keeps their body and mind in tune and healthy.

That is why maintaining a healthy flexible body is so important. You can go about your daily habits, routines, sports and hobbies pain-free and feeling great. You’ll be able to make the most out of every single day and continue doing what you love right into your beautiful twilight years.

As they say prevention is always the best cure.

Maintain flexibility

Maintain flexibility and keep charging into your 60s 

 
There seems to be 2 routes that people take in life regarding flexibility and mobility. The quality of life will result in vastly different out comes.

# 1- Ignore The Body

 The first path that most busy people follow is to continue to live a busy life everything in life but ignoring their bodies aches and pains that are letting you know that something isn’t right. These aches and pains will never relent unless you take action and improve flexibility and joint mobility.  What seems to happen is that lack of mobility will lead to injuries and taking medication become the only option to relieve the pain.

# 2 -Take the time for yourself

 Start to listen to your body, if you feel like to are starting to get stiff and sore. Stop take some time for yourself to maintain your flexibility and mobility. Develop a stretching routine to do at home in the lounge room, go to the beach or a park for 20 mins. Even better become part of a yoga school and visit regularly. Maintain your flexibility and keep being active and pain free for your whole life. 

I know I’m always inspired when I see older people keeping active and doing what they love doing into an age that we never used to think possible.

This is an example of what the body is capable of if you maintain a flexibility into the grandfather/elderly years



Types of flexibility and stretching

 

Dynamic stretching

 

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is almost the opposite of static stretching. As static stretching involves holding a position with almost no movement. Dynamic Stretching can be defined as “ stretching with movement “

Dynamic stretching is a a form of stretching that is hugely beneficial as a warm up to prepare for physical activity and sports. A good dynamic stretching routines will prepare the body for physical exertion and peak sports performance and also reduce the risk of injury as the muscle will be warm and ready to perform at a hard pace. As the dynamic stretches are performed there is a supply of oxygen and blood flow to the soft tissues before the muscle are placed under full exertion.

In the past it was thought that static stretching was best warm up for sports and physical exertion. Studies have now show that static stretches have a negative effect on the strength and explosive output from static stretching.

Dynamic stretching will improve your flexibility by improving the motions of the joints in the body to try enhance the bodies performance and minimise injury. Some of the best flexibility stretches are proven to be dynamic stretches.

Static stretching

 
Static stretching

Static stretching will help maintain and improve flexibility and mobility in the body. It is great to counteract the pressures we put on the body day to day at work, sports and living a busy life. Static stretching will lengthen the muscles; relieve pressure on joints and muscle and improve balance and well being. Static stretching, if carried out correctly, is also going to help reduce stress and tension.

 

Static stretching is a stretch where you lengthen a muscle until the furthest comfortable point from a stationary position where the body is rested. A point where you can feel the muscle being stretched but do not experience any discomfort. You don’t need to feel pain to be getting benefits from any stretching exercises.

Hold the static stretch for between 10 seconds ( 3 deep breaths) and 2 mins in a comfortable position with no bouncing or jerking movement to see the best results. Breath calmly and deeply into the position and try relax being aware of the muscle that is being elongated. As you exhale you can go deeper into the stretch. You only need to feel a gentle pull on the muscle. You should not feel any pain or fire like sensations in the muscle. If you do just ease off. More is not always best. You want to aim for gradual improvement. Every time you stretch your muscles you are benefiting.


Tips and guidelines for stretching and flexibility training

Having a wide range of motion in a joint and all your muscles is going to help you avoid unwanted injuries and minimise your body from developing aches and pains. While performing these stretches and routines it is important to make sure you are progressing in a safe and intelligent way to see the best results.

Here is a list of basic tips and guidelines to help you progress in the best possible way.

  • Never push too hard, work within your limits
  • Aim to perform flexibility exercises for each muscle group to gain total-body improvement
  • Remember to breath comfortably. If you find yourself panting relax a bit until you can breath deeply and comfortably
  • Make sure your your muscles are warmed up before you go into any deep stretches
  • ​As you are holding a stretch you can push a little further with the exhale
  • Never use jerky or bouncy movements when holding a position
  • Always breath calmly during flexibility workouts
  • As you develop and improve your flexibility you will be able to reach further into each position. A mild stretch on the muscle is what you are aiming for. If you experience any sharp shooting pain your are pushing too far.​
  • ​Only exercise positions that you will feel comfortable with. There is no need to push to hard and get injuries whist trying to prevent injuries


Stretching and Flexibility Warm Up Exercises

Below is a great guide of stretches for flexibility and warm up exercises to avoid injuries.Aiming to help you develop a flexibility training program.

​Dynamic Warm Up Stretches​

Plank

 
Plank dynamic strteching
  • Laying on the floor come on to your elbows keeping your body in a straight line
  • Keep the head in line with body, chin tucked in looking at the ground
  • Use core to keep the body straight​
  • ​Feet slightly separated
  • Holde for 30 seconds - 1 min

Lateral plank

 
  • Start on your side with you your elbow bent under the shoulder
  • Feet stacked together​
  • ​Push hips up and prop onto your elbow
  • ​Keep the body in straight line from your head to the feet
  • Hold for 30 secs - 1 min
  • Repeat opposite side

Pillar Plank With Arm Lift

 

Pillar plank 1 arm
 
  • Start from the pillar position ( push position), looking down, toes on the ground, arms straight with palms facing down, fingers pointing forward
  • Tighten and core as you reach forward alternately with each hand
  • ​Raise hold arm over head for 2 seconds at a time
  • ​Maintain the hips and shoulders squarely to the floor throughout the exercise
  • Repeat 5 times to each side

Alternate hip flexion

 
Hip flex right knee
Hip flex Left knee
  • Start in the push up position
  • Hands directly below shoulders and and feet shoulder width apart
  • ​Bringing knees alternately in towards the chest and returning feet back to the starting position
  • keeping core engaged
  • When carrying out reps always keep one foot in contact with the floor

 

Bridge

 
Bridge
Bridge
  • Start laying on your back
  • Bend knees and place soles on the ground
  • ​Lift hips towards the ceiling
  • ​Create a line that is straight from the knees, hips and shoulders
  • ​Reach with the left hand touching the ground on the right side of your head
  • ​Repeat alternately 10 times to each side

Bridge with leg extension

 
Bridge
Bridge leg extension
  • Starting from the extended bridge position- Knees bent, soles down
  • Lift hips towards ceiling- straight line from the knees through to the shoulders
  • ​Alternatly extending legs- holding for 2 seconds each side
  • keep head on the ground and the core engaged through-out the movement
  • Repeat 10 times to each side

 

Squat

Squat

  • Start from standing with feet shoulder width apart
  • Exhale as you lower the hips and squat until the thighs are parallel to the ground
  • ​keep the back straight
  • ​Inhale as you return to the starting position
  • Practice the exercise in a slow and steady movement
  • Repeat 15 repetitions

 

Squat Jumps

  • Start standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Perform a squat with thighs to go parallel with the ground (a 90 degree bend in the knee if possible)
  • ​Perform a vertical jump
  • ​Perform the jump in fluid movement looking for solid technique rather than height
  • When landing soften the knees for minimal impact
  • ​5 repititons

Lunge

  • Start with your right leg in front and the left leg at 45 degrees behind
  • Hands on the hips as you lower the body and knee towards the ground with out letting the knee touch the ground
  • Keep good posture and lower and raise in a slow and steady movement
  • Repeat 10 times to each side

lower back stretches

leg rotation on back

  • Lie on back with your knees bent feet on the floor
  • knees together and arms by the side of the body
  • ​Interlock the fingers of both hands and place the palms under the back of the head
  • ​As you exhale drop knees to the right trying to bring the knees al the way to the floor
  • ​At the same time, gently turn the head and neck to the opposite as the legs
  • As you inhale raise the legs to an up right position
  • ​Make sure you keep the shoulders and elbows on the group through the exercise

Extension while lying on stomach ( Cobra )

  • Place your palms flat on the floor beside your shoulders
  • Take a deep breath in and lift your upper body and look to the ceiling
  • ​Arch the entire back using the back muscles, using the arms for minimal support
  • ​Breath out and gently return to starting position with forehead on the floor


Back Stretches 

Knees to chest

  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your knees so your soles are flat on the floor
  • Bring your knees towards chest using your hands to pull the knees tight into the body
  • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times
cat stretch
  • Come onto your hands and knees, hands under the shoulders, fingers facing forward
  • The arms and thighs should be vertical to the floor. This is the starting position
  • Inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back becomes concave​
  • ​Exhale, while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward
  • Repeat five times

Half spinal twist
  • Sit with both legs out stretched, Keep spine upright
  • Bend the right leg and place the right foot on the floor on outside of the left knee
  • ​Bend the left leg and bring the heel towards the buttock ( You can also leave the left leg straight if this is more comfortable)
  • ​ Adjust the position to ensure a comfortable stretch in the hips
  • ​Right hand is now placed on the floor behind your back on the floor
  • Bring your left arm forward to hug right thigh towards your chest
  • Turn your shoulders and neck to look over your right shoulder​
  • ​Hold the position and breath for 1- 2 mins
  • Exhaling release the right hand and returning to the centre
  • Repeat to the opposite side

Arm Stretches

bicep wall stretch
Wall bicep stretch
  • Place the palm and shoulder of your right arm against a wall
  • With the arm in line with the wall, exhale and slowly turn your body to face forward feeling the stretch down the length of the bicep and chest
  • ​You can adjust the palm position higher or lower on the wall to adjust the stretch
  • Repeat on opposite side
Tricep - Hands point down spine

Tri stretch

  • Inhale as you extend right arm over head, exhale as you point and extent the right hand and fingers down the centre of the back
  • Use the left hand to hold the right elbow
  • ​Gently pulling downward on your elbow to move your fingers down the spine
  • Release the right elbow, give the arms a shake and repeat on the opposite side

Leg Stretches

Quadriceps stretch

  • Step onto your left foot and take hold of your right ankle and raise towards the buttocks
  • As you inhale slowly pull your heel towards your glutes, Aiming to point you knee to the ground as your wish your pelvis forward
  • ​Keep you body upright, if you lean forward you will lessen the stretch
  • Keeping your balance hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times to each opposite side
  • Leg stretching exercises are great for starting to loosen the lower back muscles 
  • Tight leg muscles can lead to a sore lower back
hamstring stretches

Standing Straight Leg stretch

Seated leg stretch
  • Find a chair, cool or table that is 50- 70 cm high or 1 half - 2 feet
  • Leave 1 foot on the floor and place the other foot onto the chair with the leg straightened
  • ​keeping the back straight lean forward onto the stool feeling the stretch up the back of the hamstring
  • ​Hold for 25- 30 seconds
  • ​Repeat on 3 times to each side
  • Practice twice daily to improve your flexibility faster

Hurdler hamstring stretch

Hurdler Stretch
  • Sitting on the floor with legs straight out in front
  • ​Bend your left leg and place the sole of the foot in the right inner thigh
  • Inhale as you raise your arms over the head
  • Exhale as you extend forward over the right straightened leg bending from the hips and taking hold of your thigh, shin or foot
  • ​Inhaling g as you raise your arms and straightening your spine
  • ​Repeat 3 times to each side
  • On the 3rd time hold the position for 30-45 seconds and as you exhale push a little deeper into the stretch
  • Hamstring exercises are an excellent way to warm up and avoid injuies

Upside Down V Stretch - down ward facing dog 

Downward dog stretch
  • Begin the hands and knees on the ground
  • Come into the toes
  • ​An you exhale push the floor away and lift your knees off the floor and your hips to the ceiling coming in to an upside down v-pose, like a dog stretching in the morning
  • To begin you can walk the feet alternately off the ground. From heels to toes feeling a stretch up the entire back of the hamstrings​
  • Then if you are comfortable straighten both legs, dropping both heels on the floor, Straighten the legs but be aware not to lock them​
  • ​Firmly push the palms and index fingers into the floor feeling the stretch of the shoulder blade into the back
  • ​Keep the head balanced in between the arms making sure it does to hang low
  • Maintain a lengthened spine while stretching the back of the legs backwards
  • You may not be able to get the heels al the way to the floor. Just go to where feels comfortable

Shoulder stretches

Cross body shoulder stretch

Cross shoulder stretch
  • While standing cross your right shoulder across your chest
  • Using your left arm pull your right arm into your opposite shoulder and chest keeping your right arm straight
  • ​To extend the stretch look over your right shoulder
  • ​Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat each side 3 times

Standing interlock fingers shoulder stretch

Shoulder stretch
  • Standing tall interlock fingers behind the back
  • Feet hip width apart
  • ​Breathing in raise hands and arms upwards to a comfortable position
  • ​Exhale lower the arms back towards the lower back
  • ​Repeat 5 times

Hip stretching exercises

Pigeon stretch
Pigeon Stretch
Pigeon stretch
  • lay on the floor with your right leg bent and your left leg straight extended behind you. stretching the hip toward the floor
  • Moving the right foot forward or bringing the right heel towards the hips until you find a comfortable position to stretch the hip
  • ​Placing your palms down in front of the knees
  • ​Breathing in straighten arms, raise head shoulders and spine
  • ​Exhale as your walk your hands away and allow the upper body to rest over the knee
  • ​Resting here and take at least 5 deep breaths into the position
  • Repeat the position on the opposite side

How To Enhance Your Life Style With Our Yoga for Beginners Guide!

If you are looking to become involved in yoga today it is beneficial to firstly understand the basic principles of this ancient spiritual, physical and mental practice.

This guide for beginners helps educate and provide an understanding of the basic principles of yoga.

There is a wide variety of schools and styles to suit just about anyone. So it doesn’t matter what your age, size or gender, there will be a beneficial style yoga that is waiting for you.

What most people are surprised to first learn is that yoga is not only about stretching and meditating. It has a vast history; is philosophical in nature; is a life long journey and can be practiced by anyone at any place or time. 

What is yoga?

Yoga is one of the fundamental systems of Indian thought, (philosophy) known collectively as darsana, meaning –view, point of view, insight, vision. Simply expressed Yoga practice is a means of looking within, of reversing the outward flow of consciousness within to a state of quiet, joy, understanding and peace.

Yoga for beginners take the enlightened road

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit the word ”yuj” means yoking, joining or uniting and it is from this word that the word yoga was derived. Yoga is the ability to direct the mind, a path available to every human being and a natural way to be, aligned with our environment and other living beings.

Although having its’ roots in Indian thought, Yoga is universal in content. There are many paths on the journey to an understanding of Yoga. Every person walks their own unique path however Yoga can be defined as being truly present on our journey, in every action and in every moment. It is a means to control your mind, balancing and harmonizing your body and emotions through union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness. Yoga is union or oneness and the practice allows one to find the quiet space within.

Yoga can mean something different for each individual, depending on lifestyle and interests. A further meaning of Yoga is an attainment of what was previously unattainable. The starting point for this thought is that if we find the means to bring desire into action that step is Yoga, in fact, every change is Yoga.

 
Make Yoga suit your life styles needs

A Yoga practice teaches how to use our body to achieve this mystical union through breath, movement, postures, relaxation and meditation. Yoga is a way to participate in life, it is not passive and requires action – attentive action.

Yoga is not a religion but rather a philosophy, however it does provide a vehicle for spiritual growth. One does not need to surrender religious beliefs; in fact yoga can enhance unity with the Devine.

The philosophy of Yoga is beautifully expressed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra - a classical guide to Yoga practice that outlines the “Eights Limbs of Yoga”.

Adherence to and study of these “limbs” informs our path.

    • Yama = practice of restraint
    • Niyama = Observance
    • Asana = Postures
    • Pranayama = ​Breathing
    • Pratyahara = Withdrawal of senses
    • Dharana = Concentration
    • ​Dhyana = Meditation
    • Samadhi = Absorption

 Exploration of these limbs leads to refinement and ultimate internal focus. The third limb, asanas or postures is the most popular today and the physicality of this limb provides strength and stamina for the inner journey of meditation and concentration.

Many different interpretations of the meaning of Yoga have been studied throughout history and there are many possible ways to interpret meaning, however fundamentally we can understand Yoga as an individual journey on a path on which we need to pay careful attention and observation to the direction in which we are travelling.

Brief History of Yoga 

Yoga, a vast and complex tradition, meaning unity, oneness and a harmonizing balance between mind, breath and body, has a long history. Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago, evidenced through archeological excavations from the Indus Valley that uncovered images of Lord Shiva in yoga postures and meditation positions.

It is known that Yoga predates written history and that over 5000 years ago it was practiced - the discipline passing orally from teacher to student. Part of the Hindu religious tradition, Yoga was taught in order to enhance and develop the body, mind and emotions of the many disciples and devotees.

We do not know exactly when Yoga began, but it was considered ancient at the time when The Bhagavad Gita, a popular scripture, was composed 2500 years ago. The history of Yoga can be traced as we read the many sacred texts of yoga, such as the Vedas, the Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita.

​Yoga history is rich and vibrant

The songs, mantras, rituals, practices and beliefs documented in these sacred texts provide the foundation of yogic principles that are applied today, many thousands of years since the ancients observed the perfect balance in nature and sought to apply the same to humankind.

Later, some time in the second century, over 2000 years ago, the great mystical scholar and yogi Patanjali, who is often considered the father of yoga, wrote The Yoga Sutras. In these works Patanjali presented the knowledge of the ancient texts in an organized form and he created Asta-anga -“Eight Limbs of Yoga”, a potent, affirmative guide for heartfelt living; universal in context yet definitive and concise. These sutras still underpin and strongly influence most forms of modern Yoga. In the same period the yogi, Swatmarama wrote Hatha Yoga Padipika, a further treatise on body, mind control.

These sutras still underpin and strongly influence most forms of modern Yoga. In the same period the yogi, Swatmarama wrote Hatha Yoga Padipika, a further treatise on body, mind control.

Start Yoga and begin the journey

Eastern Yoga masters began travelling to the West in the early 20th century resulting in increased interested in the practice of Hatha Yoga. The life work of the yogis T Krishnamacharya and Swami Sivananda promoted this practice in both the East and West - many outstanding texts being written by Swami Sivananda and Krishnamacharya and his students BKS Iyengar, TKV Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois to compliment the ancient works. It is said that Yoga is India’s greatest gift to the world.

Reading and reflecting on any of these above mentioned texts can provide further information on the history and practice of yoga – the spiritual union of individual consciousness and universal consciousness, enduring through the ages. This ancient and vast tradition is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

​How is The Best Way to Begin Yoga?

Begin without struggle or obsession but with intention. An individual journey, you may begin from any starting point such as by studying the Yoga Sutras, by meditating or by engaging in the physical exercises of Yoga – asanas.

Start your yoga for beginners journey now

How to start yoga will always depend on the individuals needs and reasons for beginning yoga. More often than not  the best way to start yoga is to find a beginners yoga class in your local area. You will quickly find out which style of Yoga is best suited for you.

How to start yoga will always depend on the individuals needs and reasons for beginning yoga. More often than not  the best way to start yoga is to find a beginners yoga class in your local area. You will quickly find out which style of Yoga is best suited for you.

  Thinking about beginning yoga can often be more difficult than actually going to a beginners yoga class and participating in a class.  Look around at what type of Yoga is available to you and what type you feel may suit your personality then make the appropriate contacts and begin with an open heart and an open mind. The student-teacher relationship is an important component; so ensure that your teacher enables individual expression in a supportive context.

 
Starting yoga early is best

If you choose to practice asanas you may begin your practice with a brief meditation/intention. This enables you to ground yourself and connect with the space you are entering.

No one regrets starting Yoga, only not starting earlier ​!

Once you begin you will see that the most basic and essential element is the pranayama - breath. Linking the breath to body/movement is intrinsic to practice as the breath is the intelligence of the body. It is important to breathe in and out through the nose and into the belly. Concentration on the breath allows the body to become balanced and controlled as breath awareness energizes our mind and body.

Breath is our life force and we need oxygen to purify the blood stream and burn up waste matter. Practice should therefore begin with gentle, deep breathing connected to movement. Just as Yoga is movement from one point to another so too is the breath. Practice is also looking for a balance of Sthira – strength, steadiness and stability while being alert and Sukha – comfort, lightness, flexibility while being at ease and happy.

Yoga and mediation in peace

Guided by your teacher and/or independent research you can practice Asanas or postures, intended to instil steadiness, alertness whilst maintaining comfort in the pose and acceptance of our body as it is. It is beneficial to take time to observe how you feel before, during and after each posture, as only then can you be aware of the vital flow of energy through your body.

​It's important to make time for your health and wellbeing

A basic practice involves warm-up sequences followed by basic Yoga postures such as seated twists, down facing dog, cat cow, child pose, cobra, mountain, triangle and forward bend. Each pose should be complimented by a counter pose and each pose should be appropriate to need.

At the conclusion of your practice it is important to take time to relax your body through deep breathing and mind concentration. Resting on your back, this allows for the release of any tension in the body and for restoration to take place through oxygen exchange. This is the practice of Yoga Nidra. A short seated meditation after Yoga Nidra is a transition back into the world.

Remember always that the breath is your best teacher – compromising the easy flow of breath to achieve an asana is not practicing Yoga. Listen to your own body, find your own rhythm and allow your body to be your teacher.

 What is The Best Style of Yoga Classes for Beginners?

 
yoga motivation

Yoga teaches to accept yourself where you are, so to begin practice you need to know your needs, your strengths and your weaknesses.There are many different styles of yoga practice from which you can choose the style most suitable.

There is a Yoga class to suit everyone

Hatha, the Sanskrit term for physical posture, is a slow, gentle, balancing practice where poses are held for a few breaths. Hatha Yoga is an ideal style of yoga for beginners. Hatha Yoga is often voted as the best yoga for beginners.

 

Vinyasa Yoga links movement to breath in a quick paced, dynamic movement based practice. It is intense and appeals to those wanted a strenuous workout or endurance athletes. This is not a style of  beginner yoga. Its better to gradually work your way up towards a Vinyasa yoga class.

Iyengar Yoga is focussed on body alignment and poses are held for a while with the aid of props such as straps and blocks. It is a detailed and precise practice, slow paced and gentle.

Ashtanga Yoga follows a non-stop sequence of poses in the same order in every class. The routine poses are challenging, designed to build internal heat through breath and movement. The structure of Ashtanga practice appeals to those who like order and predictabilty in their lives.

Bikram Yoga is a 90minute sequence of 26 poses practiced in a heated room. It is a vigorous practice and it is necessary to hydrate sufficiently. Like Ashtanga it is orderly, predictable and challenging.

Hot Yoga does not follow the Bikram sequence but is practiced in a heated room. It is a tough, sweaty work out.

Kundalini Yoga is mentally challenging. Kriyas – repetitive physical exercises, intense breath work, chanting, singing and meditation are all components of Kundalini Yoga. It is a more spiritual and philosophical practice therefore suited to those who are looking for more than the physical. It focusses heavily on the internal aspects of yoga.

Yin Yoga is slow, calm and meditative. Poses are held for several minutes to lengthen connective tissue and fascia and calm the mind. It is restorative and balancing.

Restorative Yoga is very slow moving and calming, with long poses allows the mind and body to experience deep relaxation. Props are used to support the body in each pose. It is very gentle and perfect for anyone wanting to unwind.

Being sensitive to your needs and intentions helps in making a choice about what style of Yoga to practice. 


 Best 5 Yoga Poses for Beginners

The best poses are often the ones that are the most enjoyable however these five poses can form the basis for practice.

Beginners yoga

Mountain Pose / Tadasana

Mountain pose
  • Simply stand—feet hip-width apart, weight spread evenly—with your arms at your sides
  • ​Breathe slowly and deeply at an even pace, keeping your neck aligned with the rest of your spine
  • You can move your hands and arms as you focus
  • Some people take a prayer position or reach up to the sky for a stretch
  • This pose is excellent for breath control, improving posture and achieving mental and physical balance

Downward facing dog / Adho mukha svanasana

Downward dog stretch
  • Get on all fours with hands and knees shoulder-and-hips-width apart
  • Walk your hands forward and spread your fingers wide for stability
  • ​Curl your toes under and carefully press your hips upward so your body looks like an inverted V with your knees slightly bent
  • You can get a stronger stretch by keeping your heels on the floor; “walk your dog” by alternately pressing your heels down.​
  • This pose is great for stretching, especially calves and heals and encourages full body circulation.

Child’s pose / Balasana

Childs pose
  • Sit upright comfortably on your heels
  • Roll your torso forward and bring your forehead to rest on the ground in front of you
  • ​Extending your arms forward, lower your chest to your knees as close as you comfortably can
  • Hold the pose and breathe into your torso. Exhale and release to get deeper into your fold
  • This is a great pose for a yoga beginner
  • This pose is beautiful for relaxation and allows you to breathe into your back; stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles
  • It can relieve back and neck pain

Warrior pose / Virabhadrasana

Warrior pose
  • Stand with your legs three to four feet apart
  • Turn out your right foot 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly
  • ​Keeping your shoulders down, extend your arms to the sides with your palms down
  • ​Lunge into your right knee 90 degrees; keep your knee over your foot and don’t let it go past your toes
  • Aim your focus over your hand for as long as you like then switch sides
  • A great pose to enable a strengthening stretch to arms and legs.

Tree Pose / Vriksasana

Tree Pose
  • Stand in mountain pose
  • Then shift your weight onto your left leg
  • Keeping your hips facing forward, place the sole of your right foot inside your left thigh and find your balance​
  • When you’re there, take a prayer position with your hands
  • ​To kick it up a notch, reach your arms up as you would in mountain pose
  • Be sure to repeat on the other side
  • This pose improves your balance; strengthens your thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
  • These poses are great beginner yoga poses that will help improve flexibility, breathing, ​ muscle strength and relieve tension

 How Can I Start Yoga at Home ?

 Some times it's not easy to find yoga classes for beginners where you live. The times may not suit your daily schedule or you might live a bit to far away from the closest school. There are a lot of reasons why it might be best to start beginning yoga at home. All that really matters is that you do make a start.

Its a great time to start yoga at home

Start with intention and set realistic goals perhaps by starting with a short daily sequence and then building up practice. Your home practice should be based on your individual needs. You can move at your own pace and are more able to listen and intuit your body and its’ needs modifying practice accordingly. A short restorative practice is perfect if you do not have a lot of time but are weary whereas standing poses provide grounding and stability while an energizing morning practice is a great way to start the day.

You may want to listen to an instructional Yoga app, have a DVD to guide you or you may want to bring what you have learned in a class or read about into your home practice. The choice is entirely yours.

It is also good to have a special space in which to practice. Somewhere quiet, special, spiritual, where you have all you need, such as your mat and props, close by as well as objects or art works of personal significance. If you enjoy music while you practice the choice is yours. In actual fact by doing yoga at home you have your unique yoga studio.

A home practice is empowering, as you are in control and are able to develop a sound knowledge of your body and its’ needs. Listening to these needs and responding with relevant practice increases resilience and self-knowledge.  Practicing Yoga at home for beginners is a great way to get started. There is an impressive selection of Yoga videos for beginners available  for an excellent Yoga session in the comfort of your own home.

A home practice is a great gift to self.

What Clothing and Equipment Do I Need to Get Started ?

You’re going to want comfortable, stretchy clothing to practice in, but avoid wearing clothes that are too loose as they can be a distraction during your practice.

Also, if you have long hair you’re going to want to have a hair elastic, headband, and/or clips ready to keep your hair out of your face.

yoga at home for beginners

A Yoga matt, towel or a spongy matt can make you more comfortable. While props such as bolsters, straps and blocks can also assist you. Yoga exercises for beginners will rarely involve any props and schools will often supply props if needed.

The practice of Yoga Asanas aims to develop the balance between the two qualities of Sthira, meaning strength, steadiness and stability, being alert, and Sukha meaning comfort, lightness, flexibility, feeling at ease… happy. So Dress and equip yourself accordingly. There is no excuse now to get started. Go and progressive from Yoga for beginners to Yogis master!