Even though things are starting to slowly open up, it will be a while before group exercise classes are readily available. If you’re like me, you need the quiet relaxing stretches of yoga to ease your physical tension and just generally stretch out and recover.
Sometimes days can get really stressful and we need a moment to pause, reflect, and relax. Yoga can really help ease the bodily stress and tension created by everyday life and situations, as well as the not so everyday stuff. Here are a few resources available to continue (or start) your regular yoga practice.
YouTube channels that are offering free yoga sessions
One of the best free resources I’ve found for yoga has been YouTube. So many people are taking this time to post workouts, crafts, cooking instructions, and yoga. It used to be if you needed information, you’d just Google it. Nowadays it seems if you want to learn or do something, you just look it up on YouTube. Below are some of the channels I really enjoy going to when looking for some virtual yoga instruction
Yoga with Adriene
Adriene has been doing yoga on YouTube since 2012. Her goal in creating Yoga with Adriene was to provide as much high-quality free yoga and reach as many people as possible. In her videos, she leads you through a variety of poses and flows. She also has theme sessions such as yoga for focus, yoga for beginners, and under 10-minute yoga practices (great for those 15-minute breaks during the workday).
MadFit is a dedicated fitness channel that shares real-time at-home workout sessions. The channel host, Maddie Lymburner, created the channel to help inspire people at all fitness levels to reach their goals and just get up and get moving. She has a playlist dedicated to stretch/yoga, but also offers a myriad of other great workouts. Her yoga videos range from 5 minutes to 35 minutes so you can choose which timeframe works for you.
Yoga with Kassandra
If you’re looking for Yin Yoga (slow-paced style yoga) or Vinyassa Yoga (flow style yoga), look no further than Yoga with Kassandra. These are her two main concentrations on the channel. She has playlists geared for certain concerns, as well as playlists for specific time limits. She offers 5 to 15-minute sessions, all the way up to 1-hour flow yoga sessions. If you’re up for a little challenge, she also has a 30 Days of Yoga series. There’s a little bit of something for everyone on this channel.
Beginner Yoga Poses
If you’ve never tried yoga but have been interested, there’s no time like the present to start! Here are a few great beginner-friendly poses to try out. Just make sure you’re in a comfortable relaxed setting when you do them and if anything is a little too difficult or feels off, it’s ok to stop and try something else or take a break altogether.
This is a great easy stretch for your back and abdomen, and it’s one of my favorite yoga poses. It’s also helpful if you need to relax and recover between poses in a vigorous yoga flow.
This is another great low-key back stretching position. You can alternate between the flat back table position, the arched back cat position, and the dropped back cow position. This is not recommended for anyone who has knee or lumbar issues, so please judge accordingly.
If you need to stretch your back and your limbs, Staff is a great pose. You’ll sit up straight and stretch nice and tall. If sitting up like this is uncomfortable, you can stretch everything out laying on your back like a plank.
If you’re feeling adventurous as a beginner or just love balance stretches, the SunBird pose is for you! If it’s a little bit too much for you to start out with, you can keep both hands on the floor and only stretch your legs, or keep both knees on the floor and only stretch your arms. This is not recommended for people with wrist, knee, or disc issues so judge accordingly.
Most people are pretty familiar with the runner pose. It’s an excellent stretch to work out your legs, particularly the hamstrings. You can do this pose with your hands on your knees, fingertips on the ground, or palms completely flat on the ground.