Attending a yoga class at a studio has a number of advantages; on the one hand, you have access to a professional instructor to help you with your posture, and on the other hand, there is the simple enjoyment of doing something as a group – it makes your yoga routine not only about exercise or relaxation, but turns it into a social event.
Still, there are also a number of annoyances associated with yoga studios: the people that frequent these places are always talking about fad diets, cleansing or purging yourself of toxins, and are always gabbing about the latest healthy nutrient; this can, if you simply feel like exercising or relaxing and not gabbing and clucking about selenium or candida.
What’s more is the merchandise: vitamin water; health bars; books about yoga, self-help, eastern religions, or made-up religions; yoga mats and clothing, and so on and so on. You would think that something like yoga would be free of this commercial garbage, but of course you would be wrong. The yoga industry has become exactly like any other industry: predatory and narcissistic.
If your experience of yoga studios is more like the previous two paragraphs than the first, or if you don’t always have the money or time to go to a studio every time you want to do yoga, then you may want to consider doing your yoga at home now and then (if not permanently). Here is a yoga routine that can be done at home in just 20 minutes:
1.) Reclined Butterfly: Lying on your back, with the soles of your feet touching, let your legs fall open.
- 30/60 leg lowers: Lying on your back, with your palms faced down or under your hips (for lower back support) on the floor, put your legs together stretched straight up. Lower your legs 1/3 of the way down and then hold them lower, an inch off the floor, while lifting your head off the floor. REPEAT 3X: The third time with V-shaped feet
- 100 bicycles: With your hands behind your head, and your head lifted off the floor, put the opposite elbow to the opposite knee, with one knee bent and the other leg straight at a 45 degree angle, switching back and forth (like you are riding a bicycle).
3.) Rock and Roll 5X: While lying on your back, with your knees hugged into your chest and your hands holding the backs of your thighs, roll on back (back and forth).
4.) High Plank: 5 breaths > down dog > step up
5.) Rag doll: Roll up to stand
6.) 3 Sun A’s: Standing, reach up > forward fold > flat back > high plank > low plank > upward dog > downward dog > step/hop between hands > flat back > forward fold (repeat x3)
7.) Side plank on both sides: starting from a high plank, transition to a side plank: your legs should be straight out (stacked on top of each other). Reach one hand up while the other hand is on the floor. Switch to the other side (high plank to transition).
8.) Crescent Lunge: Bring your left foot forward (with your hand if needed), right heel up, hands reach up > Twisting Crescent Lunge: Twisting to the left, hands to heart center, right elbow to left knee > Warrior 2: back foot pivots, palms up > Reverse Warrior: reach back > Extended side-angle
9.) REPEAT STEP 8 WITH RIGHT FOOT FORWARD
10.) Chair Pose: Knees bent, arms outstretched, toes touching > Twisting Chair Pose (to left): right elbow on left knee) > forward fold: Feet, hip-distance apart, grabbing big toes > flat back > forward fold (big toes touching) > Twisting Chair pose (to right): left elbow on right knee > forward fold with “gorilla hands”: Hands under feet up to your wrists.
11.) Half pigeon: Down dog, left foot forward, knee to wrist (sitting), fold forward.
12.) Standing Quad Stretch: Using the wall for balance, grab your left foot with your left hand and hold, then repeat on the right side.
13) Stretches against the wall: Lying on your back, put your straightened legs up against the wall. Bring your right ankle below your left knee, then bend your left knee making sure the sole of your foot is on the wall.
Thread the needle: Put your right ankle below your left knee, grab (in front) of your left shin, put your right hand through hole.
Lying on your back, put your legs up then let them fall to the left, put your right hip up, right shoulder down, and arms in a “T”, looking to the right. Repeat on the right side.
There you have it. If you are new to yoga, and don’t know already recognize the names of some of these moves, you should have no trouble finding the pictures of these poses online to help you out. Also, keep in mind that this exercise is meant work particularly hard on your core (hence the 100 bicycles) – if this is too many bicycles for you, there’s no harm in dropping the number down to a number you can handle.
This should satisfy your yoga needs in case you just can’t bear to hear about another health fad, or see any more gaudy merchandise, or if you would simply like to save some money, time, or just stay in for the night. Enjoy!