Proper Yoga Etiquette for Individuals Joining a New Studio

Joining a new studio can bring amazing benefits to individuals looking to develop growth in their yoga journey. Being an active part of a yoga community is both beneficial to one’s practice and fun! As with any group activity, there are a few unwritten rules when it comes to behaviors and expectations. If you’re new to a studio or if you have fallen into a very comfortable place with your long-lasting yoga group, here are a few friendly reminders of proper etiquette that will keep you in high regards by your fellow classmates:

Be Respectful of Space

There’s nothing worse than having your mat set up and ready to go when another yogi rushes in and sets his/her mat in a way that cramps your style. If there is plenty of room in the studio, spread out a bit and set your mat with a healthy distance from your peers. Also, be aware of the instructor’s line of sight. Notice where the instructor will be positioned before the class begins so that you do not set your mat in a place that may block someone’s view. Studio spaces can often become crowded, and the open slots are far and few in between; it’s okay, don’t worry! Simply squeeze in where you can and politely ask your neighbors if they feel comfortable before the class begins.

 

Be Respectful of Emotional Boundaries

Many people regard membership with a studio as a way to increase social bonds and build friendships. This is great. However, remember that this is not the primary goal of many studio-goers. Be friendly and open to getting to know your fellow yogis, but do not pressure anyone to be chatty with you. For those individuals who seem to be shy or not interested in developing deeper relationships, a friendly hello and smile will suffice.

 

Don’t Be Late

Meditation can be easily disrupted by someone straggling in late and making noise setting up his/her mat and grabbing props. Be sure to allow enough time for yourself to arrive to class early, use the restroom and set up your mat and props with extra time to spare. When the class begins, ultimate focus and relaxation should begin, too.


(Part of proper yoga etiquette is dressing appropriately for the studio. For all of your yoga apparel and athletic legging needs, 90 Degree by Reflex has you covered. Find the right attire by shopping the above look here.)

Don’t Stare

Yoga asks us to open up to our deepest vulnerabilities and face them. While the class is in session, yogis are in the process of uniting their bodies, minds, and spirits, which often means very different things to different people. If you are unsure of a pose or get lost during a flow sequence, it is okay to glance at those around you. However, do not stare at others. Even if you are internally admiring another person’s pose, they may think you are critiquing them and become unsure of themselves. Also, you should be focused on your own practice anyways. To play it safe, consult the instructor if you are unsure of a pose, and keep your mind free of anyone else’s practice.

With a kind and respectful approach, you will quickly become a positive member of any studio.

Improving Health for Children With Yoga

Hatha Yoga is an ancient series of physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques, which helps to balance and rejuvenate the entire body-mind system. Practicing yoga on a regular basis can tremendously support children’s health, both physically and emotionally. A regular practice of yoga, in the range of one to five times a week, has been shown to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, heighten self-esteem, and lower stress and anxiety levels that can contribute to the development of depression.

Yoga for Children’s Health

Due to the overuse of television and computer technology, childhood obesity is at an all-time high in many developed countries around the world. In fact, childhood obesity has become one of the most critical health issues children are facing in the world today. Just getting children “on the mat” and actively participating in a structured exercise program, will help them to lose unwanted pounds, feel healthier, and boost their self-esteem.

Yoga can be adapted to any age range of children and many different levels of ability. In this way, a great yoga class can be modified and tailored for a group of first-grade students, or a group of high-school age students, and beyond. On a purely physical level, the physical postures (or asanas) of yoga, help children to develop good coordination skills, enhance somatic capabilities, burn calories, while increasing strength and flexibility. Cosmic Kids Yoga video titled Squish the Fish demonstrates a great video that can keep children motivated and interested in yoga sequences.

Yogic Solutions for Lowering Stress in Children Today

In today’s fast-paced world, many children feel a significant amount of stress in school and at home. There is a lot of pressure on children and teenagers to keep pace with the increasing speed of life and to do more and more tasks in less time than generations before them. Slowing down enough to practice yoga postures, breathing exercises, a few minutes of meditation or relaxation techniques, will help children to feel more grounded and less anxious about the pressures in their lives.

A vigorous yoga practice will help children to release excess energy and feel exhilarated. A yoga practice that is fun and challenging will also help to lower the high levels of stress hormones that can compromise their emotional, mental, and physical health. As children’s stress levels decrease, they will be more able to focus on their school work and will gain perspective on issues that are causing them anxiety and stress. Some of these issues may require outside therapeutic support. Other issues may be resolved, without outside support, as a child’s brain chemistry is re-balanced and an overactive nervous system is calmed by a regular practice of yoga.

Summary

While there are issues regarding the safety of unsupervised Hatha Yoga practice by children, the risks pale in comparison to other physical activities. It would be wise for parents to expose children to gentle forms of yoga in a supervised environment. Seeking out a competent yoga teacher, who specializes in teaching children, is a must. Parents, who are serious yoga practitioners, may find a family practice to be fulfilling; and this is healthy for family bonds. Children need to socialize in a less competitive environment. So for this, specialized Kids Yoga classes give children a sanctuary from multi-tasking. Check out this interesting video by Manduka Yoga!

4 Best Prenatal Yoga Poses to Prepare the Body for Birth

Giving birth is an amazing and life-changing experience. However, we all know it is not an easy one. But, did you know yoga could make childbirth easier? Well, we do and we want to share our insights with you. During pregnancy, a lot of women complain about lower-back pain which happens because of a shifted gravity center of the body. Here are some of the most efficient prenatal yoga poses to consider in order to relieve some of these issues.

Here are top four best prenatal yoga poses you will love.

1. Ankle-to-Knee Pose (Agnistambhasana)

 

This prenatal yoga pose is great if you suffer from back pain. It opens your back and hips, relieving tension in the muscles, especially the glutes.

  1. You must start this pose from a seated position.
  2. Keep your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Try not to strain the shoulders.
  3. One leg should be on top of the other.
  4. The right knee must rest on the floor while the left knee will remain on top of the right foot.
  5. Put your palms on the legs, in a resting position.

2. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

On the one hand, pregnancy represents a celebration time for most women. On the other hand, there might come a moment when you feel like you’re about to lose your mind. Well, that’s the perfect time to try this prenatal yoga pose, called the extended triangle. You can easily regain your inner balance, relieving anxiety and stress.

Start from a standing position, keeping your feet wide apart and the palms down. The right foot should be pointing out until it reaches a 90-degree angle. Meanwhile, the left foot should be turned a little bit to the right. Extend your torso but don’t forget to exhale while doing that. Moreover, stretch your left arm up, to the ceiling.

3. Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Some of you might already know how powerful this pose is. It is a great prenatal yoga pose, especially because it takes away some of the belly pressure.

  1. The first step is to kneel on the floor.
  2. Place your butt on your heels and stretch the torso in front, against the ground. For a better experience, your big toes should touch each other.
  3. Slowly press your chest towards the mat. You can even keep your upper body between the legs.
  4. Go ahead, and finalize this pose by extending your arms and touching the mat with your forehead.

4. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

This is another great prenatal yoga pose if you want to get rid of some of that belly pressure. During this exercise, the focus must be on the breath. Just move easily while breathing deeply.

  1. Sit on all fours and inhale before starting the pose.
  2. Look up and bend your back in a natural way without forcing the move.
  3. Then, exhale while rounding the back and curling inward.
  4. On the second part of the pose, look down towards the navel.

The Conclusion

As you can see, all the above prenatal yoga poses are a great way to relax, unwind, and lower body pain and muscle tension during pregnancy. Try them all and let us know how well they worked for you.