A good yoga mat should walk the line between being squishy enough to take some of the pressure off your joints, while being dense enough to offer a stable foundation. Too-soft mats may be comfortable, but they’re difficult to hold a pose on — and while you can stand on a too-firm mat forever, you may end up hurting your joints. Beginners, pregnant yogis, and people with sensitive joints should consider thicker mats, which offer more support. Yogis who commute or travel a lot may prefer thinner mats that are easier to roll up and carry.
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The “grippiness” of a mat has two parts. One is how grippy the mat is against your hands and feet — are you slowly sliding out of place during warrior pose, or are you solidly planted? The other is the traction of the mat against the floor: Does your mat slip around on smooth floors, or is it firmly stuck in place throughout your session? Sweat can be a factor too, especially if you practice an intensive form like hot yoga, so you want to make sure your mat will stay grippy through it all.
When searching for free yoga resources, the video-sharing behemoth YouTube is a good place to start. But type “yoga” into YouTube’s search bar, and you get back more than eight million results. Many of these are one-off videos rather than easy-to-follow programs for beginners. There are, however, two free yoga programs that are worth checking out: Yoga for Dummies and Dr. Melissa West’s channel.
On an inhale, raise your arms straight up above your head and bring your palms together. Bend your knees slightly, and on the exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward, lengthening your spine the whole way down as you reach your hands for the floor. Bring either your fingertips or palms to the floor, fingers in line with your toes. Slowly straighten your legs as much as you can without straining them.
In the first tutorial we learn to unplug our nervous systems from the global economy, to protect ourselves from social media corporations and digital technology like smartphones, and to establishing new connections with people and other things in the world. In the second, we learn about the threat of passive authoritarianism (way capitalism has implanted in each of us a desire to be ruled) and how to rebel from the inside out. In the final tutorial in the first series we break down the wall of distrust that debt of everything has built inside of (and between) us, and which it has made us pay for!
“I don’t have time” can never be an excuse for skipping a workout. This fast-paced routine is proof that you can pack a lot of core shaping into just six minutes. But don’t let the length of the workout fool you; this routine’s no joke. Yogi star Kathryn Budig leads you through a tough mix of pulsing leg lifts (tiny movements with major impact), bicycle kicks, and more. (via Gaiam)
My Foundations of Yoga series is built for beginners! Welcome friends and future yogis. The Foundational series is Instructional should not feel intimidating. It will get you on your mat and into your body while also preparing you for public classes local yoga opportunities. Whether you are looking to lose weight, tone the body or create more flexibility this series (most importantly) will help you to FIND WHAT FEELS good. It will connect you to yourself and serve as an invitation back to your true self. I invite you to hop on the mat and play. Let the process be about exploration and not about doing it perfect. I encourage you to leave comments and let me know how your experiments go. Even just 1 minute a day goes a long way!
Expert recommendation: Sri Dharma's Mittra's series of classes, like this one, which cover Asana, Yoga Nidra, Pranayama and meditation. "Sri Dharma worked for close to a year exploring and sequencing the Asana classes in particular. They represent his most current thinking on Asana practice as of now." —Adam Frei, Program Manager of Dharma Yoga New York Center
With yoga wear from this inspired line at Athleta, you'll have a fashionable and functional outfit for your time in the studio. Yoga clothes for women in this large selection are slim fitting and flattering without hampering your movement. Choose from athletic tops like tanks and bras that will help you stay cool and fresh, or elegant creations like loose fitting hoodies and pullovers for staying comfortable while you warm up.