Online yoga classes provide a unique advantage for people who have wanted to enjoy the benefits of yoga, but who have been unable to commit to regular class attendance.
When you stream your yoga sessions from online, you won’t have to worry about altering your schedule to squeeze in classes.You can conduct your classes right at home from the privacy of your own living room, or your own workout room. You’ll never miss a class because you got held up at work, or because one of the kids got sick and you had to stay home.
If you think that your motivation might suffer because you’re not surrounded by other yoga studio goers, that just isn’t the case. Online yoga classes can keep you just as immersed in the session as being in a room full of your peers. Your leader will be guiding you through various poses and movements, and in some cases, music will provide an energetic background.
You’ll work up a sweat, your joints and muscles will be energized, and you’ll end up feeling great about it all.Sounds a lot like the results from the yoga studio right?
And without the hassle of driving there, finding a sitter, driving back all sweaty, etc. So how do you get started with online yoga classes?
Yoga at home for is for beginners and experienced yogis
One of the biggest advantages to starting online yoga classes in a home yoga practice is that it teaches you to self-regulate. Your coach may be guiding you through the process from the streamed content, but you have to force yourself to follow along and do the work. Sometimes, this ends up making you a better practitioner of yoga, because you are doing a lot more of the work on your own. Here are some recommendations on how to get started.
The best way to begin a session at home is to start with a quiet pose. This will put you in touch with your body and your mind, so you’ll know what you feel like doing. Once you know that, you can choose a direction. You may feel energetic and want to go for a more vigorous workout, or you may feel wiped out from work, and you’d rather go with something less taxing.
Regardless of how you feel on a given day, you should establish an intention for the workout. It might be working on a specific pose, or it might be just allowing all the stress to drain out of you. On the days where you feel good, choose four or five poses that you really enjoy doing. You’ll become a more consistent yoga student if you work on poses that you really like, rather than those which are more challenging.
If possible, try to include at least one pose from each of the directions your body can move in. By including all these directions, you’ll have a more complete workout, and you’ll engage all the muscles and joints of your body. One of the most important aspects of getting started with a home yoga practice, is staking out an area where you can do your workouts every day. If you’re in a different corner of the house every day, it’ll be harder to achieve consistency. Make it regular, and you’ll make it more often.
Use yoga for flexibility boosting
It’s a common misconception that only flexible people can be involved with yoga.
The truth is that flexibility is not so much a pre-requisite for yoga as it is a result of the practice. The important thing to remember when engaging in flexibility poses is that you need to safely build up to some of those stretches.
When you try to go straight to a challenging pose because you think you can, it’s very possible that you’ll hurt something. There are any number of flexibility poses in yoga that you can use in your online yoga classes. Some of them are fairly simple, others are more challenging.
By slowly increasing your flexibility, and boosting it a little at a time, you’ll gradually become much more flexible in your joints and your muscles.
The Most Common Yoga at Home Poses
- Mountain Pose – Stand with your feet together, arms at your side, weight evenly distributed. Raise your arms overhead, with palms facing each other, and fingers reaching for the sky.
- Downward Dog (Above) – Start out on all fours, with knees under your hips and hands under shoulders. Walk your hands a few inches forward, curl your toes under, and thrust your hips toward the ceiling. From this inverted V position, take three full breaths before relaxing.
- Warrior – Stand with legs three feet apart, turn left foot in, and right foot out 90 degrees. Extend arms out to the side, with palms down. Bend your right knee 90 degrees, and maintain for 60 seconds.
- Crow Pose – Achieve a Downward Dog position, and walk feet forward until your knees contact your arms. Bend your elbows and lift your heels up off the floor, resting knees against outside of your arms. Maintain for five to 10 breaths.
- Child’s Pose – Sit up on your heels, roll your forehead forward so it’s resting on the mat. Lower your chest close to your knees and extend your arms out in front. Hold pose for three to five breaths.
Crow Pose – Achieve a Downward Dog position, and walk feet forward until your knees contact your arms. Bend your elbows and lift your heels up off the floor, resting knees against outside of your arms. Maintain for five to 10 breaths.
Child’s Pose – Sit up on your heels, roll your forehead forward so it’s resting on the mat. Lower your chest close to your knees and extend your arms out in front. Hold pose for three to five breaths.
What’s a Beginner Yoga Sequence?
A good beginner yoga sequence will generally consist of a workout lasting approximately 30 minutes. Each pose will be preceded by a stretching period, after which the pose will be maintained for a minute or two.
- Knees to Chest Pose (Apanasana)
- Supine Twist (Supta Matsrendyasana)
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)
- Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
- Garland Pose (Malasana)
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
- Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I) (Pictured above)
- Warrior Pose II (Virabhadrasana II)
- Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonosana)
- Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
- Eye of the Needle Pose (Sucirandhrasana)
New Breathing Techniques Used in Online Yoga Classes
Breath control is a very important aspect of engaging in yoga classes. If you’ve found yourself wondering which breathing technique you’re supposed to be using, you’re not alone. Here are some of the most important breathing techniques, along with when you should use each.
- Ujjayi – this promotes a deep opening into the lungs, and makes the sound of an ocean as you exhale. This technique is used to create stillness, relieve anxiety, and get you in touch with your inner strength.
- Kumbhaka – this technique is a state where breath is retained, and it occurs in between inhalation and exhalation. Kumbhaka is used to help calm the mind, as there is no breathing which occurs in this state.
- Kapalabhati – consisting of a passive inhale and forceful exhale, this is used to increase circulation and help wake up the body.
- Bhastrika – somewhat similar to Kapalabhati, Bhastrika emphasizes the inhale and exhale equally. It is used to achieve stillness and to relieve stress.
- Lion’s Breath – accomplished by opening your mouth wide and sticking out the tongue, this technique is generally used between poses. It helps to slow down the body activity and return to normal.
- Nadi Shodhana – this involves breathing through a single nostril, and helps to settle the mind before commencing a yoga session.
- Sitali – this technique is often used to cool down after a vigorous workout. It calls for opening the mouth, sticking out the tongue, and curling it into a taco shape. From this position, inhale through your mouth and exhale out your nose.
Yoga for Weight Loss Benefits
While it’s true that yoga does burn calories, there are generally fewer calories burned than in most other forms of exercise. The real benefit of online yoga classes with regard to weight loss, is that it puts a person in better touch with their body. It also increases their state of mindfulness. Having this approach to daily life makes it much less likely that a person will over-eat, and that they will be more likely to have respect for their body. It also helps to lower stress levels, and stress is commonly regarded as a trigger for over-eating and weight gain.
How Often Should You Do Yoga?
For most people, it would be best to do your online yoga classes between three and five times each week. That allows for adequate time to recover, and the recovery time is just as important as the sessions themselves. It’s also fine if you should decide to take a whole week off occasionally, because that can bring you back feeling refreshed and raring to go again.
Keep in mind that if you really go hard in your at-home yoga sessions, there will always be a chance that you strain something, and have to take some time off. To avoid that, limit your sessions to between three and five per week, and don’t make them killer sessions.
Bonus for Fun: A Few Advanced Yoga Poses
Some people, after mastering the beginner’s poses, like to challenge themselves with more advanced poses. Don’t try these without achieving a good state of flexibility first, and make sure to warm up before attempting any of these. If you are able to accomplish some of these, you’ll really feel good about yourself, and you’ll be an experienced practitioner of the art of yoga.
- Firefly Pose
- King Pigeon Pose
- Lord of the Dance Pose
- Lotus Pose
- Peacock Pose
- Shoulder-Pressing Pose
- Side-Reclining Leg Lift
- Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose
Yoga Poses for Two
If you have a partner who’s as into yoga as you are, conducting joint sessions can be very rewarding. Not only will you both get a terrific workout, but it will probably add some sparkle to your relationship as well.
When both of you are engaged in the mindful practice of yoga, at the same time that you’re engaged with each other, it can’t help but strengthen the ties between you. Here are some of the most popular yoga poses for partners to engage in:
- Sit ‘n Twist for Two
- Double Tree Pose
- Double Boat Pose
- Double Blank Poses
- Base Test
Find Out If You <3 Online Yoga Classes
Of course there’s only one way you’re ever going to find out if you love online yoga classes, and that’s to just do it. You can talk with friends of course, to see how they feel about it. You can also read online reviews of online yoga classes that can be streamed from websites. But the bottom line is that you’re never going to know exactly how you feel about it, until you get down and dirty. The good news is that some online yoga classes will allow you to participate on a 30-day free trial basis. That can be the ideal arrangement for some people, because it will give them time to go through some of the sessions, and to see if they’re up to snuff with it.
You should not get discouraged if you come away sore and stiff after the first few workouts with online yoga classes. That’s common for just about everyone, because it involves stressing some muscles and joints that just haven’t had much action for a while. What you should really pay attention to is how it makes you feel internally.
Does it bring you peace of mind, and an inner sense of calm? Are you more in touch with your body and with your mental state? This all comes under the category of having greater mindfulness. Being more mindful about yourself and the world around you is a good way to live your life. Online yoga classes can bring that to anyone who makes a serious effort at it – so, give it a try!
You’ll be glad you did.
What did you think about trying Online Yoga Classes for the first time?
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