A Guide to Practicing Yoga Without a Mat – Health News Today

Practicing yoga without a mat is like jumping into a pool with your clothes on – it’s spontaneous, refreshing, and fun every now and then but gets uncomfortable quickly.




© Getty / svetikd
A Guide to Practicing Yoga Without a Mat – And What Pose to Skip

Sometimes it has to happen, though – and for me, that moment was in the midst of my recent move. I was stressed and stiff after a day of heavy lifting. When I couldn’t locate my boxed-up mat, I resorted to a quick flow on the hardwood floor.

Instead of feeling relieved, though, I just seemed to irritate my achy joints more.

That’s because I wasn’t careful when pressing on joints that aren’t usually weight bearing, Alice Trieu, a certified-yoga instructor affiliated with the yoga streaming platform Practyce, says – that’s the most important part of practicing yoga on hard surfaces.

“Definitely, no jumping back into Plank or Chaturanga. Avoid force or impact across the top and bottom of the metatarsals of the foot by stepping back to Plank and Chaturanga – and flip the feet from Downward to Upward Facing Dog,” she adds.

Since every practice, person, and environment is different, listening to your body can be the most telling guide to feeling good.

Trieu points out that a grass-based flow could feel great for some and could cause rashes for others. The beach is better for soft landings, but you run the risk of getting sand in your face (not fun!). Hardwood and other rigid surfaces, like pavement, can make lying on your stomach uncomfortable (especially for your hip bones!) and can be tough on knee joints while kneeling, too.

Clearly, though, mats aren’t necessary for a successful flow – in fact, Trieu says that the instability of different surfaces can teach the body to turn on different muscles to stay balanced.

Making a mat-less flow work for you could be as simple as practicing on a towel, rug, or anything that offers some cushion and grip, Trieu says – opting for a standing sequence or chair yoga is always an option, too.

Yes, mat-less flows have some downsides – but if it means getting out of doing Chaturanga (my least favorite pose!), it may have to become a consistent part of my fitness routine.

Click here for more health and wellness stories, tips, and news.

Gallery: 3 sports medicine experts share how to deal with an injury at home, plus the recovery equipment you need to do it (INSIDER)



a hand holding a cell phone: When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.Recovering from a sports-related injury often requires a visit to a physical therapist who not only properly diagnoses the injury but can recommend treatment as well.But when visiting a doctor's office isn't a reliable option, there are still plenty of methods for treating the injury at home.We spoke to three sports medicine experts who share their recommendations and feedback on what to do when rehabbing an injury at home and the equipment you need to do it.This article was medically reviewed by physical therapist, Dr. Bhumi Patel, PT, DPT at Redefine Healthcare.The stress that comes along with twisting your ankle hiking, waking up with a sore neck from sleeping poorly, or finding a knot in your back from unending Zoom meetings is natural. Unfortunately, those stresses can easily become more severe due to how hard it might be to safely visit your physical therapist to help heal your aches and pains. But fret not, even if you're spending more time at home and lack access to your go-to PT, there's still plenty of methods for finding relief — and your doctor should still be able to help you out no matter the distance. Amir El Shami, an Illinois physiatrist specializing in orthopedics, sports medicine, and other non-surgical medicine, says that even when you can't see your physical therapist, by combining telemedicine with knowledge of your health history, a doctor can make a good diagnosis and help you start to rehab at home. Miles Colaprete, Doctor of Chiropractic in Shelburne, Vermont, agrees.

Continue Reading