Gesundheit & Fitness
Yoga Journal

Yoga Journal Special Issue 1 2016

Yoga Journal offers all practitioners—from beginners to masters—expert information on how to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life both on and off the mat.

United States
Active Interest Media
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9 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min.
om alone

THERE’S A WONDERFUL old joke that goes something like this: “What’s the best way to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.” I thought of it often as we were creating this issue, because the best way to really make yoga part of your life is to practice, practice, practice—at home. But the idea of establishing a home practice can sound intimidating. I’m sure you’ve heard some of the myths: You have to practice at least an hour a day! You must have a dedicated yoga room! You need to know how to sequence a class! Let’s put those ideas to rest right now. The truth is, establishing a home practice is easier than you think. In fact, you already have all you really need: Dedication; at least 15 minutes most days…

9 Min.
why have a home practice?

THE FIRST DAY of my teacher training program, I experienced something akin to an existential crisis. It didn’t have anything to do with awakening kundalini or realizing my true Self. Sadly, it was much more mundane: It hit when I realized that in order to participate in the program, I had to agree to have my own home practice. If you roll out your yoga mat at home, I was told, you’ll find the freedom to experiment, to evolve, and to become your own best teacher. A few days later, when I unrolled my sticky mat at home alone for the first time, I wanted to bolt. Up until then, my idea of yoga was attending a class, which is kind of like being chauffeured around town, sitting comfortably in the…

3 Min.
10 benefits of a home practice

1. You can tailor your practice to fit your mood. If you’re tired, do a restorative practice. If you’re feeling strong, choose a strenuous one. 2. You can practice daily. Even if you’re juggling a hectic schedule and think you don’t have time to practice, take a deep, cleansing breath and think again. Yes, you might not have time to go to class, but you can still roll out your mat at home for 10 minutes. Or 15 Or 30. Your body and mind will thank you. 3. You can set your own personal goals. Maybe it’s a 21-day challenge. Maybe it’s working your way up to a difficult pose. But practicing toward your goal, not a teacher’s, is a great motivator. And once you reach it, you may just realize that…

2 Min.
five big home practice wreckers

“Ooh, Look—Shiny!” Distractions Whatever you do, do not put your smartphone at the front of your mat so you can see it light up with incoming messages. You’ll be tempted to stop and look at it during every Chaturanga or Cobra, telling yourself it will “only take a second.” But if you let yourself stop mid-practice to answer an email once, you’ll do it again. And before you know it, you’ll be at your desk, back at work, vowing to pick up where you left off on the mat tomorrow. The LooseyGoosey Approach If you’re relying on the spirit moving you to unroll your mat, you might wait a long time—especially if you’re busy. It’s great to follow your intuition once you’ve started practicing, but if it’s not based on some…

1 Min.
bringing your classwork home

One important way that home practices add value is to complement, round out, and refine the work you do in class. Here are a few tips to help you do so: Seek out the right teachers. The best yoga teachers actually want you to be better than them. If you find a teacher you like, schedule a private session and ask for help developing sequences to do at home that cater to your needs, whether that is working on a health condition or focusing on a particular pose or group of poses. Keep a journal by your mat during class. Write down aspects of a sequence that you enjoy, as well as poses that you find challenging. Then make a note of how you feel after class: Energized? Relaxed? Less anxious? Revisit…

1 Min.
the essential props you’ll need

A yoga prop isn’t like training wheels on a bicycle—something that only beginners use to keep from crashing to the ground. Rather, props are tools that give yoga practitioners of all levels more stability, better alignment—and, ultimately, freedom. Here are the basics that you need: A yoga mat: It will provide cushioning and, just as important, a nonslip surface for sweaty feet and hands. One or two blocks: Super-versatile, wood, foam, or cork blocks offer three different heights to help you position yourself comfortably: When you feel tight, they bring the floor up to you in forward or side bends. They can also be squeezed between the thighs to provide proper engagement of the legs, and they can offer comfort, safety, and reassurance in poses like Pigeon or Bridge. Straps: If you have…