No matter the time of year, it always feels good to hit the yoga mat, reconnect with yourself and find some balance (literally and figuratively). Whether you’re just getting into yoga or you’re a longtime practitioner, here are some tips and tricks to help you stick with a yoga routine, particularly when your busy and adventurous lifestyle makes it challenging to fit in.
Dress for Yoga Success
Keeping up with your yoga routine can get tricky when life throws a hectic schedule your way. Keep yourself on track by wearing clothes that let you go easily from regular life to the mat. Sleep in a tank top and leggings or yoga shorts to roll straight out of bed and into your sun salutations.
It’s also getting easier to find office apparel that is made from performance fabrics: Wear a performance tank top or T-shirt under your sweater or button-down shirt and some pants that have a little stretch in them so you can go from desk to downward facing dog. Bonus: You’ll have half as much laundry to do. Check out our selection of yoga clothing.
Give Yourself Props
Yoga accessories like blocks and straps help maintain proper alignment in a variety of positions. If you’re practicing at home or don’t want to pack your blocks on a work trip or vacation, there’s always something lying around that you can use during a session.
Depending on how you’re using it, you can replace a block with a stack of books (secured with a scarf or similar), folded blankets or a suitcase. For poses where you need to hold a block between your legs, use a rolled-up towel instead.
Any long, sturdy piece of fabric can replace a yoga strap. Belts, scarves, ties or long socks work perfectly and you always have them around.
Think Beyond the Mat
No matter what activities you love, there are many possible benefits that come from incorporating yoga into your routine. Yoga is popular with athletes for a reason—many believe it can help improve muscle recovery, decrease the chances of injury and improve overall athletic performance.
If you’re a climber, add some yoga before you hit the climbing wall or crag to increase flexibility and warm up cold muscles. Many climbing gyms offer yoga classes. Runners of all stripes can improve breath control and strength with this tailored yoga routine. And stand-up paddle boarding takes yoga to another level entirely. Learn more about it here.
Keep It Fresh
Yoga mats can be a bit neglected when it comes to regular cleaning. Your mat should be wiped down at least once a week, and more often if you practice outside or sweat profusely (hot yoga anyone?). Make homemade cleaner to keep your mat fresh.
Recipe for homemade mat cleaner:
- 5 cups water
- ½ cup vinegar or witch hazel
- ½ tsp tea tree oil
- Optional: A few drops of essential oils in your favorite scent (check with your mat manufacturer to see if they recommend the use of essential oils)
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before each use. Wipe down mat on both sides with damp sponge or towel. Air dry (out of the sun) or wipe with a dry towel.