At-Home Yoga Exercises
How annoying is it to get all the way to yoga class only to find it impossible to achieve any sort of nirvana on the mat? Between the packed studio and the parking nightmares–oh, and just a smidge of irritation at the expressionless Victoria Beckham clone who can practically balance on her nose–why bother? That’s why home practice is key, says Timothy McCall, M.D., the author of Yoga As Medicine. You can get a toned, limber body and a stress-free mind without any worries about whether you’re running late or overdue for a pedi. And you don’t have to share your space with a single holier-than-thou soul. Awesome.
For the ultimate at-home yoga routine, we tapped Michelle Jacobi, a native Californian who lives in Paris, where she owns the Centre de Yoga du Marais. For best results, do at least the Sun Salutation daily, and do the full routine two to three times a week. Supplement it with two to four yoga classes a month so an instructor can check your alignment. While you’re there, pay attention to postures that make you feel especially good and add them to your home routine, suggests Cyndi Lee, the founder of Om Yoga Center in New York City. So pick a quiet space, fire up the incense, and cue some meditative tunes (we like Sacred Movement, by renowned yogi Max Strom, $17, whiteswanrecords.com). At the very least, you’ll avoid traffic–and you might even get your Zen on.
Postures for your pad
DO IT There are 11 moves here. Flow from one move to the next, focusing on your breath. The whole routine takes about 45 minutes.
A quick lesson on breathing: Inhale and exhale through your nose during the entire workout, keeping a smooth, controlled rhythm. Your breaths should last slightly longer than each component of a yoga pose. For example: To raise your arms over your head, inhale for about one second before initiating the movement itself. Continue to inhale smoothly until your arms are fully extended. Hold your breath for a count of one and then exhale for a count of one before beginning to lower your arms. To perform each move with precision, picture the next movement when you pause at the end of each breath.