Yes, readers - it has been ages since I've updated my blog! But, in 2022, I plan to offer your monthly blog posts to inspire and enhance your yoga practice. Hopefully, you have continued your yoga practice at home in...
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  1. Guest Post: 5 Rituals to Enhance Yoga at Home by Katherine Hanlon
  2. Yoga at Home: Smile as You Do Yoga!
  3. Yoga at Home: Great Travel Mat!
  4. Yoga at Home: Tips from Yoga Athletes
  5. Yoga Practice: Tips from "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay/Neck Rolls Refresher
  6. More Recent Articles

Guest Post: 5 Rituals to Enhance Yoga at Home by Katherine Hanlon

Yes, readers - it has been ages since I've updated my blog! 

But, in 2022, I plan to offer your monthly blog posts to inspire and enhance your yoga practice.

Hopefully, you have continued your yoga practice at home in 2021. To enhance your home practice, please enjoy the guest post submitted this month by writer Katherine Hanlon.

She works with a group that is immersed in the world of mindfulness, self-care, and spirituality.  Check out their website:  https://mindfulsouls.com.

 

5 Mindful Rituals to Enhance Yoga at Home

You probably know that yoga is a super beneficial physical practice for the body, mind, and soul.

But as relaxing and restorative as yoga may be, it is not easy. Therefore sometimes, we need extra motivation to go back to the mat. What if you could complement your yoga practice in different ways to help you enjoy the exercise more? Maybe even explore more of your spiritual side at the same time? Let's take a look at five mindful rituals that can surely enhance your yoga practice at home!

Meditation

Meditation and yoga go hand in hand. Meditation is often a big part of yoga classes. It can be a great starting point for your yoga session as it will set a foundation for a focused and quiet mind.

Meditation also helps keep the mind sharp and clear, perfect for enhancing your yoga progress and helping you do yoga postures correctly.

You can also end your yoga session with a meditation to reflect on what you've learned, how you've progressed, and to express gratitude for being alive.

Aromatherapy

What can be more wonderful than moving and flowing together with beautiful scents from nature?

Aromatherapy offers a diverse set of applications. You can choose from creating a ritual with essential oils or engaging in smudging, topical skin applications, bath bombs, and beyond.

To best enhance your yoga practice, diffuse essential oils evenly to cloak the space around you. Aromatherapy is used principally for stress relief and relaxation, which relates to yoga perfectly!


Here are some of the best scents for your home yoga:


Lavender is excellent for relaxation and has calming properties.
Peppermint can improve concentration.
Sandalwood's scent heightens mental clarity.

Mantra Repetition

The word "Mantra" comes from Sanskrit, meaning "to release the mind." And there's even a separate meditation method known as "Mantra meditation." Saying and repeating a particular mantra may help you concentrate and eliminate an unwanted stream of random thoughts.


However, a mantra will only be effective if you truly believe the idea behind it or if it has personal meaning for you. Therefore, make sure to create a mantra that is unique, impactful, and important to you. You can also use ancient and powerful chants such as OM that are time-tested and will act as a powerful meditation tool.

You can use a mantra during your pre-yoga meditation or while doing yoga.

Use Natural Crystals & Their Energy

I know what you might be thinking – and that's alright! Even if you are highly skeptical of crystals' metaphysical properties, having a crystal nearby or in your hands can help you relax more and be more present at the moment. Natural crystals are best paired with meditation, or they can serve as a lovely decoration. And it is all about feeling the comfort of the natural mineral or making the yoga space feel more cozy and welcoming. Crystals have the power to inspire and change how we approach spirituality and its practices.

Here are the best crystals for mediation or yoga:


Rose Quartz and its soft pink colors can give a sense of self-love and bliss during yoga practice.

Labradorite properties and rainbow colors are excellent if you enjoy a bit of mystical ambiance in your space.

Selenite crystal and its blank white surface can blend in perfectly if you love having a minimalistic design around you.

Journaling

You are probably confused and wondering how journaling is even related to yoga? Keeping a diary can benefit people of all ages and help you with your yoga practice!

Journaling has the unique power to free your mind of any feelings, thoughts, and experiences that might distract you during yoga practice. You can also log your progress and goals as well as identify challenges you observe during your yoga practice.

The clarity you gain from journaling will allow you to focus better on your performance, improve your flow, and move more swiftly between asanas.

Conclusion

And there you go! Don't hesitate to try these mindful rituals and see if they positively impact your overall well-being and yoga practice. And who knows, you just might be pleasantly surprised!

_______________

Thank you again, Katherine Hanlon, for your guest post!

To my blog readers - yes, do yoga at home mindfully!

Laura Venecia RodriguezFinal Caricature

 

 

    

Yoga at Home: Smile as You Do Yoga!

 

 

Laura Venecia Rodriguez, The Mentor for Yoga Beginners Who Practice at Home

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Yoga at Home: Great Travel Mat!

 

 

 

 

Laura Venecia Rodriguez, The Beginners' Yoga at Home Coach

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Yoga at Home: Tips from Yoga Athletes

 

 

 

 
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Laura Venecia Rodriguez, The Beginners' Yoga at Home Coach

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Yoga Practice: Tips from "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay/Neck Rolls Refresher

 

 

 

 

 



 

Movement 1

Neck Front

 

Movement 2

Neck Back

 

Movement 3

Neck side

 

Movement 4

Neck roll back

Neck Rolls

How to do the pose:

1.    Stand or sit erect and relaxed with your hands and arms at your sides or on your knees if seated.

2.    Breathe in and out slowly and relax for a few seconds.

3.    First inhale and gently drop your head so that your chin is resting on your chest on or below your collarbone or as far as you comfortably can reach in the beginning.  Hold for one or two seconds and exhale as you slowly raise your head and resume its upright position.  Repeat this movement two more times.

4.    Inhale and gently drop your head toward your back so the back of your head is touching your back or as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for one second.  If you are very stiff and haven’t done many neck movements in years, you may experience discomfort. Take it easy and move gently. Exhale and move your head back slowly to its upright position.

5.    Inhale and turn your head as far as is comfortable to the left side (no, you are not going to do a full head turnaround as in the Exorcist!), hold for a second, exhale and return your head to the center starting position. Be careful not to move your shoulders as you turn your head to the side.  You want to maximize the neck stretch.  Repeat twice more. Do the same movements to the right side and back three times.

6.    Inhale and move your head straight downward to the left side, hold for a second, exhale, and return head to upright position. Repeat twice more on left side.  Do the same movement on the right side three times.

7.    Inhale and drop your head very slowly until your neck is completely limp and your chin is resting on your chest on or below your collarbone, or as far as you can comfortably go.

8.    Ever so slowly, roll your head to your right side.  Keep your neck loose and allow the weight of your head to pull your neck muscles. Imagine you are a marionette and someone is gently maneuvering the strings that move your neck.

9.    Continue moving your head slowly until your head is touching your back.  (You are making a half, not a full circle).

10. Exhale and gently roll head back to the front.  Lift your head and resume its upright position.  Repeat twice more on the left.  Do the same movements on the right side three times.

Practice time:  3 repetitions of the above neck movements take about 5 minutes.

Additional comments/advice:

Neck rolls are feasible for most beginners. If you have had any neck injuries or whiplash, check with your physician or medical adviser before trying them.

If done gently, however, neck rolls can help strengthen the neck area and heal it from injury. As yogi Erich Schiffman recommends in his book, Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness, keep your eyes closed as you do the neck rolls to “magnify the sensations.”

At first, you may hear cracking or graveling noises in your neck as you move your head. I heard mild crunching at the top of my neck when I began doing neck rolls. However, with consistent gentle practice, your head should be able to revolve smoothly as if it had been well lubricated and any crunching or cracking noises should be minimal.  Remember, never jerk your head in any way. Think  s – m – o – o – t – h   movement.

Yours for gently rolling your neck for an energy boost.

Laura Venecia Rodriguez, The Beginners' Yoga at Home Coach

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