Thursday, January 19, 2012

What to Do When You Can't Get to Your Yoga Class

If you’re into yoga – even on a casual level – then chances are you have a favorite class you attend. For those who are starting the exercise technique, it’s a great way to get an introduction, learn proper form and all the terminology. A class also helps keep you disciplined because it’s a set time and day. The instructor and fellow attendees are often good motivators to stick with it as well. But sometimes the commitment can seem too much, or you have a hard time squeezing that class in on a regular basis. That’s never a reason not to keep at it though and maybe you’re a good candidate for balancing the yoga class with at-home yoga as well.

Benefits of Yoga

The great thing about yoga is that it’s low on equipment and instruction once you have it down. Which means that setting up the tools to practice yoga at home is a logical solution to supplementing classes when you just don’t have the time to get there. Like with any exercise, repetition and a schedule is key and the goal is to try and work out 3-5 times a week if possible. But if you find that you don’t have the hour – or longer – it takes to get to class, go through it and then get back home, there’s no reason that a 20 minute workout can’t be substituted. With a few small investments it’s easy to set yourself up so that you can do yoga at home in a pinch and or just as a way to supplement a class and save a few bucks.

Tips to Do Yoga at Home

For yoga at home, you probably already have a few things you need. For one, a good yoga sticky mat is essential. Next, find a place in your home or apartment to designate as your yoga space. It can be a private room, maybe out on the deck or even an area in a bigger room. The important thing is to make sure you have the room you need and that it’s a serene environment. You don’t want to be interrupted and you also want the option of having music playing if that’s what you prefer.

Once you have a space designated, the only other items needed are yoga straps, blocks, pose cards and DVDs if you want to use them. You may already have the yoga straps and blocks from your yoga workouts already, or maybe you do a style of yoga that doesn’t use blocks, the decision is yours. Either way though these items are easy to get and usually don’t cost too much; another great thing about doing yoga.

Yoga Cards

Yoga cards with different poses on them are great tools for the beginner or just as a reminder as you go through a program of poses. Cards like these are usually available with yoga supplies or can be printed off the Internet at different websites. Lastly, there are many good DVDs that have an instructor who takes you through a routine. Again, this is your choice if it’s something you need or not, but they can be good motivators and help set a nice routine. With a just a few items like these, yoga at home is easy and a good option in order to stick with your established yoga routine when you can’t make that class.

Katherine O'Brien is a health conscious blogger, yoga enthusiast, and contributing author for the fitness news blog, Hive Health Media.  Katherine enjoys providing healthy living tips and writing about the health benefits of yoga.

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