It is a blessing to be able to practice yoga with all the props and equipment you need. To what extent is all that “stuff?” actually necessary for practicing yoga? A yoga mat is synonymous with “doing” yoga. But what about when you’re on vacation, in nature, or during a work break?
Yoga is a form of exercise that requires only your body and breath. This is easy to forget. Yoga should be practiced in a setting that suits you best.
However, it’s a common mistake to think that everything will be perfect the first time you try.
You can activate mindfulness throughout your day without a yoga mat. These postures can be done anywhere and anytime and will help you connect with your body, breath and the present moment.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Stand with your feet together, putting your heels on the ground.
- Your arms should be at your sides and your palms slightly in front.
- Feel your heart pump as you gently drop your tailbone under you.
- For 5-10 breaths, hold the pose.
Health Benefits Mountain Pose helps strengthen your legs, buttocks and abdominal muscles. It also trains your spine to maintain its natural curve. It improves your balance, physical strength, and circulation.
Energetic Benefits: This simple position, Tadasana, increases awareness of your body and surrounding. Your body will feel more vital, healthy, and alive when it is in the right alignment. You will be able to breathe easier and feel more connected to the moment.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- If you are in an area where you don’t mind touching the ground, such as a beach, grass or clean carpet, place your palms shoulder-width apart. Then, raise your hips and extend your legs toward the ground.
- If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or perhaps aren’t wearing something appropriate to do the full pose, try placing your hands on the edge of a table or your desk and then walk your feet back until you can meet your heart between your shoulders–essentially making an upside-down “L” shape with your body. This Down Dog can be done with your hands on your vehicle’s railings, walls, or hood. Road trip, anyone? ).
Physical benefits: Downward-facing dog awakens and grounds its entire body. This opens your chest, shoulders and back and helps to stretch your calves, hamstrings and Achilles tendon. Traditional Down Dogs are partial inversions, which improve blood circulation and blood flow to your brain.
Energetic benefits: The Downward-Facing Dog helps to reduce stress and anxiety and brings awareness to your entire body. It is also versatile and efficient. Down Dog can calm or wake you up with the right breath. Do you want to see the world from a new perspective? You can take five deep breaths in the dog pose to refresh your mind. Take a cross-country flight. You can ground your energy by connecting your hands to the earth element. This will activate the root chakra. You’ll feel alive, connected, and expansive after a few deep breaths, regardless of which version.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana).
This foundational balance pose can be done anywhere and allows you to connect with your body, breath and the present moment.
- Place one foot on each side of your standing leg.
- Traditional hands can be held at heart in prayer, but Tree Pose can be done while you’re doing something else. The tree can be done while holding your baby, making sandwiches, or washing dishes.
The Physical Benefits Tree Pose has obvious benefits. It challenges your balance and improves it. However, it also strengthens and improves the posture and hips.
Energetic Benefits: Sometimes called a standing meditation, the tree pose can be described as an energetic benefit. This is a great way to learn to remain calm in difficult situations. It helps you connect to your roots and requires you to be flexible when you are hit with a stiff breeze.
Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana).
This pose can be practiced when you have time, or you can incorporate it into your day. It’s great to do when reaching for your children’s toys or petting your dog.
- Keep your feet parallel and bend forward so that your legs are over your legs. They can be as close or far apart.
- If they can reach, bring your fingertips to the ground. Or hold onto your ankles.
Physical benefits: Forward fold primarily works on the lower back and back of the legs. It reduces tension in the neck, upper body, and face. It increases the strength and flexibility of the legs and feet and improves circulation to the head.
Relaxing Standing Poses: Forward folds can cool the nervous system and calm the mind. Lowering the head below your heart can reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and stress. A few deep breaths in forwarding Fold can turn your entire day upside-down.
Half Sun Salutes (Ardha Surya Namaskara)
After you have experienced Mountain Pose or Downward-Facing Dog, you will be able to create this flow. Half Sun Salute is simply a series of flowing movements that allow you to feel more connected to your breath and the energy moving through you.
- Inhale and lift your arms towards the sky. Exhale and bend forward to your legs.
- Take a deep inhale and slide your fingers up your shins. Then, fold your arms over as you exhale.
- Take a deep breath and exhale in one motion. Then, reach up towards the sky with your exhale.
- End the cycle by praying and bringing your hands to God.
- Repeat the process 3 to 5 more times.
Health Benefits: Vinyasa means “to place unusually,” This sequence of poses can help you practice mindfulness and attention while moving from one place to another. You can increase your endurance and heart rate by performing each movement with one breath.
Energetic Benefits: Saluting with the sun connects to the fire element. It is associated with courage and willpower as well as transformation. You can reach upward towards the sun to bring that power and radiance inside you; by extending your arms outward, you send that positive energy out into the world.
Legs up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Traditionally, this pose was performed on the floor and wall. However, it is possible to perform the same pose in bed against your headboard.
- Relax and swing your legs straight up against the wall.
- You can also lie on the floor with your calves on the chair or couch.
The physical benefits of This restorative pose offer a great return on your investment. It is physically accessible to all. It calms the nervous system and boosts immunity. It is the ideal physical remedy for a day spent at a desk or on your feet.
Energetic benefits: The Legs up the Wall Pose is a great way to fall asleep at night. It can be used for either occasional or complete insomnia. It can improve pain management, alleviate menstrual symptoms and activate the parasympathetic nervous systems, which will help you relax. Perhaps the best thing about this pose is? It allows you to do no. Once installed, it requires very little effort and no energy beyond awareness. Relax, take a deep breath and then relax.