Dog Yoga Poses

Dog Yoga Poses

A hot yogi's best friend is the yoga towel. As I was once told in a Bikram yoga class, it's crucial that a towel is placed over your mat when you're dripping with sweat after an hour performing power moves in a sauna-like environment. The teacher explained that if I started slipping during extended triangle I should simply tense my leg muscles to keep me steady – all part of the practice apparently, and a great way of preventing you from unceremoniously tumbling into your neighbour.

Get a Grip towels are specifically designed to cover the length of your mat and come in two different types. The first has grippy ‘nubs' on the underside, which help hold onto the mat.

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These work better with a shiny PVC surface rather than a rougher eco mat. And you won't need to sweat as much. Then there's the version without nubs, which requires only moisture to keep you steady. It's recommended that you spray the towel with water before you start your practice, or roll down the top section where your hands rest while they're still dry enough to grip onto the mat Another option is to wet your hands and feet, and dry them on the two ends of the towel.

Don’t forget that if you sweat during class, the only type of surface on which you II have a hope of staying put will be made from cotton or jute.

These are the best eco mats on the market in terms of grip. The threads of jute in the biodegradable ecoYoga mat provide a naturally sticky surface to practise on. Designed by and for Ashtanga yoga practitioners, they combine a cloth surface and sticky mat in one. But this is definitely not a mat for life'. If you're practising jump-throughs on a daily basis and generally battering it with good yogic intentions, the jute mat will degrade fairly quickly.

Modern yoga might be a bit different form the style practised in ancient India, but the first ever yoga mat was an animal skin. Think Kundalini yogi Russell Brand and his sheepskin rug, with a harem of ladies. OK maybe not quite like that, but the traditional cotton rug is an excellent all-rounder for the slippery yogi. Not only can it can be used practically as a decorative rug, but it also provides an excellent grip and is machine-washable, making it a joy to clean after a sweaty session. However, it's probably best to put a mat underneath to keep it steady.


Magnesium carbonate is used as a drying agent by gymnasts, weightlifters and the climbing community to keep their hands in place. It comes in two types, liquid and powder. The powdered variety comes in a porous mesh ball filled with chalk dust and is squeezed onto the hands before class, which also has the added benefit of stress relief. The liquid type comes in a bottle and is squirted onto your hands then allowed to dry. After the alcohol evaporates, a layer of chalk remains. Liquid chalk lasts longer than regular chalk and leaves less residue on the mat, but it is also a bit more expensive.

Apart from cotton rugs and the jute-threaded variety, many mats fresh off the shelf can be a slippery disaster zone. To avoid embarrassment, always make sure you wear it in before taking it along to your first class. A good way to do this is rinse it in cold water and scrub it with a sponge. This will only work for certain mats and it's best to check with the supplier or manufacturer first. Some machine-washable mats only need a few cycles until they become sticky enough to practise on. Don’t forget that if you sweat during class, the only type of surface on which you'll have a hope of staying put will be made from cotton or jute. The rest you'll be sliding off like Bambi on ice.

Even when were on the yoga mat, we're not always in the present moment. We can find our thoughts wandering off to think about what we're going to do later or how we feel about the particular pose were in. Jill Satterfield, the renowned US yoga teacher and founder of Vajra Yoga & Meditation, suggests how to bring mindfulness into our yoga practice.

If we think of a posture as a shape or form, and the breath and mind as the content – where does the breath/mind go in this particular shape and. Where does it not go? If we allow our breath to be as natural as possible, little by little we begin to distinguish where we like to breathe and where we don't; we have to witness this without any manipulation.

Once we can watch our breath as it is naturally, we are able to see yourselves as we are, not as we wish. This then becomes the foundation for what I call Meditation in Motion'. In meditation practice, we are (primarily) watching the breath, not fixing or fiddling with it. In yoga asana. We are used to moving the breath on purpose, regulating it either with gentleness, or light force, but not usually just letting it be. If we practise asana with the breath as it occurs naturally, we not only can change our relationship to breath, but also rejuvenate our practice.

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