As shelter-in-place and self-quarantines continue, some individuals may be looking for activities to do right inside of their homes. Yoga is one such thing that is healthy, costs almost nothing, and helps your body and your mind.
Of course, yoga has been around for thousands of years in various forms, can range from simple to complex, and has spread the world over. In order to do yoga at home, there is no need to feel intimidated. One only needs patience, a mat, and some type of book or video for guided practice.
In his 2012 book, “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards,” author William Broad explores the scientific literature on yoga – in other words, what has the published medical literature revealed about yoga. One interesting fact is that in 1975, a Harvard physician was the first to report that yoga and meditators can lower their heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption. A decade later, in 1985, according to Broad, “Czech report that Tantric poses can generate surges of brain waves similar to lovers.” Finally, Broad reports that in 2010, “Analysts at the University of Maryland examine more than eighty studies and find that yoga equals or surpasses exercise in reducing stress, improving balance, diminishing fatigue, decreasing anxiety, lifting moods, and improving sleep.”
These examples are but a few of the many benefits of yoga.
To take up yoga at home, remember to take your time, ease into each pose, and do not push yourself. Also, do not attempt any advance poses such as inversions if you have never done them before. Like any other physical exercise, this may lead to injury. But, overall, yoga is a safe and healthy way to relax at home.
One type of yoga that is interesting, though it requires more gear to get started and therefore more cost, is suspension yoga, or as it is sometimes called aerial yoga. There is some similarity to normal posture yoga, except the poses are done hanging in the air. In order to accomplish this, you may need to invest in a frame and suspension silks. Nevertheless, if you try aerial yoga, it is a lot of fun. Beatrix Montainle, in her book, “Suspension Yoga: Instructional Handbook,” emphasizes that the practice of doing yoga while suspended in the air can be traced back to more than 5,000 years ago.
Finally, whatever style of yoga you decide to try – whether normal posture yoga or suspension yoga, the practice remains a fairly safe, easy, and cost-efficient way to stay healthy while staying home.
Broad, W. (2012). The science of yoga: The risks and rewards. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.
Montanile, B. (2016). Suspension yoga: Instructional handbook.