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Practice Yoga Safely Online

Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., a Peloton yoga instructor, shares her advice for avoiding injury when your teacher isn’t in the room to spot you.

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Doing yoga at home has never been easier, with plenty of teachers offering live and on-demand classes. But not having a teacher in the room can open you up to injury. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., a Peloton yoga instructor, shares her advice for staying safe.

Listen to your body, not your ego.

Pushing yourself too far in a pose, whether it’s trying to touch your toes in Standing Forward Bend or balance in Headstand, is a recipe for injury. Use your breath to find the sweet spot between working hard and not too hard (or not at all).

If you find yourself breathing at a faster pace in a pose, ease back.

On the other hand, if you’re able to have a conversation with your kid in the other room when the on-screen teacher asks you to hold Utkatasana (Chair Pose), you might be able to drop your hips a little deeper.

Try different teachers.

Moving through the same classes on autopilot can cause overuse injuries from doing the same types of movements too frequently or not paying attention to good form. Since there’s a lot of variety in how teachers sequence their classes and cue poses, alternating classes and teachers can introduce you to layers of subtleties you might not have known.

Invest in some props.

Constantly ask yourself, What do I need to do to support myself in this shape? Often, that means literally using support in the form of blocks, straps, and blankets. Set your home space up with this gear.

see also Try This Restorative, Hip-Opening Yoga Sequence for Ultimate Rejuvenation