A Simple & Restorative Yoga Routine for Your Student Apartment

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young woman in yoga pose

One of the best ways to stay fit is to practice yoga on a regular basis. The following restorative moves are ideal for when you need a break from studying and are simple enough that even beginners will be able to do them.

1. Prayer Pose

Begin your routine by putting yourself in the right mindset with some meditation in prayer pose. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your palms together in prayer position at your heart center. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. This pose is also ideal on its own any time you need to relax, such as if you’re feeling stressed and need to calm your thoughts.

2. Tree Pose

Move from prayer to tree pose by placing the sole of one foot on the inside of your other leg. If you’re a beginner, you may initially need to work on your balance by placing your foot next to your ankle. As you advance, you can practice putting your foot higher until it rests against your inner thigh (bear in mind, you should never put your foot next to your knee). You can also work on your balance by holding onto a chair, although eventually you will want to have both hands in prayer position. After holding the pose for a few breaths on one side, switch to the other side.

3. Standing Forward Bend

Placing both feet back on the floor, reach down to see if you can touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. This will feel great if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day and need to stretch out your hamstrings and spine.

4. Chair Pose

Bring your feet together and reach your arms overhead. Squat down as far as you can while keeping your spine straight. This is an ideal move for toning your muscles in the lower half of your body.

5. Yogi Squat

Crouch into a squat, bringing your hands back into prayer position. Drop as low as you can while making sure your feet stay flat on the floor. It may take some practice before you’re able to get close to the ground.

6. Seated Forward Bend

Move to a seated position on your mat and stretch out both legs in front of you. Keeping your back straight, hinge forward to grab your shins, ankles, or feet — whatever you can reach. You’ll experience a similar stretch to the standing forward bend, but it will be more intense.

7. Upward-Facing Dog

Shift to lying facedown on your mat with your hands under your shoulders. Push yourself up until your entire torso is off the mat and your arms are straight. This will stretch out all the muscles in your back and chest, which is great for correcting your posture after you’ve been sitting at your laptop for hours.

8. Child’s Pose

Keeping your hands where they are, shift your weight back until you’re sitting on your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor. Stay in this position for a while, just enjoying the stretch.

9. Lotus Pose

A pose to do at the end of your practice is lotus. Depending on your flexibility, you may only be able to sit cross-legged, you may be able to put one leg on the top of the other, or you may be able to place each ankle on the opposite knee. Consider using this outside your yoga practice for meditation — for instance, you could do this first thing in the morning while still sitting on your bed.

To practice yoga at home, you’ll need at least enough space for a mat, which may be more space than you have available if you’re living on campus. For spacious rooms for rent near University of Alberta, there’s 1TEN on Whyte. As well as using your private bedroom for your yoga routine, you can work out in the onsite gym, which has state-of-the-art equipment. Book a tour to check out the apartments and other amenities before you sign a lease.

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