7 Tірѕ tо Stауіng Safe аnd Preventing аn Injurу in Yоur Yoga Clаѕѕ

Thоѕе whо рuѕh thеmѕеlvеѕ іn уоgа mау get іnjurеd rіght away, аlthоugh many yoga injuries tаkе ѕеvеrаl уеаrѕ tо show uр іn the form оf сhrоnіс раіn. Tоrn саrtіlаgеs in the knееѕ, jоіnt рrоblеmѕ frоm аggrеѕѕіvе adjustments or repeatedly dоіng a роѕе іnсоrrесtlу, рullеd muѕсlеѕ, ѕрrаіnеd nесkѕ, impinged nerves, аnd сhrоnіс lower bасk раіn аrе ѕоmе of the mоѕt common іnjurіеѕ thаt аrе caused bу рrасtісіng уоgа аggrеѕѕіvеlу, соmреtіtіvеlу, оr unсоnѕсіоuѕlу. 

Hоw саn you ѕtау ѕаfе аnd hеаlthу іn Yоgа? 

Bу fоllоwіng the lоgісаl guіdеlіnеѕ below, уоu саn rеар аll the benefits оf yoga and stay safe іn your practice. 

Less is more.

If уоu hаvеn’t exercised іn a long tіmе, dоn’t еxресt thаt you wіll ѕаfеlу bе able tо dо whаt you were аblе tо dо 20 or 30 years аgо. Yоgа is a progressive рrасtісе, and dоіng a little less is trulу more. If you dо a lіttlе lеѕѕ than whаt you can асhіеvе, уоu wіll stay ѕаfе and you will be аblе to соmfоrtаblу advance wіth regular рrасtісе. 

Gеt ԛuаlіtу instruction. 

It mау bе a good іdеа tо fіnd a private уоgа tеасhеr іf you аrе new tо уоgа. Fіnd an еxреrіеnсеd, еduсаtеd уоgа teacher who wіll work wіth уоur body and уоur реrѕоnаl needs оnе оn оnе before you enter іntо a lаrgе сlаѕѕ whеrе уоu wоn’t get the аttеntіоn thаt you nееd. Yоu can fіnd a ԛuаlіfіеd rеgіѕtеrеd уоgа tеасhеr who hаѕ mеt minimum rеquіrеmеntѕ еѕtаblіѕhеd by the Nаtіоnаl Yоgа Allіаnсе website

Bе ореn and hоnеѕt wіth уоur уоgа tеасhеr. 

Lеt him/her knоw аbоut any injuries, оld or nеw, you mау have еxреrіеnсеd. Ask him/her if he/she physically touches аnd аdjuѕts his/her ѕtudеntѕ. If he/she dоes, ask him/her іf he/she can dо his/her bеѕt to refrain but instead gіvе you vеrbаl аdjuѕtmеntѕ аnd lеt you knоw when you hаvе іt right. Verbal adjustments wіll аllоw уоu to fееl аnd thіnk it out to yourself аѕ well аѕ work оn уоur fосuѕ аnd lіѕtеnіng ѕkіllѕ аnd gіve уоu frееdоm and іndереndеnсе frоm уоur tеасhеr.

Take rеѕроnѕіbіlіtу for уоur bоdу especially fоr thе rеаllу mоbіlе parts. 

In each pose сultіvаtе thе рrасtісе of ѕсаnnіng уоur jоіntѕ frоm hеаd tо toe. Thеrе аrе way tоо many ѕhоuldеr іnjurіеѕ саuѕеd by a rеgulаr іnсоrrесt уоgа practice. Thіѕ іѕ mоѕt likely due tо incorrectly doing a dоwnwаrd dog аnd a рlаnk роѕе. In a dоwnwаrd dоg еxtеrnаllу rоtаtе your shoulders. You саn еxtеrnаllу do it by turnіng thе crease оf уоur elbows towards уоur thumb. In a рlаnk pose, dерrеѕѕ уоur ѕсарulа (shoulder blades) bу pressing thе hеаd оf уоur ѕhоuldеrѕ in the dіrесtіоn оf your heels. If уоu hаvе hуреrеxtеndеd еlbоwѕ оr knееѕ, you muѕt adjust for thоѕе in a dіffеrеnt wау, ѕо be ѕurе to tеll уоur tеасhеr аbоut these ѕlіght dеvіаtіоnѕ frоm thе norm.

Some роѕеѕ aren’t fоr еvеrуbоdу. 

If any роѕе іѕ саuѕіng уоu раіn, іmmеdіаtеlу сhаngе іt аnd modify it іn a wау thаt іntuіtіvеlу feels mоrе соmfоrtаblе or ѕtорѕ dоіng it аll tоgеthеr. Yоu should feel free to ѕіt оut poses thаt аrеn’t right for уоu, and сhаngе the dуnаmісѕ and biomechanics оf a pose, tо meet уоur body’s nееdѕ. There are hundreds оf роѕеѕ аnd еvеrу pose isn’t right fоr еvеrуbоdу.

 (Wearing comfortable yoga clothing is also a great way to prevent injuries. If you like the yoga leggings and top above, click here.)

Rеаlіzе аnd сеlеbrаtе the fасt that еvеrуоnе іѕ your ѕuреrіоr. 

Yоgа іѕ not a соmреtіtіоn. Yоu are not practicing thе рrіnсірlеѕ of уоgа іf уоu аrе lооkіng аrоund thе rооm аnd соmреtіng or соmраrіng уоurѕеlf tо уоur nеіghbоr. Focus оn уоu. Aftеr аll, уоu аrе dоіng уоgа for YOUR health аnd YOUR wеll-bеіng. Aftеr the сlаѕѕ, no оnе іѕ gоіng tо care or remember whаt you did оr dіdn’t do durіng the сlаѕѕ, and you probably wоn’t саrе whаt anyone еlѕе dіd оr dіdn’t do. Eасh іndіvіduаl wіll fіnd he/she is mоrе adept аnd attracted tо сеrtаіn еlеmеntѕ of уоgа mоrе than оthеrѕ. 

Consider taking a workshop or a уоgа teacher trаіnіng course. 

Evеn if you dоn’t intend to tеасh yoga, a уоgа tеасhеr trаіnіng соurѕе оr a уоgа wоrkѕhор mау іnсrеаѕе уоur knоwlеdgе аnd undеrѕtаndіng оf yoga аnd that is bоund tо hеlр уоu ѕtау ѕаfе іn уоur оwn рrасtісе.

7 Health Benefits of Doing Yoga

Yoga exercises have numerous benefits. They can transform your physical and mental capacities really quickly, setting you up for a long-term healthy living.

You can squeeze a few extra hours from your sleep, decrease the number of colds, or even feel more energetic than ever. The health benefits of yoga are way too many.

However, if you are trying to recruit a skeptical newbie into yoga, he/she could think that you are the most lackadaisical and outrageous person in the world.

Below are seven real health benefits of yoga showcasing why it’s the best training for your body.   

It helps in losing weight.

A regular yoga practice definitely influences weight loss, although not in the traditional and typical physical exercise. Typically, an individual loses weight when his/her calorie intake is significantly lower than his/her caloric expenditure.

In yoga, however, fewer calories are burnt. If you are looking to lose weight in your yoga sessions, you have to challenge yourself by ensuring that your heart beats faster.
Also, in deep yoga training, yogis are advised to watch out for whatever they put in their mouths. With that, they tend to be sensitive and selective with the kind of food they eat or what they have been prescribed to eat while on a yoga program.

With that, you may find a big difference on that scale, which leads to motivation, joy and more healthy life.

Acts as a stress reliever.

Sacrificing 15-20 minutes of your precious time every day to yoga can be a big significance provided you utilize it maximally.
Those few minutes are enough to relieve the stresses that you have accumulated; in both the mind and the body. Yoga postures and meditations can be utilized to successfully release stress.
A stress-free life improves your health by reducing the chances of getting heart diseases, diabetes, and early strokes.

Improves proper blood circulation.

Increased blood flow in your bloodstream is good for your body; it means that waste products are properly excreted, leaving your body healthy and rejuvenated. Yoga exercises are well behind such positivity.

The Vinyasa type of yoga purposely and diligently helps improve blood circulation simply because it focuses more on flow and rhythm. This, in turn, helps yogis breathe deeply while in motion, making blood pump in all parts of the body.

Strengthens your muscles.

Even though yoga isn’t a weighty or a hardcore exercise, it helps in building muscle blocks after a consistent yoga practice. When yoga is performed correctly, every muscle gets worked out, at the same time, injects a dose of flexibility. 

Drains your lymph

Lymph is a viscous fluid rich in immune cells. Increasing lymph drainage brings a lot of yields in your body provided that you do your yoga practices meticulously.
For instance, when you contract and stretch the muscles, shift the organs around, and a constant change in your yoga positions increases the drainage of the lymph.
The results are a lymphatic system that is able to fight cancerous infections, dispose of toxic waste products out of your body and finally fight petty infections.

Reduces high blood pressure.

People suffering or experiencing high blood pressures at some point in their lives are strongly advised to start simple yoga.
It has been found that yoga significantly improves blood pressure at a normal rate.

Improves your bone’s health.

As it is well highlighted in books that weight-bearing exercises strengthen bones, yoga has also proven to also strengthen bones with some of its postures, i.e., downward and upward-facing dog.
Moreover, yoga lowers the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, thereby, assisting in keeping the proper amounts of calcium in your bones.

That’s not all. Yoga weight exercises also help in preventing a hazardous situation called osteoporosis (a condition of being fragile with increased susceptibility to a fracture).

In conclusion

Remember, yoga is an incessant process. So the more you keep practicing, the better you will get! The more determined and deeper you indulge in a yoga practice, the weightier will be its health benefits.

However, it’s good to note that, it’s not a substitute for your medications. It’s sort of a supplement that plays a small part in your overall health. If you have a medical condition, you should always consult your doctor before you start practicing.

Sharing this article may not change the world, but we promise it won’t hurt either.

Weekend Blues

Weekends make up for one-third of a week if we start counting as soon as you get off work on Friday (for those working regular hours). But, not all forms of relaxation conform to healthy lifestyle and weekends can become a nightmare and a setback to your goals. You also want to start your week fresh on Monday. All of a sudden there are so many things to do in not so much time.

First off, don’t let the easy attitude in the air get to you. If working out is something that makes you exude with energy, then don’t wait till Monday to go to the gym, rather start now. Same goes for eating fresh. Healthy foods with a friend’s company uplift you. Go out and organize gatherings where you can hang out, chat and do little workout sessions together if that’s what boosts your energy levels up.

A vital thing that changed my productivity for the better is that I plan most of the activities in advance. That does not mean I’m not up for playing it by ear sometimes but, for the most part, I have a rough game plan in mind. Get a head start by organizing your weekly schedule before the week actually starts. Make a list of priorities and prepare for the projects that entail more thought and energy. Doing things last minute throws me off to the point where I feel paralyzed and thinking that I’m not capable of controlling my life anymore. If you’re anything like me, I suggest you get a head start on things. Its a part of self-care, by the time deadline rolls around, you only do little tweaks here and there, rather than stare at the blank page feeling overwhelmed by everything that still needs to be accomplished.

What also keeps me on top of my plan throughout the week is that I normally prepare the bulk of my meals on the weekend. No, I don’t cook five to ten full meals but I go out to the garden, pick whatever has grown, wash it and cut it to be ready for when the hunger strikes. I also learned to freeze the excess, besides the couple summer months, as the garden is not flourishing but I still like to eat homegrown stuff. On the same topic, have snacks ready. They make up for almost half of the foods we eat in a day and you want to have healthy options at the reach of your hands when the hunger strikes.

Not only foods, prepare outfits for at least one day in advance, too. Possibly give yourself options if you have something red layer out, but in the morning red is the last color you’d go for. That way you’ll have one less thing to think about in the morning, you’ll look put together nicely, feel comfortable and possibly spare yourself a minute or two to drink your coffee (or tea) in peace.

On Sunday evenings (or possibly every evening), set yourself a tech curfew. Exchange staring at your phone or computer’s screen for staring at your loved one’s eyes. Read a book or perform some calming meditation. Winding down to sleep without flickering lights of the latest online ads will make up for a good night’s sleep.

These are my general weekend rules. I’m now curious to hear yours. What would you add and what is the thing you look forward to most once the weekend is nearing?

How to do Mommy and Me Yoga

Mommy and me yoga allows your child to participate in your wonderful yoga practice. Yoga has so many benefits for adults and children as well as being a great way for you to bond with your little one. For this yoga style, Daddy can be interchanged with Mommy. Yoga teaches your children in a fun way physical, regulation, and emotional intelligence skills, which is so important for them to learn at this age. 

Children love using their imaginations to feel free to utilize this as you describe each pose. Instead of simply saying “cow pose” you can ask them: What sound does the cow make? Can you make that sound? Can you be a hungry cow or a happy/peaceful cow? Using these questions also teaches them vocabulary and more abstract concepts that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to. 

Have two mats available or clearly designate two safe spaces for you and your child. If you have mats,  place them side by side the little one can easily follow you and hop from mat to mat. 

Here are some ideas to get you started on your Mommy and Me Yoga adventure. As you get more comfortable don’t be afraid to come up with your own exercises and pose ideas. The Internet is also a great resource or finds a local Mommy and Me Yoga class. 

Before anything warm up with few simple stretches and some deep breathing with your little one. Sit cross-legged, close your eyes and breathe deeply three times. Describe the breath cycle to your little one. You will be surprised by how much he/she picks up!

Have your little one piggyback ride for plank pose.
1. Kneel on your mat
2. Instruct your child to hold to your neck and wrap legs around you.
3. Rock back into table pose.
4. Push up into plank pose. Hold here for a few breaths.
5. To challenge yourself, press into the mat and inhale, lock slightly forward.
6. Exhale then rock back to the original plank pose. Pull your belly in.
7. Remind your little one to hold tight.
8. To get out of the pose, come to table pose then back to a kneeling position.
9. Have your little one let go. 

Mommy and Me Connected Tree Pose
1. Have your child stand on your mat side by side.
2. Have him/her follow you as you bend one knee and place the sole of your foot on the ankle or thigh. Your child can use your side body as a support, like a wall.
3. Have your child reach the outside arm nice and high. Reach your arm above your head as well.
4. Then have him/her put their foot back down as you put your foot down. Have him/her pick up the other foot as you do the same, repeat the tree pose. You can play with the hand positions half prayer pose or interlink your inside arm with their inside arm.

How To Pick The Best High Waist Capris

Choosing the best High Waist Capris is important if you want to do yoga comfortably. If you cannot easily find the right sized capris because there is such a wide array of choices available in the market, don’t be disappointed. A lot of women face this challenge, as well. A comfortable outfit is the most necessary thing for yogis, so it seems you must select the best capris. With so many different types of Yoga capris out there, you can try to choose the most suitable pair based on your own preference — calming hues for the quiet ones and energized prints for the bold. So, definitely, you can make the right choice. Moreover, rest assured that the best of them are manufactured using high-end technology so that you will be sweat free while doing yoga. Yoga pants are one of those popular dresses that come with different cuts, styles, and patterns, and that is why it can be quite overwhelming when trying to make up your mind. Just take into account some guiding tips before purchasing your capris. And I bet you will be able to make the wisest choice. 

  • Determine The Style 

There are different styles, but basically, the capris pants are great for yoga. The capris pants have shorter legs, and they don’t have elastic bands. But they have a string which will secure your waist. You should carefully pick the style that you like, and then you should evaluate it. Actually, the style is not a definitive choice, so it is just the beginning point. You may want to purchase the one that you are using right now or something new, but whatever it is you should make sure to evaluate the pros and cons of the style before purchase. 

  • Determine The Length 

The next factor you should consider when picking a High Waist Capris is to focus on the length of the Capri. The Capri pants are designed to end at the calf muscle, so when selecting a Capri, you should be attentive to this detail in particular. You are not going to face the bunching issue with these Capri pants, so you need not worry about it. Also, you should remember to select a pair that stretches enough. If not, they will be too tight for your body. Choosing the most comfortable clothing is very important if you want to engage in yoga. 

  • Determine The Fabric 

Even if it is for yoga, you should not consider it less, so make sure to determine the perfect fabric. The style of yoga that you do will have the most significant impact on the fabric type. In this case, materials such as polyester, synthetic will be better when compared to cotton. The cotton fabric is good as it absorbs moisture that you might feel during the yoga sessions. However, over time, the fabric will wear out. 

  • Determine The Color 

You should pick the color that suits you the best. There are varieties of colors available in the market so you should run a good search to find the most suitable one in order to suit your complexion and your age. The fabric and the amount you sweat will have a great impact on the color, so make sure to select the color based on these factors as well. 

Yoga Pants or Leggings

Your outfit has the potential to contribute extreme value to your yoga practice. Not only does it give you the confidence to sink deeper into poses or push yourself just little further, but it can also allow you to have significantly more movement. Modern-day yogis are often torn between whether they should opt for yoga pants or yoga leggings. In fact, many are even wondering what the difference is between these two items.

While some may use these two terms interchangeably, there is a difference between yoga pants and yoga leggings. Yoga pants are usually made with a jersey material to ensure a decent stretch. They are full-length pants with a wide, fold-over waistband. The most distinguishing feature found in yoga pants is the flared leg.

On the other hand, yoga leggings are typically made with spandex to allow a tighter fit. The waistbands do not usually fold over, and they do not have a flared leg. Instead, they tend to fit very snugly around the calves or ankles depending on the cut. Leggings are found in a wide array of styles ranging from high waist capris to ankle length leggings. 

Now that you know the difference, which one is preferable for your yoga practice?

Many yogis and yoginis prefer the more form-fitting yoga leggings available from popular manufacturers like 90 Degree by Reflex. They feel that the leggings allow them to focus more on the quality of their practice. Because leggings fit tighter than yoga pants, they have a greater awareness of the alignment of their joints and limbs as they transition through poses. While they may not have any significant athletic benefit, yoga leggings can still assist in creating a safer practice.

Yoga pants have more fabric and may stretch out over the course of intense or lengthy practice. By the time you reach your finishing pose, you may find excess fabric bunching in key locations such as around your knees. Similarly, it may also loosen around the waist. These may seem like minor issues, but they can cause serious irritation over time. Yogis find themselves focused on the uncomfortable folds of fabric in poses instead of on their alignment or sinking deeper into a pose.

Another key benefit to yoga leggings is the ability to layer them with other items for both cooler and warmer situations. If you know that your practice is rigorous, yoga leggings tend to have more breathability due to the material. It’s easier for sweat to dissipate in a spandex material than with the jersey found in yoga pants. You can also comfortably layer items with leggings if your studio or practice area tends toward chilly.

Both options are comfortable for wearing off the mat and around town due to their similarly stretchy nature. The fabric will give and take with your continued movement, but you will find that yoga pants still have the tendency to stretch out over the course of an afternoon. Overall, many yogis find yoga leggings to be superior to yoga pants both on and off the mat.

Sweaty Workouts

HIIT workouts are on the rise. Here is what caused their popularity:

For the combination of exercises that alternate between cardio moves and weightlifting, HIIT training is normally short in duration and can be easily squeezed into your lunch break. Research has even shown that with a 15-minute HIIT workout three times a week you can have bigger progress as compared to running alone three times a week for an hour.

Not only do you burn more calories during the workout itself, but the repair cycle will have you burning calories for up to 24 hours upon completing the workout. It stimulates the production of human growth hormone and moreover, slows down the aging process.

High intensity and endurance might not seem complimentary, but high intensity actually promotes endurance. It is a result of pushing your body to the anaerobic zone or the zone where your heart pumps your blood really hard, making you feel uncomfortable.

HIIT workouts are economically attainable as there is no equipment needed, the workout can be done pretty much anywhere, and there are plenty of good ones accessible online.

You don’t even have to compromise losing muscle, which can be a byproduct of some types of exercise and dieting. You’ll rather burn off the fats you have in store.

Exercises are usually simple to follow and as it is a circuit workout, you can repeat it as many or as little times as you wish. In that case, the whole workout can be adapted to the time you have at hand.

Here’s one of my favorite sequences that will have you work on your entire body.

Perform each exercise for half-a-minute.

  1. Warm up your body by running in place for half-a-minute. Then jump as you would jump over a rope. Circle your arms too. Then, make up a jumping sequence yourself for the last 30 seconds of the warm-up.
  2. Step into high plank and perform mountain climbers. Then, do high knees in place, Or you could alternatively run up and down the stairs. Repeat two times.
  3. Perform a wide-legged squat and on your way up, bring your arms to the side. Pair it with side lunge with an upright row. You could add a lighter set of weights for this one. Jump like a skater side to side. Repeat side lunges on the other side and skaters.
  4. Bring your body forward like you would in performing a deadlift and do butterfly wings with or without weights. Pair it with frog jumps
  5. Get into a chair pose and shuffle your feet side to side. Start from plank on your elbows (but press into the ground with your whole forearms). Alternate tapping the ground with your knees.
  6. Bring the weight behind your head and perform a triceps extension. For more core work balance on one leg for 15 seconds and on the other for the rest. Go into a high plank position and alternatively kick your legs back up in the air.
  7. Lay back on the ground. Bring your legs in the 45-degree angle, keep your feet on the ground, lift your shoulders off the ground and alternate tapping your hands to your heels. For your final move bicycle it out.

Great job!

Remember to stay hydrated. HIIT will keep burning calories and keep releasing toxins out of your body for long hours after you have completed it. Make sure you fuel your body right to achieve maximum results.

Living Under the Light of Compassion

Yama, the first step corresponding to the Eight Limbs of yoga, holds the affirmation of ahimsa or non-violence which is explained by Master Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in his book Yoga Mala as “not causing injury to anyone including animals in any form, at any time or for any reason in word, thought or deed”. This step is followed by the affirmations of Satya or truthfulness, Asteya standing for not stealing or envying and a few others that indirectly or directly lead to the quality of compassion; one of the most important factors for leading a life of peace, purpose, joy and unity.

Compassion not only holds the concept of ahimsa or non-violence, but it takes it a step further. It is the ability of feeling someone else’s suffering under a deep state of love. Buddhism, which is historically one of the branches of yoga, places extreme importance on the concept of compassion and one of their main exercises for developing a sense of universal kindness and achieve spiritual transformation is to see all sentient beings under the real lens of equanimity or equality; interacting with all as if they were our own mother.

We all know how hard it is to keep our defensive and judgmental reactions out of the way during our everyday lives. Even if we get to feel peaceful and at ease when on the yoga mat, the moment we set a foot out on the streets or step on the car we quickly seem to forget about this graceful feeling. But there is a way of dealing with this mental conditioning of ours, by simply becoming aware of when these negative reactions arise and substitute the negative for positive by seeing other people or situations under the light of compassion.

In his Book of Transformation, the Dalai Lama includes the beautiful text of The Eight Verses on Transforming the Mind, reading them every morning or every once in a while, can help us to remind ourselves about the value of this wonderful capacity that we have as human beings. These verses guide us through an alternative way of seeing what and who surrounds us, placing the heart right in the epicenter around which everyone and everything revolves.

The first verse talks about holding other beings as exceptionally dear to you, while recognizing the important role they play when it comes to attaining your spiritual realizations. With no other sentient beings around you, it would be impossible to develop great compassion.

The second verse mentions approaching others with genuine humility and an authentic courage of being of help. The third one affirms the importance of freeing ourselves from our negative impulses, emotions and thoughts; while the fourth verse moves us to give our hands to those beings who have been marginalized, abandoned or who are caught up in tremendous suffering. We must see these sentient beings as if we have been given a treasure.

The fifth and sixth verse encourages us to see people that are being or have been unkind to us from a lens of patience and tolerance; considering them as our cherished teachers. The seventh verse summarizes what has been pronounced in previous ones and the succeeding last verse moves us to be released from the eight mundane concerns and to remain unattached from as we practice compassion in the purest of its form.

Benefits of Doing Yoga Alone


It’s incredible how many people out there have been practicing yoga for years but have somehow never done yoga alone or at home. Yoga instructors are educated and are great to have around when learning new things, but there is something beautiful that happens when you take the time to practice yoga by yourself. There are many benefits to doing yoga at home that we’ll talk about today, but please keep in mind that this might not be safe if you are a beginner or if you are trying something new.

Increased Comfort Levels

One of the biggest benefits of doing yoga alone is an increased level of comfort. Whether you are at your house, at a park, by the beach, or tucked away in the corner at your gym; the benefits can be huge. Being able to call the shots and play around with different locations is empowering. It allows you to figure out where you feel the best and the most in tune with yourself. A lot of yoga studios are crowded and really aren’t suitable for everyone. Some students love to do yoga to relaxing music and some people prefer silence; classes don’t allow for a personalized experience.


Insecure Feelings

In a yoga class, it is very hard to not notice others around you. There are going to be people in your class who are more and less “advanced” than you are. You probably know that yoga is an inward journey but that doesn’t mean that comparisons, insecurities, and awkward feelings don’t come up. Aside from the yoga poses themselves, some people feel vulnerable wearing yoga attire without comparing their bodies to others. Doing yoga alone is great because it takes away that vulnerable feeling and lets you be comfortable in your own skin.



You will probably notice a change in your focus immediately when you start to practice yoga alone. If you are someone who usually places your mat at the back of the class or if you go to a very busy studio, this can make a huge difference. Aside from the feeling associated with insecurity, having other people’s arms and legs getting in your way while you practice is incredibly distracting. Taking your yoga sessions into your own environment takes away all the outside noise that might be getting in your way in a classroom.

In Tune with Your Body

The last benefit of doing yoga alone is probably the most important. Doing yoga alone gives you the opportunity to tune into your body in ways that you can’t inside a yoga class. It allows you to breathe, pause, and change poses whenever it feels right for you. You can also focus only on the poses that your body needs that day and not do the ones that you don’t think are beneficial or are uncomfortable to you.

Doing yoga alone allows yoga to be about you and your body; that is what yoga is all about. Take a step out of the classroom and spend even 15 minutes doing yoga alone. You can learn so much about yourself.

My Love-Hate Relationship with Extended Side Angle Pose


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I haven’t always liked Extended Side Angle Pose, also referred to by the Sanskrit shortened version Parsvakonasana. It use to seem incredibly difficult to hold, and the teacher always seemed to forget that we were holding the pose, she would keep us here for what felt like eternity.

However, when I started my Yoga studies I learned the purpose and beauty of this pose. This pose combines a lunge and a twist, which both strengthens and stretches your body. Have you ever wondered the secret to becoming super flexible and able to do pretzel like poses like lotus pose? Well, it starts with poses like Parsvakonasana. The idea is to warm up your hips in poses that build heat while slowly stretching this area, so when you get to the deep flexibility based poses you are ready!

Extended Sides Angle Pose is the perfect standing pose to add into the beginning of your practice with other standing poses like extended triangle pose and the warrior poses. You can follow this pose up with deeper hip opening poses like Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana) and Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana).

To begin, bring your hands to your hips. Step your feet wide apart and rotate the right legs to the front of the room. Align your heels.

Bend your knee so it is directly over your front shin. Bend your right elbow and place it on top of your bent legs, thigh. Keep your palm up.

Extend your let arm overhead. Feel the line of energy from the left leg up your torso side and out of the extended arm overhead.

Look forward or up at your hands, breathing slowly and deeply though your nose. Allow your emotions to surface briefly as a tool of self-reflection. This pose relates especially to our sense of strength, groundedness, and unlimited capabilities.

Concentrate and feel your solar plexus chakra beaming radiantly and giving you endless strength. This is your third chakra, called the Manipura chakra in Sanskrit. Positive affirmations to say with this Chakra include:

  • I am powerful.
  • I can accomplish anything.
  • I am confident.

You can modify the pose by either resting your arm on the top of your knee, or balance on a block instead of the floor.

Only go as deep as you can balance effort with ease. Engage your legs and continue pressing them into and away from the floor.

Hold for: 30 seconds to a minute.


  • It opens the inner thighs
  • Stretches the entire side body, spine and hips
  • Relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back
  • Deepens stretch to the groins and hamstrings
  • Strengthens the legs, knee and ankle
  • Stretches and tones your abs
  • Improves your stamina
  • Opens chest, shoulders and lungs
  • Deepens your breath


  • Constipation. Stimulates abdominal organs and relieves
  • Infertility
  • Backache
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sciatica
  • Menstrual issues

Now, I always make sure to include Parsvakonasana in my yoga routine, to soak up its innumerable mind, body and spirit benefits!