5 poses to supercharge your run: yoga for runners

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You’re running. You feel the wind ripping through your hair, adrenaline pumping through your body, then suddenly: a cramp. Tight hamstrings. Sore feet. Your knees. If running pains deter you from being able to thoroughly enjoy outdoor or indoor jogs, do yoga for runners!

We particularly like the way that Daily Yoga structures their Yoga for Runners sessions by making a distinction between pre and post-run stretches. Their pre-run yoga routine focuses on body balance, muscle strength, and joint flexibility and makes use of simple stretches to condition the body for long-distance runs. Their post-run training restores, elongates, and loosens any tension built up in your muscles. Mobile communities like PumpUp and Daily Yoga provide the guidance and structured routines that a personal trainer would give you, but within the comfort of your home.

Our favorite pre-run yoga moves

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Standing forward fold with hands on hips

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Wide-legged forward bend with hands on hips

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Triangle pose (right and left)

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One legged pigeon pose (right and left)

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Warrior Pose II (right and left)

For more instructions on how to do these poses, check out Daily Yoga‘s Yoga for runners series and share about your routine on PumpUp! How do you warm up and cool down before and after your runs? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Simple Tips For Practicing Yoga At Home

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1. Identify a comfortable space:

Yoga calls for a space that is well lit and properly ventilated. It helps if the setting is serene as maximum benefits from yoga can be reaped when performed in a soothing environment. Add candles to light up your room, in case the room is not sufficiently lit. Ensure that there are no sharp objects or furniture around you, as they could cause injuries when stretching during ‘asanas’ .

2. Plan smart goals:

Identify your goals before you start practicing. Chart out a plan for yourself and make sure that it is specific, measurable, achievable, reliable, and timely. Be reasonable in your expectations and bear in mind that yoga is not meant for achieving physical benefits only.

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3. Practice regularly:

The ideal time to practice yoga is early in the morning before the sun rises or in the evening after the sun sets. Decide on a time that is most suited to you and devote that time in its entirety to yoga every day.

4. Switch off any distractions:

Do not multitask while practicing yoga at home. Those endless chores, phone calls and lure of social networking sites can wait for a more suitable time. Your sole focus while practicing yoga must be on your goals and the asanas that you perform. The slightest carelessness can at times result in grave injuries.

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5. Wear comfortable clothing:

It is very important to wear clothing that is comfortable while you perform yoga. A relaxed track pant with a loose-fitting tee is a great option for many. You can also choose from the numerous attires that are available in the market these days. The key is to opt for designs that let you breathe and for materials that absorb sweat along the way.

6. Practice yoga on an empty stomach:

Yoga at home can be practiced at a time of your convenience. However, never practice yoga as soon as you consume a meal. It is ideal to wait for at least a couple of hours after breakfast/lunch or for four hours after dinner before you start your practice session.

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7. Always warm up at the beginning:

As with other forms of fitness, it is mandatory that you indulge in some form of warm up exercises before you get into the more intricate yoga asanas. Warming up  aids in tuning the body for the rigors ahead,  thus protecting it from any untoward injuries.

8. Go slow:

Yoga is meant to nourish your body and soul and to help you lead a calmer and more fulfilling life. Respect your body and give it sufficient time to adjust to the practice. Practicing yoga even for a few minutes every day stretches your body in new ways and therefore it is crucial not to rush through the asanas in a bid to finish early. Listen to your body and increase the time and repetition of each asana accordingly. Doing so is sure to keep injuries at bay.

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9. Breathe right:

It is essential to breathe right when practicing the asanas. Hold your breath only when it is specified. Shortness of breath is your body’s way of asking you to slow down. This is the most important tip in yoga for beginners at home.

10. Always cool down at the end:

Just like warming up is essential to awaken your muscles at the start of a session, cooling down is equally crucial to calm down the rejuvenated muscles at the end of the session. Always wrap up your yoga session with Savasana. This asana is designed to help the body unwind and to restore your breathing and augmented blood circulation back to normalcy.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with the ‘new you’. Follow the above mentioned guidelines, start your yoga practice at home slowly, continue steadily and rediscover your body and soul.

Daily Yoga: Fitness-On-The-Go

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Do you want to be healthy? There is no need to expend lot of money to buy the utilities or go to fitness center. Instead of doing that thing, you can use your Android phone and install the application that will make your body more healthy without using anything inside your wallet. The application is called Daily Yoga.

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Daily Yoga will give you more than 50 mode of yoga training, more than 400 yoga poses, HD videos, sound, song, community, and much more directly from your Android. Do you want to vanishing your fat or even vanishing stress too? Of course this application can do such thing like that.

Beside of that, you can also choose yoga mode that you want to be follow like beginner, fitness, reduce weight, and many more. Other benefit that you can get from this great application is you can choose how long the exercise will be going. So what are waiting for? Go get Daily Yoga for free and make your body more healthy.

Source: jalantikus.com

Yoga Helps You Defeat Anxiety

Anxiety has taken many peaceful mornings from me. It has taken afternoons, nights and entire days too.

With it comes shaky and sweaty hands, racing thoughts, shallow breathing, and a sense of helplessness. Most of my life I thought that there was no alternative. I spent years trying to find a way to manage my anxiety. I found things that helped a little, but nothing truly took me to a new way of being until I found yoga. It wasn’t immediate. I didn’t walk onto the mat and change forever. But through yoga and my dedication to it, my life is no longer ruled by anxiety.

So, what exactly is it about yoga that helps anxiety?

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1. Pranayama (Breathing):

The simple act of mindful breathing can help reduce anxiety. When you focus on the breath, your mind has a chance to rest and let go of negative thoughts. Yogic breath is also good for the body. Deep breathing increases oxygen levels in the blood supply, which helps remove toxins from the body. It also increases lung capacity and helps improve digestion. Here are some tips for finding your yogic breath.

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2. Asanas (Yoga Poses) and Their Rewarding Challenge:

The practice of asanas (poses) is good for both mind and body. Physically, asanas help release the tension that anxiety creates, allowing the body to feel recharged and healthier. When the body feels better, so does the mind. The challenges you face on the mat reduce anxiety by taking your mind off your worries and fears.

Asanas also teach the student to be patient and let go of things. Just like finding (and re-finding) your balance and mastering a pose, acceptance takes time and patience. Perfection is not only unnecessary, but usually unrealistic. Each time I lose my balance and fall out of a pose I am forced to face my imperfection and accept it. At first, I got frustrated when I fell out of a pose.

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3. Meditation:

Meditation is challenging, yes, but not impossible. The ability to clear one’s mind of all thoughts is a skill that takes time. It is a path, not a goal. Meditation starts by simply taking the time to focus on your breath. Meditation gives your mind a chance to slow down and teaches your body to relax.  In addition, with a regular meditation practice, you will begin to notice patterns in your thinking. The things that trigger anxiety, panic, and fear will become apparent to you. Once this happens, you can learn to change the patterns by recognizing your triggers.

Just step onto your mat… the practice will take care of itself. Through the simple steps of conscious breathing, regular asana practice, and meditation, anxiety is a thing that can be controlled, reduced, and ultimately overcome one breath, one pose, one day at a time. Take hold of your practice. Take hold of your life!

9 Yoga Poses For a Perky Booty

Looking to get a more perky booty? Yoga can quickly lead you to the booty you’ve always wanted. Without further ado, here’s a complete guide to a yoga booty!

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Forget the traditional squats, lunges, and gym equipment. Practicing these yoga poses will shape, round, and lift the booty to where you won’t even need the yoga pants to enhance its appearance! (Just kidding, keep wearing pants after this workout).
There are 3 primary muscles to target when working on shaping the booty: the (gluteus) maximus, medius, and minimus. We will walk through 9 poses to maximize muscle use and stimulate growth in each area. Repeat each move for 5 breaths.

Let’s shape that assana!

Target: Gluteus Maximus
The maximus is the primary gluteal muscle. Extending the thigh backward into any hip extension will activate the maximus. Poses that will strengthen the gluteus maximus are Crescent Lunge, Warrior 3, and Standing Splits.

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Here’s how to do it:
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana) works the gluteus maximus. Find your edge by dipping the knee to the mat on your exhales, coming up to full Crescent Lunge through your inhale. After 5 breaths in a moving or steady Crescent, lift the back foot off the mat and reach strong through the arms to fly into Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana 3), also called Airplane pose. Hold the arms, mid-section, and top leg parallel to the mat for 5 breaths. Close in on the maximus burn by kicking the leg even higher into the sky to Standing Splits. Try to keep the front pelvis parallel to the floor by internally rotating the left thigh. Work on walking the hands towards the standing foot.

Target: Gluteus Medius
The medius is situated on the outer surface of the pelvis and works to abduct (pull the thigh away from the midline). Working the medius will tone the upper hips and create a strong and well-rounded side booty. Work the medius by practicing Half-Moon (Ardha Chandrasana), Goddess pose (Utkata Konasana) and Reverse Plank.

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Here’s how to do it:
Find Half-Moon pose from Warrior 3 (Airplane pose) by reaching one arm downward and the other skyward, stacking one shoulder on the top of the other as you work to stack your lifted leg’s hip on top of the standing leg’s hip. Extend through the upper heel and hold for 5 breaths.

To prepare for Goddess, step back from Half-Moon to a wide stance with your feet parallel to the long side of your mat. Point the toes outward at a 45-degree angle and sink the hips to knee-level. Draw your tailbone down and keep the core stable. For an added challenge, bring the heels up to hold Goddess on the balls of your feet, working the calf muscles.

Reverse Plank produces high levels of gluteus medius activation. Sit in Staff pose (Dandasana) with your hands 6-8 inches behind you and your fingertips pointed toward your hips. As you inhale, lift your hips and straighten your arms. Tighten the core, squeeze the glutes, and hold for 5 breaths. Lower down slowly with control.

Target: Gluteus Minimus
The minimus is the part of the booty that is responsible for “THE LIFT”. Practicing Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Bow pose (Dhanurasana), and Locust pose (Salabhasana) will target this portion of the glutes.

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Here’s how to do it:
Beginning with Bridge pose, begin by lying on your back with knees bent and heels close to the hips. Press firmly through the feet to lift the hips upward. Keep the knees directly above the ankles. For an added burn, bring one leg up to the sky and hold for 5 breaths on each side. Lower down slowly and give yourself a pat on the butt.

Flip onto your stomach and bring your heels close to your yoga booty. Reach back with the hands and grab the ankles, keeping the knees parallel. Gently pull on the ankles, open up the chest and broaden the collarbones, kick into your hands to bring the fronts of your thighs off the mat. Breathe deeply through the core for 5 breaths. Lower down, bringing your hands to each side of your body and chin to the mat to prepare for Locust. Using the strength of your entire back body, lift the head, arms, and legs as high as you can. Breathe deeply for 5 breaths and then slowly lower.

To maximize the effects, we recommend performing each pose consecutively for a high-intensity burn. It is the cumulative effect of performing the whole series that will give you the results you’re looking for, so give it your all and go all out! You have nothing to loose, and a yoga booty to gain!!

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7 Yoga Books for Yogis

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Anyone with a passion can DIVE IN DEEP and educate yourself on what YOU LOVE . Our brains are immensely powerful and can handle all the information we want to feed it, we just need to start the journey!

Below are 7 Books for Yogis – anyone can read these and benefit from the amazing information provided. Highly recommend these books for anyone looking to deepen their practice. Some of these read very easily like a sweet song, while are harder to digest. Whatever the end goal, reading anything is a break from our typical online browsing… SO GET COZY, light a candle, make a cup of tea, and bury yourself in these beautiful novels.

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1. Light on Yoga

Written by the man who is credited with introducing yoga to the West, Light on Yoga illustrates and meticulously explains 200 postures with over 600 photos. HOLY WOW! There is no shortage of knowledge here. BKS Iyengar models each pose and provides detailed instruction on how to perform and teach the posture. His style of yoga emphasizes proper alignment, making Light on Yoga – “The Rule Book for Asanas”.

2. Light on Life

This book is absolutely stunning and one of my favorites to recommend. The title itself is enough to make a yogi swoon – Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. BKS Iyengar recounts his past 70 years of practicing, teaching, and spreading the art of yoga. The context will take the reader deep into his thoughts providing AHA! moments with every page turned. Make sure those reading tools are close by for this one!

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3. Meditations from the Mat

Like the title states, this book offers daily reflections on the practice by outlining the eight limbs of yoga. The writings are simple, relatable, easy to digest, and lighthearted. This is a great book to read first thing in the morning, at night when winding down, or whenever you need some feel good yumminess. It is also perfect for anyone interested in learning the principles behind the yoga practice. **I gifted my mom one for the holidays, she absolutely loves it!

4. The Bhagavad Gita

Referred to as the Gita, this is a 700 verse Hindu scripture. The entire book is a conversation between a prince (Arjuna) and his guide (Krishna). The reading’s purpose is to reveal our life purpose, our dharma, and a framework by which we should live. It is a beautiful, short read that can be repeated time and time again, each time revealing a new concept. *Fun Fact – Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by this book during his fight for independence. It is said that the Gita never left his side, acting as a “spiritual dictionary”.

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5. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Sutras can be thought of as the bible of yoga or the framework from which the practice is built upon. The author, Patanjali, is a revered sage who compiled ancient Indian traditions to create the Yoga Sutras. The book is comprised of four chapters, two focusing on the eight limbs of yoga (Ashtanga) and the other two on action yoga (kriya yoga). Personally, I haven’t read the book yet. If looking to seriously learn where yoga comes from, bury your head here and have those reading tools handy!

6. Nourishing the Teacher

This book was recommended by my YTT program as a vehicle for teaching. It is comprised of five chapters or theme based inquiries: The Gifts of Embodiment, The Wisdom of Yoga, The Hindu Gods & Goddesses, The Alchemy of Nature, and The Wheel of the Year. Each theme concept provides readers with posture ideas, on & off the mat inquiries, inspirational phrases to use, breathing techniques, and a closing class ritual.

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7. The Body Book

Written by Cameron Diaz, this is a phenomenal book for anyone interested in how the body works. While it doesn’t directly relate to yoga, it does contribute to upholding a healthy lifestyle which is extremely important as a yoga practitioner. The book is divided into three parts: Nutrition, Fitness, and Mind. Each portion provides extensive facts, helpful tips, medical opinions, and lighthearted advice from Cameron’s personal journey.

9 Tips to Protect Your Wrists During Yoga Practice

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The alignment often taught in plank requires the (fore)arms to be at 90 degrees with the palms. Furthermore, in chatturanga, the shoulders move over the wrists, further compressing the angle of the (fore)arm to palm to less than a right angle.  This alignment may be too aggressive for some bodies who might feel strain or, even worse, pinching in the wrists when attempting it.

The bad news is that wrists lose flexibility over time, so you should be kind with yourself whenever returning to your mat. The good news is that you can regain some of that flexibility if you practice with awareness toward yourself and follow these easy tips that will protect the wrists, while still promoting opening in areas where there is space available.

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1) Practice your planks, chatturangas and arm balances on a hard surface. Soft yoga mats or fluffy carpets are a no-no, because they let the heels of your wrists sink, decreasing the angle between your forearm and the palm.

2) Plant the entire palm on the mat, then extend the fingers and plant them on the mat.Bent fingers aggravate the wrist! Shift the weight evenly into all of the joints of the palm, moving the concentrated weight away from the heel of your palm.

3) Do rounds of “wrist lifts.” From table top, lift the heel of the palm then lower it. Repeat 15-20 times or until you feel the forearm muscles get tired. Keeping the muscle memory of the wrist lifts still fresh in your mind, try plank or downward facing dog and feel the lightness in your wrists.

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4) Elevate the heel of your wrists by placing your palms on a folded hand towel, purposely increasing the angle between your forearms and the palm. The fingers and the finger mounds stay off the towel, sloping downward.

5) Shift the palms forward of the shoulders in plank to release the wrists. Note that this is not an option for crow or other arm balances because you don’t have your feet on the ground for balance.

6) Modification: bend your elbows during plank to help move the strain away from the wrist area. Elbows must bend backward (toward the toes) and not laterally.

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7) Don’t be scared to bend your knees and lower them to the floor! This is another way to move the weight out of the wrists and into the legs.

8) Try planting your fists instead of palms on your mat. This modification takes the weight completely out of the wrists and helps strengthen it.

9) Use blocks under your palms. The elevation under your palms moves some of your weight into the legs, alleviating the stress on the wrists. You may either keep the palms flat on the block or fold the fingers down, bringing them parallel to the earth.

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Your ideal alignment should be free of pain and it should follow a level of challenge that is appropriate for you. Happy planking!

For Guys – 5 Simple Yoga Poses to Get You Started

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Here’s a compilation of 5 key yoga poses for men to jump start your practice. Let’s face it. Guys are built differently than gals. While yoga is accessible to men and women equally, there are certain poses that prove more difficult for the male anatomy. You’re either born with strength or flexibility; but not both. The good news is that yoga has the ability to both strengthen and increase flexibility. These 5 simple yoga poses will prepare your body for a satisfying and fulfilling yoga practice.

1. Upward Facing Dog

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Men are naturally built with a lot of upper body strength. This translates to tight chest and shoulder muscles that make certain poses more challenging (like those Chaturanga push-ups your yoga teacher loves so much). Up-Dog will give your chest and shoulders an effective, deep stretch.

2. Downward Facing Dog

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From the top down, Down Dog has some awesome benefits. While your head hangs heavy, it’s helping to release tension from the neck. As your heels reach towards the mat, your hamstrings and Achilles tendons are deeply stretched. This pose will prepare you for other poses that require flexibility.

3. Prayer Twist

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Twists are incredibly good for the spine. A lot of guys will work out hard at the gym, but not follow up with adequate stretching. The spine needs to be stretched as well, especially after weight-bearing exercises. Twists decompress the spine and help to re-hydrate the spinal column keeping discs hydrated and preventing deterioration.

4. Pigeon Pose

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Pigeon Pose is a hip opener. Men typically have less flexibility in the hip flexors, and this tightness over time can lead to a decrease in range of motion. Fascia is a fibrous tissue that coats muscles in the body. Think of it as saran wrap that gets tighter over time. The way to loosen this fascia is by deep stretching. Holding pigeon pose for several breaths will help to loosen the hip joint and gain flexibility over time.

5. Tree Pose

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Balance is another aspect of yoga that men often need help with. Start simple with Tree Pose. This requires balancing on one leg. Start by bringing your right foot to rest on the inside of your left ankle. Bring your hands to heart center and balance there for five breaths. Repeat on the opposite side. Next time, bring your right foot to rest on your left calve, and then work to bring it all the way up to your inner thigh. This will build focus, balance, and confidence.

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Incorporating these 5 poses into your yoga routine will make you flexible and balancing with the best of them in no time. Enjoy.

10 Things Your Yoga Instructor Wants You to Know

You see them smiling at you as they walk around the room or demonstrate poses, but do you ever wonder what your yoga teachers are thinking? Here are some things yoga instructors want newbies to know about their classes.

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1. They’re not checking you out to see how flexible you are (or aren’t): If your teacher is looking at you, it’s not to judge whether or not you can straighten your legs in Down Dog (so don’t quickly press your heels to the floor if you catch a glimpse your way!). He or she wants to make sure you’re doing a pose safely and comfortably.

2. They don’t like when you push yourself too hard: You’re always encouraged to try new poses, but not if it means struggling in pain. When working on backbends, trust that you know whether it’s better for you to do a beginner version like Cobra versus an advanced version like Scorpion.

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3. They wish you’d ask questions or for assistance: Yoga classes tend to be pretty quiet with only the instructor’s voice heard, but if you have a question, please ask! Chances are the other students are wondering the same thing. Also, don’t be shy about asking for help — they’d much rather stand next to you and help you lift into headstand than to hear you crash to the floor after trying it on your own.

4. They don’t care if you pass gas: Yoga instructors are human too, and they of all people know that certain poses can make tooting happen. Why? Because it’s probably happened to them! I know it’s a little embarrassing, but if you accidentally have a loud outburst from your tush, just pretend like it didn’t happen.

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5. They aren’t grossed out by your sweat: If an instructor likes to give assists in poses, no need to apologize for your slippery sweatiness. They’re used to touching clothes and bodies drenched in perspiration, and if it bothered them, well then they wouldn’t be yoga instructors.

6. They want you to speak up if an assist hurts or makes you uncomfortable: You have every right to tell the instructor to press more softly or to back off entirely. It’s your body and you know your limits; without your input, a teacher won’t know what you like and what adjustment is about to pull your hamstring.

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7. They wish you didn’t come to class to “sweat out your sick”: If you’re congested with a cold, a little exercise can do you some good. Heat can help loosen mucus, and moving the body relieves body aches. But you want to be careful not to pass along your germs to others, so sweating out your sickness in a packed yoga class with your snotty tissues collecting around your mat is not the best idea. Feeling under the weather is the perfect time to do a home practice, and you can hit the studio once you’re feeling better.

8. They love when you bring your own yoga mat to class: Borrowing a studio mat for your first five or so classes is welcomed, but after that, it’s time to buy your own yoga mat. Using a mat that only you sweat on helps prevent the spread of germs, which we all appreciate, and purchasing your very own mat also shows a deeper devotion than someone who pops into class every once in a while.

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9. They want you to practice at least twice a week: A Sunday afternoon yoga class will offer amazing benefits, but if you really want to improve your practice, you should include another class or two that week. If it’s impossible to get to the studio that many times because of time or money, unroll your yoga mat and do a practice at home, even if it’s for only 20 minutes.

10. They like when you get to class a little early and prefer you stay until class is over: We all have tight schedules and obligations to work and family, so the occasional late entry to class or early skip-out is OK, just don’t make it a habit. Show yourself, your fellow students, and your teacher respect by being physically present for the entire class.

5 Partner Yoga Asanas You Should Try

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Do you hardly get to spend quality time with your spouse? It is no surprise that most of us are running against time. Between hectic schedules and various other commitments, we do not get any quality time to connect on a deeper level. With so much stress being put on health and fitness, the only way that you can get the best of both worlds is partner yoga, or couple yoga. This form of yoga combines the traditional yoga practices into the realm of relationship, allowing you and your spouse to connect on a deeper physical and emotional level. It keeps the chemistry alive in your relationship while also awakening the senses!

1. Boat Pose:

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· Sit facing your partner

· Ensure that a gap of 3 feet is maintained between the two of you.

· Now hold each other’s hand.

· Raise your legs as high as you can and balance for a few minutes before returning to your normal sitting position.

· This pose helps in stretching and strengthening your arms, legs,  abdomen and shoulders.

2. Forward Bend:

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· Start by sitting cross legged in a back to back position

· Reach back and link elbows with your partner.

· Exhale as you lean forward, entering into a forward bend and pulling your partner into a gentle back bend.

· This is an easy technique to master.

3. Bow Pose:

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· Ask your husband to lie flat on his back on the floor mat.

· Ask him to bend his knees while you take position and sit on his soles holding his ankles for support.

· Now your husband must raise his legs up in the air so that his hips are in a straight line with his ankles.

·This pose helps you, sitting on the top, to stretch your torso, and shoulders, while your husband below exercises his lower back as well as legs.

4. Face to Face Twist:

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· This partner yoga pose is performed sitting face to face, as the name suggests, with knees touching each other.

· Place your right arm behind your back with your forearm parallel to the floor.

· Now reach for your left hand and grasp your partner’s right hand.

· Be mindful of your right shoulder while doing this as you pull the left hand of your partner into a twist.

· This posture massages your abdominal organs and improves blood circulation.

5. Child’s Pose:

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This posture helps you re-explore the childlike innocence and calm. It restores peace in the body and relieves muscle tension.

· Ask your partner to lie on your back so that both your spines are aligned and touching.

· Now ask your partner to extend their arms upwards or out to the sides, with legs extended downwards.

· This engages your abs and strengthens your partner’s spine!