Wherever you are—whether stuck at home or on the road for work—finding healthy routines that promote your overall well-being is essential to feeling balanced in your daily life. These routines don’t necessarily have to take up a ton of time or focus, but having ones you can do anywhere is key to building a consistent practice. Due to the increase in many people needing a quick way to stay fit and decompress without taking time to go to the gym, yoga has become an incredibly popular choice over the last decade.
Yoga itself has been around for centuries. Some people believe that it’s been around for as long as the earth has spun, and while there’s no recorded date determining the first official yoga session, today there is a vast community of practitioners across the entire world. It’s a workout that offers so much variety with exercises that you can master from the comfort of your home. What makes this form of exercise especially great is that the materials are lightweight enough for you to take with you anywhere!
Let’s learn more about what this ancient practice is, a couple of easy poses, and a few apps and instructors to help and inspire you on your yoga journey.
An Introduction to Yoga
The word yoga is derived from ‘Yuj’ in Sanskrit, which translates to the English word ‘unite.’ Looking back through centuries of history, different lore suggests a variety of yoga-like practices, making it clear that through time it has developed across religion and belief systems. The ability to consistently adjust the practice is part of what makes it such a popular method of exercise today.
Yoga’s development and variety of styles make it a practice that anyone can do, regardless of your fitness level. From your basic yoga classes to your oddly funny sessions of goat yoga—which, yes, do include practicing with a live goat—each session offers a different idea. While the basic method of stretching out your muscles is fundamental to every practice, the styles of each class can be very different.
At the end of it all, the main focus behind the practice of yoga is to unite your mind, body, and soul. Some people only do the basics to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while others practice daily and truly find an inner and outer balance in doing so.
2 Easy Poses for Beginners
For those of you considering giving yoga a try but aren’t sure that it’s right for you, turn on some relaxing music and test out these two easy poses. If it seems simple and helps you relax, see how far you can go and try your hand at some more difficult poses.
This may be the easiest pose to start with. Stand with your feet flat to the ground, arms straight down. Next, lift your arms straight to the sky as you inhale. Stretch your muscles and keep your feet flat, legs extended. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then lower your arms back to their original position as you exhale.
Downward Facing Dog
As the most recognizable pose in yoga, it’s surprisingly a lot easier to do than you’d expect. From a kneeling position, extend your palms just beyond your shoulders, placing them flat on the ground. With your feet anchoring you down, (they don’t have to be flat on the ground) push your hips towards the sky. You should end up in an upside-down V-like shape.
Curious for more? Whatever your goal is with yoga, there’s a class for you and you can find them all over the world, as well as from the convenience of your phone.
3 Apps for On the Go Workouts
Find convenience from your phone and from anywhere in the world. These three apps offer some of the most popular classes and allow you to take your workout on the go.
1. The Underbelly
Teacher Jessamyn Stanley guides you through a mental and emotional journey as you learn basic techniques that help relieve stress, encourage listening to your body’s needs, and teach you to focus on your mental health. The Underbelly is the ultimate beginner’s guide to anyone looking to dip their toes in the yoga world. You can download the app for free and subscribe to sessions on a monthly or yearly basis.
2. Down Dog
Though it has now expanded to offer HIIT, running, barre, and meditation classes, Down Dog is one of the original beloved yoga apps. It offers workouts ranging from 7-minute quick sessions to beginner courses, advanced flows, and more. You can choose your level of expertise, select the timeframe you’d like to work out, and even pick from a variety of voices and music to bring harmony to your exercise.
3. Asana Rebel
For more focus on a healthy lifestyle through yoga, sleep, and more, Asana Rebel is the app that does it all. Their motto is simple, “Design your perfect day.” Through the app, you can meditate, search for music that stimulates productivity, get help falling asleep, exercise with hundreds of workout videos, and find your own personal gym that’s open 24/7. This app is pricier compared to others, but it also offers a lot more options than most apps.
Modern Yoga Role Models
Looking for inspiration? Check out these motivational trainers on social media that push out incredible content focused on yoga and other great exercises you can do from anywhere.
@Jenkins has 29 years of experience as a trainer and health coach. On her page, you’ll see daily workouts that are made to be fun while also being kind to yourself. She’s all about pushing yourself to be the best you can be and making you feel great about your progress!
Robin Arzón, aka @Robinnyc, is the VP and head instructor at Peloton. She has reinvented fitness with live, on-demand classes to allow you to get fit from anywhere. Her team is constantly growing, and she continuously pushes her followers to focus on their mental health, not just their physical health. You’ll receive motivation with each post, pushing you to a better self.
Yoga is truly the workout you can take anywhere. Whether you’re a beginner, a pro looking to get back into it, or simply need a new hobby to try during your free time, there’s a class for you. Test the waters and see the incredible difference it can make in your overall health. You won’t regret it, and your fellow yoga lovers will be cheering you on along the journey!