by guest author Harry Cline, founder, New Caregiver
There are very few exercises that have such a profound effect on your body and mind the way that yoga does. With its intentional movements and controlled breathing, yoga forces you to slow down. This is increasingly important in a society that prioritizes work. Because of this always-on-the-move way of life, it is often difficult to find the time to attend a structured yoga class. Never fear, however, as there are ways to enjoy your exercise at home on the days you can’t get away.
Technology to the rescue
Whatever device you are reading this on right now likely did not exist just a few decades ago. As much of a bad rap as technology gets for cluttering up our lives, it can also enrich them exponentially. In the case of yoga and/or meditation, you can harness the power of the digital age to improve your experience.
First, you can add a yoga app to your phone so that you will always have an instructor handy, or you can look up new poses to try in the comfort of your own home. If your phone is more than a few years old or if your current plan has expired, it may be necessary to upgrade. Keep in mind that many providers will let you trade in your old phone for a new iPhone or Android model. Make sure that whatever device you choose is available from a provider that offers an unlimited data plan in case you choose to watch your yoga videos at the beach or park.
Another way technology can enhance your yoga experience is by allowing you to play music or serene sounds to complement your workout. A voice-activated home hub, like the Amazon Echo, is a good choice and comes with the added benefit of being able to set reminders so you never miss your scheduled solo session.
Despite all the ways your phone and other smart devices can boost your workout, you can still have a positive yoga experience without them. Make sure that your yoga room is outfitted with everything you need to complete even the most complicated poses.
A yoga mat and nonrestrictive clothing are a must. But, additional tools, such as yoga blocks and bolsters, can help you modify your activities to suit your specific needs on the day of your workout. Blocks, for example, according to PaleoHacks, can help you change things up just enough to relieve muscle tension. A standing forward fold using a block between your abdomen and thighs will reduce lower back strain.
If you’ve never heard of a bolster, it is essentially a firm pillow, but it is not made for sleep. A bolster can improve your posture by providing natural spinal alignment. It can also help to support you knees, legs, and arms when you need extra help balancing.
One of the biggest benefits of having a small yoga space to call your own at home is that you can experiment with advanced or strenuous poses on your own time and without fear of embarrassment. Remember, however, your yoga class offers a sense of community that you will not find alone in a spare bedroom. Make a point to carve time out in your schedule at least once each week to attend a class.
If you are still unsure of any accessories or equipment you might need, talk to your instructor for advice. You can also find leggings, tank tops, and art to inspire you at ChakraSpirit.com.