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At-Home Yoga Practice is Beneficial When You Can’t Make it to the Studio

You might come home from work with the intention of grabbing your yoga mat and heading to the yoga studio for an evening flow class, but sometimes life gets in the way.

Perhaps you learn right before you pick up your car keys or hop on your bike that there is a traffic jam clogging your route, or an impending storm that persuades you to stay inside. Maybe you think you will be just a little too late to make it before the start of class, so you opt out.

Whatever the circumstances, there is always a way to stay loyal to your yoga routine. The following is a simple guide that will give you some tips on how to practice yoga for 20-30 minutes at home when you can’t make it to the studio.

Start

Getting started is the biggest challenge. There are a million distractions that can keep us from taking care of our bodies, but usually once we get started, those deterrents fall away and leave us with the wherewithal to forge ahead. One suggestion is to find something that gets you excited about practicing. If putting on some soft music or lighting a stick of incense sparks your motivation to roll out your mat, do it.
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Three Yoga Poses with Guided Imagery to Reduce Holiday Stress

It is no wonder people get sick, feel depressed, gain weight or have little energy throughout the holiday season. A change in your diet and exercise program, plus frenzied trips to the shopping mall can zap your vitality and well being faster than you can say, “Happy holidays.”

It is important to take care of yourself in order to maintain your health (and sanity) through this busy time of year. Eating right, exercising and getting enough rest are the obvious ways to combat stress. In addition, adding a few moments in your day to have absolutely no agenda other than to relax and practice the following gentle yoga poses will be an added bonus to further help you reduce holiday stress.


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Use Yoga to Relieve Menopause Symptoms

Menopause occurs in women sometime after the age of 40. It is defined as the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and can be highly symptomatic. Symptoms vary in intensity and duration and can last for years. The most common symptoms are hot flashes, anxiety and loss in sex drive. Other symptoms include incontinence, digestive problems and bone loss.

Since menopause is a natural biological process, not a disease, holistic measures prove to be helpful in relieving the symptoms. The following is a list of specific yoga poses that can help when the symptoms of menopause are bringing you down.

Child’s Pose for Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes are the result of abrupt changes in your body’s ability to regulate temperature and can be triggered by stress. Calming down equals cooling down. Spend up to three minutes in this pose, inhaling through your mouth (cooling the air as it comes in) and exhaling through your nose, to relax your body completely.


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Yoga for a Great Night’s Sleep

It’s 2am and all you’ve been doing is rolling from side to side like a rotisserie chicken, making a complete mess of the bed sheets and keeping the cat awake (who doesn’t care because she sleeps all day anyway). You try to read, count sheep and have a glass of warm milk, but nothing seems to make your eyelids heavy. If only that blazing red light from your digital alarm clock would just stop itself from sneaking so quickly to 6am, you could steal a few hours of quality snoozing before your big day ahead.

Whether the excitement of the proceeding day is keeping you awake, or you just can’t seem to get comfortable, these yoga poses will help mellow you out so you can fall gently into a happy, restful slumber.


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The Most Popular Yoga Poses

Downward Dog

With the myriad of styles to choose from it can feel a little overwhelming to know which yoga classes to take. It might be of comfort to learn that each style shares in a lot of commonality. Unless you are choosing between a super advanced inversion class and a passive restorative class, you can bet you will find some crossover in the occurrence of poses.

The following is a list of the top five most popular yoga poses with special tips on how to perform each correctly, plus their benefits for the mind and body.

1. Downward Dog

With both hands and feet on the mat, this pose affects all the muscles in the body. It is often revisited over and over again in class, therefore considered the number one most commonly practiced pose.


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