Wellbeing in the home

Making yoga a part of your routine doesn't have to involve regular trips to a studio – though if you feel more at home in one, several of our developments come with a dedicated space for just that.

Read more below.

 

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We spoke to Emily Grace, from Benjamin Hodson Personal Fitness Ltd to get her top tips to getting started at home.

 

HI EMILY, CAN YOU QUICKLY REMIND US WHY YOGA IS SO GOOD FOR US?

There are just so many health benefits to yoga both physically and mentally.

Physically, a few of the more obvious benefits are strength, flexibility, mobility and balance; protecting us from conditions like arthritis and back pain. Yoga prevents joint breakdown, improves bone health and spinal posture. It increases blood flow, helping circulation and boost immunity. Mentally, it encourages us to find focus, balance and presence in our busy, on-the-go lifestyles. Boosting productivity and lowering stress levels to improve mindset and general wellbeing. 

 

WHAT DO WE NEED TO GET STARTED AT HOME?

Yoga only needs a simple set up, you and your yoga mat. Depending on the style of yoga maybe you would like to include yoga blocks or a cushion for support. 

Find yourself a comfortable space somewhere that isn't too cluttered or loud. A space you find you can unwind and relax in. I like to do my home practice to music as I find music very meditative, but it is personal preference. In my classes and for my own self practice at home I like to set myself goals or an intention before I start. This can be simply to hold a pose for a little bit longer or focus on deepening the breath. 

 

HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD WE INVEST IN YOGA?

Yoga means to yoke, to unite. Giving ourselves time to connect to oneself through movement and breath. Open classes generally range from 45 minutes to over an hour. Yoga is a personal practice and there is no set time to be on your mat, especially with a home practice. You may have to fit it around hectic schedules and if all your can do is 20 minutes that is fine, any time on the mat is better than no time at all. 

 

WHAT WOULD BE THE TOP FIVE YOGA POSES TO PRACTICE AT HOME?

1. Mountain Pose is the base for all standing poses; it gives you a sense of how to ground into your feet and feel the earth below you. 

How to do it: Start standing with your feet together. Press down through all ten toes as you spread them open. Engage your quadriceps to lift your kneecaps and lift up through the inner thighs. Draw your abdominals in and up as you lift your chest and press the tops of the shoulders down. Hold for five to eight breaths. 

2. Downward Facing Dog is used in most yoga practices and yoga classes and it stretches and strengthens the entire body. 

How to do it: Come on to all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck under your toes and lift your hips up off the floor as you draw them up at back towards your heels.

Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight, otherwise try and straighten out your legs while keeping your hips back. 

Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other. Hollow out the abdominals and keep engaging your legs to keep the torso moving back towards the thighs. Hold for five to eight breaths before dropping back to hands and knees to rest.

3. Child's Pose is a good resting pose everyone needs and Child’s pose is an awesome one not just for beginners but for yoga practitioners of all levels.

It’s good to learn child’s pose to use when you’re fatigued in Down Dog, before bed at night to work out the kinks, or anytime you need a mental break and stress/tension relief.

How to do it: Start on all fours then bring your knees and feet together, hips down back to your heels and stretch your arms forward. Lower your forehead to the floor (or block or pillow or blanket) and let your entire body release. Hold for as long as you wish!

4. Seated forward fold is an important pose to incorporate, it's a forward bend in yoga practice to stretch the hamstrings, lower and upper back and sides. Seated forward bend is the perfect fold for everyone to start to open up the body and learn to breathe through uncomfortable positions.

How to do it: Start seated with your legs together, feet firmly flexed and not turning in or out, and your hands by your hips. Lift your chest and start to hinge forward from your waist. Engage your lower abdominals and imagine your belly button moving towards the top of your thighs.

 Stop and breathe for eight to ten breaths. Make sure your shoulders, head and neck are all released.

5. Bridge Pose is a counter pose to a forward bend is a back bend. Bridge is a good beginner’s back bend that stretches the front body and strengthens the back body.

How to do it: Lie down on your back and place your feet hip width apart. Press firmly on to your feet and lift your tailbone up off the mat. Interlace your hands together and press the fists down to the floor as you open up your chest even more.

Imagine dragging your heels on the mat towards your shoulders to engage your hamstrings. Hold for eight to ten breaths then lower your hips down and repeat two more times.

WHAT WOULD BE THE TOP FIVE YOGA POSES TO PRACTICE AT HOME?

Then contact us and we can arrange a one to one or group yoga session with one of Benjamin Hodson’s Yoga Specialists to help set you up for success.