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Benefits of Going Back to the Basics of Yoga

A basics yoga class is the perfect place to learn about the foundations of yoga—posture, alignment, breathing, and flow sequence. No matter your level of experience, you can learn something new. Let’s look at some of the benefits of going back to the basics.

Anyone Can Benefit

Of course, if you’re new to yoga, a basics class is a great place to start. But what if you’ve been practicing for years? You may be rolling your eyes at the thought of taking things back to the basics.

If that sounds like you, have you ever had questions about your alignment but never asked those questions because you’re supposed to be “experienced”? A basics yoga class is the perfect place to refine your alignment and cover the foundations of yoga you may have missed the first time around. For example, did you know that you should tuck your tailbone and pull your belly button in slightly for proper alignment in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)?

A basics yoga class creates lifelong learners out of everyone. Sometimes the best way to learn and grow is to review the simple stuff. You’ll sharpen your poses and gain confidence in being able to see just how far you’ve come since you dedicated time to your practice.

Learn More

Our Western culture has taught us that we always need to strive for more, drive ourselves harder, and make our successes greater. In contrast, yoga philosophy, which is steeped in Eastern culture, teaches us to slow down and reflect. A basics yoga class can remind many of us to find stillness.

In this stillness, we can learn more about ourselves. We can turn inwards and connect with our thoughts and passions.

During this time of slowly revisiting the basics, you can also learn more about the different yoga poses. Instead of focusing on how to do the poses correctly, you’ll be able to practice with awareness. You’ll learn to listen to your body. How does a particular pose make you feel? Can you go deeper, or do you need to relax into the pose, using props to offer your body the support it needs? Practicing the intricacies of each movement can allow you to have breakthroughs in your yoga journey.

Recover from Injury

If you’ve suffered an injury from your yoga practice or anything else in your life, going back to the basics of yoga can help you recover. With so many modifications, there’s something for everyone. Whether you suffer from bad knees, a sore back, or a weak shoulder, a basics class can help you slowly improve your mobility and flexibility.

Growing with the Basics

There are several benefits to participating in a basics yoga class, whether you’re pretty green or you’ve been in the game for a while. At Health Yoga Life, we believe in the power of the simplistic. We now offer a basics yoga class every Tuesday from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM with Stephen Allison. In this class, you’ll receive instructions on yoga pose modifications so you can get the practice you need, no matter your level of experience. Get inspiration from one of your favorite yoga teachers and grow in your practice with a basics class.

Why Corporate Wellness Programs are Effective

Should your company offer a wellness program for your employees? You may be noticing a shift in your employees’ priorities. Nowadays, they view work as more than just a paycheck—it’s an opportunity to connect with others, find themselves, and grow as a person. With this shift comes a desire to receive more from their company than a simple paycheck. To keep your employees loyal to your company, you may need to offer a host of benefits. This includes flexible schedules, free lunches, and wellness programs.

At Health Yoga Life, we believe offering a wellness program to your employees is a great way to invest in their health and future. With nearly 50% of health-related issues being lifestyle-related, businesses recognize the need to offer preventative wellness programs. These programs are worth the investment. Let’s look at why corporate wellness programs are effective.

The Benefits of Corporate Wellness Programs

The biggest question you may have about wellness programs is, “Are they really beneficial to the employee and the company as a whole?” Yes! Corporate wellness programs enable employees to be healthier—and healthy employees are more productive and more engaged in their work. Plus, employees are more satisfied with their current jobs. They are less likely to seek employment elsewhere if they actually participate in the program, as evidenced by a survey by Aflac.

Employees have already faced a rise in stress levels because of an ever-demanding, time-pressed work environment. However, since the pandemic, they’ve experienced even more stress. They had to learn to navigate a new way of life and have been worrying about the health of their loved ones and the state of their job. Because of this, many companies (around 81% of large companies) have turned to wellness programs to mitigate rising costs. Also, to prevent and manage any health conditions their employees may face from this increased stress.

Workplace wellness programs are effective when the company recognizes that their company’s success stems from the individual’s success. For a company to be healthy and thriving, each employee needs to be healthy. Companies can support their employees’ wellness journeys by making it easier for them to achieve their goals. This includes providing healthy options in the cafeteria, an office gym, regular yoga sessions, and pet-friendly environments.

Additionally, corporate wellness programs are beneficial for everyone involved when they integrate principles beyond physical health. Research has shown that costs aren’t reduced and overall health isn’t improved unless wellness programs focus on more than just physical health. Employees thrive when they are offered programs that focus on the five elements of wellbeing. These elements are physical, social, community, financial, and career.

The Effects of Corporate Yoga Programs

If your company is ready to invest in a corporate wellness program, you should consider integrating corporate yoga classes. Yoga targets not only physical health but also emotional and social health. It improves flexibility, posture, and strength while calming the mind, relieving stress, improving focus, and connecting people with their coworkers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, employers lose around $70 billion a year because of employee absences and low productivity from mental distress. Corporate yoga is worth considering because of its mental health and social benefits.

For a corporate yoga program to be effective, you need to communicate with your employees that yoga is for everyone, no matter their level of experience. Employees don’t have to be athletic, flexible, or “fit” to participate in yoga. Yoga teachers are great at working with new beginners. They know how to adapt the practice so everyone can benefit.

Corporate Yoga Wellness Programs for Employees

Workplace wellness programs are a must for supporting the wellbeing of today’s employees. A program that includes yoga classes is especially effective. It improves physical health while heightening employees’ focus and releasing stress. Yoga is a low-cost, preventative healthcare measure that can be implemented in any corporate office. It offers flexibility because sessions can be held at any time, any day of the week. Research has shown that even one session a week is beneficial to employees’ productivity.

We offer online corporate yoga programs that provide additional perks. You can expect wellness seminars that teach employees ways to live healthy—at work and home. Boost employee morale, focus, and productivity with Health Yoga Life Corporate Wellness Program.

Namaste: Support for India

The world has been hit hard with the outbreak of COVID-19. In places like the U.S. and the U.K., vaccinations are rolling out, and people are celebrating being able to go back to a more normal way of life. However, the pandemic is far from over, especially in countries with fewer resources.

We want to take today to discuss a heavy subject. Our beloved friends in India are facing a COVID-19 crisis. India is at the heart of yoga’s traditions, principles, and practices, and it needs our support.  We want to update you on COVID-19’s effect in India and provide some ways you can help.

COVID-19’s Impact on India

In February, India began to see a decrease in COVID-19 cases, much like the United States and the United Kingdom. However, a new variant has emerged, and India is currently facing the world’s worst outbreak. Two days ago, it broke the record for the highest single-day reported cases worldwide with more than 400,000 new infections.

This second wave of COVID-19 has left families grieving as cremation grounds burn thousands of bodies daily. More young people are being affected by this new outbreak, including children and babies. Hospitals are overwhelmed and have to turn individuals away because they don’t have enough medical supplies or space. India needs support from multiple countries. The U.S. has sent oxygen concentrators, and the U.K., Italy, Germany, and Russia have sent other medical equipment, but it’s not enough.

India’s immediate need is support in saving the lives of sick people, but vaccinating the country remains a crucial next step. Unfortunately, even though it’s one of the most prominent vaccine producers, India doesn’t have enough doses. If this new wave isn’t contained, the outbreak could spread to neighboring countries that do not have enough resources to fight the virus.

As a nation, it is our responsibility to help our friends. India has given so much to the world, including its philosophy and wisdom. We need to help India during these difficult times.

Namaste

Namaste is a Sanskrit word that translates to “I bow to you.” Perhaps you’ve observed your yoga instructors bowing and saying, “Namaste,” at the end of class. This gesture is an acknowledgment of one soul to another, and is a form of showing respect.

Namaste is grounded in the belief that we’re all connected when we live from the heart. When you bow to someone else, you’re surrendering your mind and freeing yourself from a self-centered focus.

Today, we’re saying “Namaste” to our friends in India. Our hearts are heavy with the sorrow you’re feeling. We see you. We hear you. We’re here for you.

How to Help India

Below you’ll find a few ways you can help India. Before you donate money to an organization, please check to see that they’re legitimate and that they align with your vision of charitable giving.

  • UNICEF USA: Donate to this organization and help them send medical supplies, such as oxygen concentrators and PPE kits.
  • Hope Foundation: Support Kolkata by donating to Hope Foundation. This non-profit is aiming to help government hospitals meet the needs of patients and medical staff arising from the second wave of the pandemic. You can choose what your money goes towards—meals, oxygen, or PPE for staff.
  • Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust: Donations to these organizations are used to put together and deliver ration kits to families in Mumbai.
  • For more organizations to support, check out these lists from The New York Times and The Washington Post.

10 Reasons It’s Time for Yoga Teacher Training

Have you been thinking about participating in yoga teacher training? If you’ve thought about it but hesitated to sign up, you’re not alone. Many yogis wonder if teacher training is truly for them and if they are even ready for it. We believe that you are ready, and we’ve highlighted 10 reasons why it’s time for yoga teacher training.

You’re Passionate

Yoga is a significant part of your life. You get excited any time you have the opportunity to share how it transformed your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. You frequently suggest yoga to your friends and believe in the healing power of yoga.

Perhaps, instead of going to happy hour or going on a vacation, you’ve attended a yoga class or spent the weekend in nature at a yoga retreat. If yoga makes you happy and gets you excited about a new day, then you’re ready for yoga teacher training.

You’re Asking, “Am I Ready for Yoga Teacher Training?”

The fact that you’re reading this blog post right now suggests that taking part in teacher training is already on your mind. Are you searching for a sign that you’re ready for YTT? The fact that you’re looking for a sign suggests that something inside yourself is saying that it is the right time. We seek what is seeking us.

The Word “Commitment” Doesn’t Scare You

You have no problem committing to things you’re passionate about. It doesn’t matter how hard that thing is—if it benefits you, your loved ones, or your community, you’ll stick to it. You’ll know it’s the right time for you to do yoga teacher training if the 200 hours of learning and practicing don’t sound impossible. You’re ready to give your all to something you’re passionate about—yourself, your practice, and your future students.

You Love Learning

You consider yourself a lifelong student—not just in yoga but in every area of life. You’re curious about lots of things and believe in the power of knowledge. If you’re ready to learn more about yoga, then it’s the right time to participate in yoga teacher training.

You’re Up for a Challenge

You don’t shy away from commitments that will challenge and strengthen you. You believe in the power of stepping out of your comfort zone—both emotionally and physically—from time to time. If this sounds like you, we think you’re ready for the challenge of YTT.

You Want to Immerse Yourself in Yoga

You can never get enough of yoga. Classes always end too quickly. You count down the minutes until you can step onto the mat again. For you, yoga is more than an exercise routine; it’s a lifestyle. It influences your meditation, diet, beliefs, and so much more.

During the 200 hours of yoga teacher training, you’ll completely immerse yourself in yoga. You’ll eat, breathe, and sleep yoga—okay, maybe not. But it will definitely help you commit to your practice every single day. With teacher training, you’ll grow in your asana and meditation practices, you’ll study ancient wisdom, and you’ll be surrounded by yogis just as passionate as you.

You’re Curious about the “Why” Behind Asanas

You want to take your practice beyond just the physical experience. You’re ready to know the philosophy and principles behind each asana. During training, you’ll be learning from experienced teachers who have a wealth of knowledge that they’d like to share with you. Every single day, you’ll be able to learn something new and feel a deeper connection to your favorite (and maybe not so favorite) asanas.

You Want to Change Your Life

Perhaps you’re feeling stagnant in your life, and you’re seeking something that can jumpstart a new passion. Yoga teacher training can provide the transformation you’re looking for.

No matter your end goal for participating in training (whether you plan on becoming a yoga instructor or whether you simply want to deepen your personal practice), you’ll have a life-changing experience in YTT. You’ll have time to reflect on what you truly want in life and will have a safe space to explore your beliefs and passions.

You’re Searching for a New Tribe of Like-Minded People

After a lonely year like 2020, you may be looking for a way to form new friendships. If you want to be a part of a community that shares your values, then it’s time for yoga teacher training. What better way to make new friends than through YTT?

When you participate in teacher training, you’re embarking on a journey with people who share similar passions and goals. You’ll struggle together. You’ll support each other. And you’ll inspire each other. At the end of the course, you’ll have formed inseparable bonds with like-minded people.

You Want to Positively Impact the World

If you want to go beyond just changing yourself and want to transform the world, then you’re ready for YTT. The best way to have an impact on your local communities and the world as a whole is by focusing on changing yourself. When you learn how to be grounded and centered and learn how to be your true authentic self, your light will shine on others and create a chain reaction of good.

You’re Ready for Yoga Teacher Training

So, how do you know when it’s time for yoga teacher training? Look for the signs we mentioned above. If any of them describe you, you’re ready to sign up for YTT.

While this course is intended to equip you with the knowledge and confidence you need to share yoga with others, you don’t have to be interested in teaching to take part. You can still benefit from YTT because it’ll teach you more about yourself, deepen your practice, and supply you with confidence to conquer anything life throws your way.

Don’t hesitate any longer! Transform your life, bond with like-minded yogis, and increase your knowledge of yoga in the Health Yoga Life Yoga Teacher Training.

Twisting Yoga Poses for Pretzel Day

It’s time to get twisted! National Pretzel Day is April 26. And you know what that means? Nope, we’re not suggesting grabbing the salty snacks (though we won’t discourage it either!). It’s time to pull out all our favorite twisted yoga poses for Pretzel Day. You won’t even have to wait in line like they did on Pretzel Day on The Office!

Revolved Chair Pose

Start Pretzel Day off right with a revolved chair pose. Hold this pose for five full breaths, then switch to the other side and repeat. This twisted yoga pose targets your glutes, quads, and calves. It’s also a great chest opener!

Bound Crescent Lunge Twist

From the prayer twist, step back with your right foot into a high lunge so that you’re ready for a bound crescent lunge twist, which strengthens and stretches your spine and upper body. Place your hands in a prayer position in front of your heart and twist your torso to the left. Once you have your balance, reach your left arm behind your back, then hook your right arm around your left thigh (your upper arm should touch the outside of your left leg). Clasp your hands together behind your back. Hold this twisted pose for five seconds, then untwist and step to the front of your mat. Repeat this pose on your left.

Eagle

Next, step back up to the top of your mat for eagle. Wrap your right elbow under your left, then clasp your hands. Bend gently in the knees and wrap your left leg behind the right. Slowly sink a little lower into the pose. Hold for five deep breaths. Untwist, then repeat on your left side. This pose will be perfect for improving your concentration on Pretzel Day!

Side Crane Pose

If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while now and have built up the strength, you may be able to do the side crane pose. Please only attempt this pose if you have good balance and don’t have wrist or lower back problems. For more information on this pose (including how to do it), check out this article on Yoga Journal.

Seated Twist Pose

Finish off your Pretzel Day practice with a seated twist pose—it promotes proper digestion, which we think is the perfect way to end Pretzel Day. Sit on the floor with your feet in front of you. Then, slide your left foot under your right leg, resting your foot on the outside of your right hip. Let your left knee rest on the floor. Step your right foot over your left leg, keeping your right knee pointed toward the ceiling. On an exhale, twist to the right and hook your left elbow on your right knee. Place your right hand on the floor behind you. Hold this pose for five breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Pretzel Day Yoga Flow

Follow this Pretzel Day yoga flow and become a human pretzel. Grab the kids and get into fun twisted shapes in honor of the salty, doughy snacks. If you enjoy these poses, check out our classes at Healthy Yoga Life for even more yoga flows. Happy Pretzel Day!

Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day occurs on April 22 to remind us to care for this fantastic, beautiful place so that it will be around for generations after us. Did you know that connecting to the Earth can be very beneficial to your wellbeing? Take this Earth Day to not only care for the environment but to also tend to your root chakra. The root chakra connects us with our Earth element and helps us feel grounded. This year, celebrate Earth Day by caring for your roots with meditation and grounding practices.

What is Your Root Chakra?

There are focal points in your physical body called Chakras. Energy flows through your chakras and maintains wellbeing in your physical body and in your mental and spiritual states. There are seven main chakras stretching from the base of your spinal cord to the top of your head. The base chakra is the root chakra, and it anchors the other six chakras.

The root chakra comes from a Sanskrit word that means “the root of all things.” This is located at the base of your spine. It is the epicenter of your basic needs. When it is balanced, you’ll feel grounded, stable, safe, and committed. While this chakra governs your basic needs of food, water, and shelter, it’s also the seat of your desire to thrive. The balance of it determines if you’ll be striving for health, wealth, and relationships. By ensuring your essential needs are met, you’ll be able to grow and allow your other chakras to be the main focus.

An Out-of-Balance Root Chakra

There may be an imbalance of your root chakra due to everyday stressors, fears, troubles in relationships, challenging projects at work, and traumatic events. This imbalance can create feelings of insecurity, disconnect, and powerlessness, leading you to avoid conflicts and becoming stagnant or flighty within your relationships, jobs, and other commitments. A blocked root chakra leads to outbursts of anger and negative thoughts about yourself.

The good news is that you can do a few things to realign it. Physical activity is excellent at rebalancing the root chakra, so consider doing a yoga flow. You can also practice breath work to restore alignment because the breath connects the physical body with the mind. Grounding exercises, such as visualization and meditation, can also have a powerful impact on your chakras. We’ve outlined a meditation you can practice on Earth Day that will restore your root chakra alignment and ground you in the moment.

How to Have a Successful Meditation

Since the root chakra is the base of all our chakras, we need to spend a little time nurturing it. With meditation, you can explore and open your root chakra. The following steps can help you have a successful root chakra meditation on Earth Day.

Step 1: Seek a comfortable place.

Once you find a space that is calming, quiet, and free of distractions, sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your spine straight. Feel the Earth beneath you and how it supports you during your meditation.

Step 2: Play gentle music.

Peaceful instrumental music can help ground you. It can relax and heal your mind. Find root chakra meditation music on YouTube.

Step 3: Fold your hands into the prayer position.

Rest your thumbs against your heart chakra (in the middle of your chest). Any time thoughts swirl through your mind, acknowledge them, then let them go and focus on the space between your palms as you continue to breathe in and out.

Step 4: Visualize the chakras.

Start at your root chakra, then work your way up to your crown chakra, picturing each one individually in your mind. Imagine the energy flowing through your body, and as you do, you’ll begin to feel more secure. If you’re especially visual, you can picture each color of the seven chakras.

Step 5: Repeat affirmations.

A powerful tool, these affirmations can realign the chakras. To care for the root chakra, you can use one of these:

  • I have everything I need.
  • I am grounded.
  • I am safe.
  • I am at home in my body.

Other Ways to Connect with the Earth Element

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than getting back to our roots and connecting with the Earth? In addition to the meditation practice we covered above, you can also do a few other things to honor Earth Day, including:

  • Spending Time Outside:

    Breathe in the earthy air, letting it fill your lungs and creating energy that courses through your chakras. Simply sit outside on a blanket or chair. Alternatively, go for a walk on the beach, practice yoga outside, or clean up your local park.

  • Gardening:

    There’s nothing quite like getting dirt under your nails and planting seeds of new life into the Earth. Rejuvenate your spirit and feel grounded by gardening in your backyard.

  • Eating Earthy Foods:

    Load your plate up with foods that grow in the soil, such as potatoes, chickpeas, carrots, corn, and squash.

Celebrating Earth Day with Root Chakra Practices

Recognize Earth Day this year by tending to your root chakra. As you’re a few months into the year already, you may be overwhelmed with everything you have going on, and your chakras may be out of alignment. Follow a root chakra meditation and connect with your earth element to become grounded. These practices can help you thrive in your mental, physical, and spiritual health. You can also care for your root chakra by attending yoga classes. Join the Health Yoga Life community every day of the week in a yoga flow.

Benefits of Practicing Yoga for 30 Days

We’re just a few days away from the end of Health Yoga Life’s Spring into Yoga Challenge. As we near the end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how far we’ve come. Yoga has so many health benefits, and practicing every day for 30 days can have even more impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. Once you’ve reached the finish line of the 30-day yoga challenge, you may experience the following positive outcomes.

You Feel Accomplished and Refreshed

Practicing yoga every day for 30 days helps you feel like you’ve accomplished something big—and you have. You’ve stuck with a routine for 30 days, and this isn’t an easy feat, especially with the couch or your bed calling your name. You’ve pushed yourself through something difficult, and now you have something to show for it—a determined will, a refreshed spirit, and an overall better quality of life.

You Change (Big or Small)

By the end of the 30 days, you may notice that you have experienced some kind of change. This change may have been small (such as discovering you’re perfectly content staying in child’s pose when your body is craving it) or big (such as developing your flexibility). When you do something that challenges you, you grow and learn more about yourself at the end of it.

You Learn to Listen to Your Body

Doing yoga 30 days in a row comes with its highs and lows. Some days you’re fighting to pay attention in class and focus on your breath. Other days class flies by, and you wish it was longer. As each day passes, you become more attuned to your body. You’re able to tell what you need, and you’re happy to give it to yourself. The guilt of not moving through the class exactly as the instructor demonstrates begins to dissipate.

You Gain Courage

For some of you, participating in a 30-day yoga challenge was a first. For others, you may have tried a different instructor or practiced at a new time. Doing new things every day in a row gets you out of a rut and reinvigorates your mindset toward your practice. It also helps you see that while something may seem scary at first, you can overcome that fear simply by trying. Now, when you face a new or unfamiliar situation, you’ll be equipped with the courage and tools (such as breathing techniques) to make it through.

Share Your Yoga Challenge Experience

With only a few more days left of Health Yoga Life Spring into Yoga Challenge, we hope these positive outcomes of practicing yoga every day will encourage you to make it to the finish line. Just remember that everyone’s journey is different. You may not experience every one of these benefits, but you may have other outcomes that are unique to you. Celebrate your experience! What did you gain or learn from participating in the 30-day yoga challenge? We would love to know! Email us or tag us on social media. And remember to sign up for HYL yoga classes for your last few days here.

Almost to the Finish Line: Discipline During the 30-Day Challenge

You’re almost at the finish line of your 30-day yoga challenge! Are you finding it difficult to stay motivated to step onto the mat every day? It’s completely normal to have these feelings when it’s time to practice for the day. If you need a little inspiration to improve your discipline and finish your yoga challenge strong, check out these six ways to stay motivated in your yoga practice.

6 Tips for Staying Motivated in Your Yoga Practice

1. Track Your Accomplishments:

All too often, we miss when we have little victories throughout our practice. We become so absorbed in just getting the task done that we don’t see how far we’ve progressed throughout our practice. One of the best ways to find motivation in yoga is to write down your accomplishments in a gratitude journal (find out how to keep one here). Did you attend a yoga class even when you didn’t feel like it after a long, hard day of work? Were you finally able to stretch into a pose that you previously found difficult? Whatever your accomplishment is—big or small—write it down so you can remind yourself why regularly practicing yoga is important.

2. Treat Yourself to a Smoothie:

A small reward every once in a while can make it easier to step onto the mat. A smoothie is a perfect reward—it’s healthy and sweet! Plan ahead of time which smoothie you’ll treat yourself to so that you’ll be motivated to attend and complete a yoga class. If you need inspiration for a smoothie recipe, try our green drink smoothie.

3. Surround Yourself with a Community:

It can be hard to reach your yoga goals without other people supporting you. It’s all too easy to get lost in your negative thoughts or to lose sight of why you committed to a yoga challenge in the first place without someone there to remind you. Surrounding yourself with fellow yogis can help you stay motivated to cross the finish line. When you’re feeling discouraged, call up a yoga friend. Follow and interact with Health Yoga Life and your favorite yogis on social media for daily inspiration. Together, we can reach our yoga goals.

4. Establish a Routine:

Dedicate a specific time of day to practice. By setting time aside for yoga, you’re more likely to stick to this routine. You may find it easiest to roll out of bed in the morning and spend time on the mat before you begin your day. Or you may find that right after work is the best time for you. The time of day you practice may also vary depending on the day of the week. That’s okay! Just make sure that you keep that time dedicated specifically to yoga.

5. Find Joy in Variety:

When you practice regularly, you can start to feel bored with your routine. If this is happening to you as you near the end of your 30-day yoga challenge, mix things up and add a little spice to your practice. Grab your mat and streaming device and head outside. Fresh air can invigorate your mind and excite you over a new experience. Create your own yoga playlist and play it softly in the background during your virtual class. Try different instructors and see how every yogi has something new to offer. Health Yoga Life has certified teachers who can help you feel reinvigorated in your practice. View our instructors’ profiles on our class schedule (found here) to plan your next class.

6. Celebrate Milestones:

Just as you should congratulate yourself over the little victories, you should also celebrate significant milestones in your yoga. A great way to build discipline in your practice is to set goals (such as finishing four full weeks of yoga), track your progress, and then reward yourself for achieving those goals. A fun way to celebrate your accomplishment is buying yourself something special, such as new yoga apparel, props, or a spot in the Health Yoga Life teacher training course.

Finish Strong

If you’re participating in Health Yoga Life’s 30-Day Spring into Yoga Challenge, then you are just a week away from the finish line! You’ve shown incredible discipline this far. Now, finish strong! Use these motivational tips to keep going. For more inspiration, connect with us on social media—Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Restorative Yoga for the New Moon in Aries

Aligning our routines to the lunar rhythms connects our energy to nature. A New Moon is the beginning of the monthly lunar cycle. Your energy may be low during this time as your body prepares for change and transformation. The New Moon phase is a beautiful time to set intentions or connect with where you are at in your journey. In this post, you’ll find some of our favorite restorative yoga poses and a meditation prompt for the New Moon. These poses and meditation can help you recharge and prepare for a new season.

Yoga Poses for New Moon in Aries

Here are three restorative yoga poses to practice this Aries New Moon.

Extended Child’s Pose

After getting into this pose, focus on your breath, breathing in and out slowly. Hold this pose for 3-5 minutes.

Easy Chest Opener

In the center of your yoga mat, place three folded blankets on top of each other. Sit on your mat in front of these blankets, then place yoga blocks and a rolled-up blanket or towel underneath your knees. Gently lay back onto the pile of blankets with your heels resting on the floor. If you want extra support for your head, place a rolled-up blanket under your head. Rest your hands on your belly and follow your breath in and out. Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes.

Legs on a Chair Pose

For this pose, place a folded-up blanket on the chair’s seat. This chair should be centered on your yoga mat. Lay a bolster horizontally in front of the chair’s legs. Place a second bolster vertically in front of this first bolster so that they form a T. Sit on the bolster closest to the chair, then lay back so that your spine is flush against the vertical bolster. You can use a folded blanket or pillow to support your head. Place your calves onto the chair’s seat and rest your arms at your side on the floor. Focus on your breath. Hold this pose for 10 minutes, feeling your lower back, legs, and nervous system relax.

Meditation Prompt for New Moon in Aries

If you’d like to take your New Moon practice even further, you can try this grounding meditation exercise. It connects you with your breath and focuses on eliminating negative emotions and feelings.

To begin, sit on a cushion or chair with your feet flat against the floor. Close your eyes. Make sure you keep your spine straight. Inhale through your nose, following your breath down to the base of your spine. Then, exhale when it feels natural, following your breath down to your feet and the ground beneath them. Release any tension you’re holding and feel supported by the earth.

Now, place the tips of your ring and middle fingers on the tips of your thumbs. Keep your index and middle fingers extended. Hold this mudra for five minutes or so as you meditate on your breath.

Plant seeds of intention and growth and reflect on your dreams. Visualize the things that are no longer serving you. What behaviors or fears are standing in your way of becoming your authentic self? On each inhale and exhale, tell yourself, “Let Go.” Repeat this several times for each of the things you want to get rid of. After this, visualize what you need to achieve your goals. Do you need more peace, patience, joy, or clarity? As you slowly inhale and exhale, imagine yourself gaining what you need and fulfilling your dreams.

Restore Your Energy with Yoga

The New Moon in Aries is a time of reflection and rest. During this time, you can prepare your mind and body for growth. What is it that you want to achieve? Taking a slow restorative yoga practice and meditating can open you to new possibilities and restore your energy. For even more poses to support your restorative practices, check out our weekly live online classes at Health Yoga Life.

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