With yoga for pregnancy, yoga for abs and yoga for weight loss, this ancient Indian mind-body practice has applicability to just about anyone. And believe it or not, yoga can be practiced just about anywhere. While a sticky mat, some cute yoga clothes and a hardwood floor are best, you don’t need any of these extras to get a bit of yoga going on.
Here is what you need to know about yoga for anywhere.
The benefits of doing yoga anywhere are just that: Wherever you are – at work, at the park, in the kitchen waiting for your spicy marinara to simmer – you can reap from the myriad benefits of yoga. Even just a single posture can help to calm your mind frazzled by a work deadline, ease the stiff neck from an uncomfortable night’s rest, or pump some energizing oxygen into your heart for a quick pick-me-up.
Even though yoga is a $5.8 billion industry, all you really require is your body. (But we won’t tell the product manufacturers who are making some serious money producing scores of yoga mats, yoga tanks tops, and even yoga shoes every year.)
Here are a few yoga poses you can do anywhere, anytime. If you have a body that breathes and a few minutes to spare, you’re good to go.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Simply standing with your heels and toes together and you’re doing a yoga posture. The intention of this posture is simply to stand and be, figuratively, as tall as a mountain. Use your breath as your guide as you imagine a string attached to your head reaching higher and higher as you inhale. Just make sure to not also reach your shoulders to your ears. As you exhale, send your breath down to all four corners of your feet so that you feel grounded as well as lifted. Repeat for at least one minute.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): This very restorative pose can be done immediately following Tadasana. From standing, place your hands on your hips and bend from your hips, not your waist. Keep your torso reaching forward so that you don’t collapse your shoulders as you fold. If you can place your hands on the ground without bending your knees, do so. If you have lower back pain or tight hamstrings, slightly bend your knees. You can also grab your opposite elbow and allow your neck to be loose. Breathe in and out deeply as your breath will naturally bring your torso closer towards your legs. On your ascent, keep your legs strong, your hands on your hips and keep elongating your torso as you come back into standing.
While the yoga practitioner is free to experiment with yoga postures anywhere they deem appropriate, always exercise your best judgment. Switching back and forth from Tadasana to Uttanasana while your boss delivers his annual quarterly report presentation is probably not the best place, even though the yoga might keep you from falling asleep. But all joking aside, if you have any existing injuries, work with a qualified yoga instructor before venturing into the uncharted territory of yoga for your body.
July 19th, 2010