Yoga shouldn't be complicated. It's a philosophy and system to unite body, mind and spirit. And yet, despite the popularity of yoga there are still lots of people who feel it isn't for them. That they aren't flexible and can't touch their toes, find it uncomfortable sitting on the floor and never in their lifetime will be able to dangle their legs in the air in handstand. Those playful days are long gone. Popular media portrays young, slim, yogis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on blogs and in printed media in their designer yoga wear contorting their bodies in to flying pigeons, headstand and scorpion poses. These poses all have their benefits and help to not only tone the muscles and strengthen the bones and improve the physiological function of the body but to also move towards that end goal of yoga; to still the mind.
Ok, that's still not for me and the reason i'll never go along to yoga class is what you might be thinking? The route in to experiencing and reaping the benefits of a regular yoga practice can just as easily be gained from a simple home based routine or finding a class that offers a gentle, beginners yoga class to ease you and create a more sustainable habit. The most effective home yoga routine would be to focus on a sun salutation. A mainstay of many different yoga classes, so you can’t go too wrong with this one whilst experiencing a complete mind-body-spirit remedy.
This set of yoga postures provides a stretch and workout for the entire body and can be adapted for any issues with the joints, back pain issues and other health concerns to get you moving and back to better physical and mental wellbeing. Sun salutations are best performed first thing in the morning, after waking up and before breakfast. You'll be set up for the day ahead in the right state of mind and feeling physically rejuvenated. The great thing about performing this practice at home is that you can work with your own limitations and ability without the pressure of watching what everyone else in class is doing or looks like. It's best to get guidance on how to start from an experienced yoga teacher or to find an online video on YouTube or the Yoga Teaching platforms where you can see the correct way to perform the sun salutation poses and avoiding the risk of injuring yourself from doing the routine incorrectly.
As with any form of yoga, there shouldn't be any pain, so listen to your body and if you feel pain ease off a little and practice everyday working up towards that goal of getting your hands closer to the floor and bending deeper in to that lunge. Although, keep in mind, that your goal isn’t your toes at all. It’s what you learn about yourself, your capabilities, strengths and limitations on the way down towards your toes. With time and whilst the benefits of yoga weave in to your mind and body you may feel tempted to expand the poses you practice or the length of time you spend doing yoga and i do hope that you also find yourself taking the leap to come along to class. There's always something new to learn and your body and mind will thank you for it.