6 Yoga Poses That Don't Require a Yoga Mat

6 Yoga Poses That Don't Require a Yoga Mat
Karson McGinley

It’s certainly a gift to be able to practice yoga with a full arsenal of props and equipment on hand. But to what degree is the “stuff” actually necessary to practice? Your yoga mat has become synonymous with “doing yoga”, but what about when you’re traveling, outside in nature, or on a work break?

Unlike other forms of physical activity like bike riding, lifting weights, or even running, yoga requires nothing other than your body and breath, which luckily, are always with you! It’s easy to forget this, of course, usually waiting until the setting is just right for the perfect practice.

As you know, however, when you’re constantly holding off until everything is perfect, you find that the perfect moment rarely comes.

How can you activate mindfulness more regularly throughout your day, regardless of whether or not you actually have a yoga mat? Check out these postures that can be done anywhere, anytime, and will help you connect to your body, breath, and the present moment.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Yoga mountain pose

It may look like you’re just standing there, but in Mountain Pose, your whole body is alert, awake, relaxed, and in it’s optimal posture.

  • Place your feet hip-width apart, ground down with the four corners of each foot, and stand as tall as you can without letting your shoulders creep up.
  • Keep your arms down by your side with your palms rotated slightly toward the front of your body.
  • As you subtly drop your tailbone down and underneath you, feel your abdominals firm and you heart lift.
  • Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.

Physical Benefits: Mountain Pose strengthens your legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles, while training your spine to rest in its natural curvature. It also improves your physical strength, posture, balance, and circulation.

Energetic Benefits: A deceptively simple posture, Tadasana increases your awareness of your body, breath, and surroundings. When your body is in its proper alignment, you feel more vital, alive, and healthful. You can breathe with greater ease and connect to the moment you’re in.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukkha Svanasana)

Yoga downward facing dog pose

Downward-Facing Dog is perhaps one of the most common yoga poses, and for good reason as it offers lots of benefits.

  • If you’re in a location where you don’t mind touching the ground (like the beach, grass, or clean carpet), plant your palms shoulder-width apart, lift your hips, and stretch your heels down toward the ground.
  • If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or perhaps aren’t wearing something appropriate to do the full pose, try placing your hands on the edge of a table or your desk and then walk your feet back until you are able to melt your heart between your shoulders—essentially making an upside-down “L” shape with your body. You can also do this version of Down Dog with your hands …read more
    Source: Deepak Chopra  
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