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Yoga Service

YJ’s Top 6 Stories of April 2021

This month, readers were ready to knock off the chill of winter and embrace spring. Do you feel the same? Here are some stories you might have missed.

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Spring has sprung, and by the looks of our most popular stories from April, our readers are feeling a bit tense. Whether you’re looking for poses that will help relieve your achy muscles or for tips on how to clear your closets (and your mind) through minimalism, we’re here to support you through this transitional season and all the months that follow.

Here, a collection of some of our most popular pieces from April 2021. We hope they inspire you to get to your mat or learn something new.

 

A woman performs a hamstring stretch with a band

7 Poses to Release Those Tight Hamstrings

The hamstrings flex the knee and extend the hip, meaning they’re used every day for walking, climbing stairs, or riding your bike, so it’s crucial to give them the care they need. These classic yoga poses will help stretch and soothe your muscles, so you can keep moving.

An illustrated card with the definition of Sanskrit
Photo: Illustration by Rina Deshpande

40 Common Sanskrit Words Every Yogi Should Know 

Whether you’ve just started taking yoga classes or are already an experienced yogi, there’s plenty to discover about this ancient language. We’ve broken down 40 common Sanskrit words and their meanings—beautifully illustrated by Rina Deshpande—so you can broaden your mind and confidently take to your mat.

A man performs a kneeling toe stretch in yoga
Your toes, feet, and ankles are the foundation of your body. Don’t forget to give them the TLC they deserve. Photo: Fred Lopez

6 Foot, Toe, & Ankle Stretches to Improve Your Yoga Poses 

For a healthy, flexible body, you need a healthy, flexible foundation, which is why the lower legs—including the feet, ankles, and toes, which carry so much of our weight—are worth paying considerable attention to. Stretch and strengthen these often-overlooked areas and watch your asana practice flourish.

An illustration of a black cat in a well-organized closet
Photo: Maria Grejc

How to Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

Ready to embark on your journey to minimalism? Start with your wardrobe. Modern Minimalist founder Devin VonderHaar offers six tips on how to curate your closets—and give yourself a better peace of mind.

Photo: Renee Choi

Unlock Your Backbends With Yoga Blocks 

Anyone who has ever struggled with a seemingly simple asana knows: Basic doesn’t mean easy, particularly when it comes to yoga poses. That’s where yoga props such as blocks come in handy. They can help you attune to your body in different ways and find connections a prop-free practice might not offer. Here are eight assisted poses to help stretch away back tension and build core strength.

A woman wearing black demonstrates Ustrasana (Camel Pose) in yoga

10 Energy-Boosting Poses to Banish Sluggishness

This kapha-balancing sequence offered by yoga teacher, author, and Ayurvedist Claire Raggozzino focuses on dynamic movement with longer holds, chest openers, and twists to cleanse and strengthen the body—perfect for spring!