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How to Reap the Most Gains from Your Yoga Practice
Practicing yoga can bring some critical benefits to your workout program. Among other things, it can help build your muscles, increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and enhance body alignment. Whether you’re a newbie or have years of practice under your belt, if you’re ready to amp things up, here’s what you need to do.
Tinker with Tools
Yoga is a time-tested practice dating back thousands of years, but there are plenty of modern gadgets to keep it relevant, useful, and challenging.
Of all modern yoga tools, apps have to be among the most popular and accessible options. Daily Burn notes there is a broad, affordable — and often free — selection of great yoga apps, from choices aimed at yogis to basics you can do with your kids (Super Stretch is a good place to start with the little ones). Some even allow you to download sessions for times when WiFi is unavailable, which means you never have to miss a workout.
Apples and Androids
Depending on where you live or where you workout, WiFi can be an issue for many people trying to put their phone to good use as their best yoga buddy. To resolve that issue, one suggestion is to use your phone as a hotspot, which you can do so long as your phone has its own data plan.
If your phone needs an upgrade to use as a hotspot, or if your plan is expiring, do some research before committing to a new device. You’ll want enough data to support your yoga goals, a phone with all the fun stuff you’ll enjoy using, yet one that still fits within your budgetary constraints. For instance, there are providers with unlimited data plans that offer savings toward the hottest new iPhones, such as the iPhone XS Max, and some even offer zero percent APR when you sign up.
Don’t rule out Androids, as there are plenty of competitive options available these days to meet various needs and budgets. Bells and whistles abound, as you can find selections with two-day battery life, superior note-taking capabilities, or great low-light photography. Weigh your personal priorities to find the best bang for your buck.
One of the best ways to bring something fresh to your routine is with the addition of new equipment. If you are going with only bare basics gear, using only a mat and towel, try adding some new pieces. For instance, a simple exercise ball can engage all your muscle groups, building strength and improving stability. With just six different moves and 15 minutes out of your day, you can snag well-rounded, full-body workout.
Resistance bands are another great idea. They provide extra resistance to take things up a notch, allowing you to sculpt your body more effectively. Shape points out you can take resistance bands anywhere for a workout on the fly, so it’s a chance to grab a few minutes out of your lunch break to work out or while waiting for your kid during soccer practice.
Backbends for a Boost
You might be surprised to learn that range of motion can be a key to better athleticism. Stack explains your flexibility and mobility hinge on it, and by improving range of motion, you can reduce your risk of injury and improve the intensity of your workouts.
With all that in mind, there is one particular exercise you should focus on, at least as a part of your routine: backbends. Backbends, for example, allow us to extend and open our hips, which is a struggle for many people and greatly limits their overall range of motion.
To help with backbends, consider adding a bolster to your workout. This is a handy piece of equipment you can incorporate into several yoga poses, improving your backbends, easing pain, boosting flexibility, and enhancing your core strength. By incorporating backbends into your regimen, you can stabilize joints and balance muscle development for better overall comfort and athletic performance.
When it’s time to amp up your yoga practice, there are ample ways to do it. Look to tech tools as well as more traditional gear and equipment to take things up a notch. Your overall performance can improve with a few well-chosen goodies.