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4 Ways to Get Your Yoga on — No Mat Required!

Traditionally yoga is done on the floor, but your mat isn't the only place you can stretch, strengthen, and calm your body and mind. Since yoga's burst in popularity, people have figured out ways to incorporate basic yoga poses into other forms of movement and fitness. If you're a fan of practicing on your mat, check out these four exciting ways to deepen your love affair with yoga.

Paddleboard Yoga
If you love being on the water, try a Paddleboard Yoga class. Instead of Down Dogging on a mat, you're balancing on a board that's drifting along the surface of the water. Sounds tough? Well, it is, but that's what makes it fun. During your first few classes, you'll probably spend more time plummeting into the water than staying upright on your board, but with practice, you'll develop the core strength, stability, and concentration to do an entire practice while staying dry.

Aerial Yoga
Yoga is special on its own, but combine it with a hanging fabric trapeze, and it becomes magical. Doing yoga poses when the weight of your body is supported in the air not only feels freeing, but it helps with correct alignment and enhances the peaceful and calm feeling you love from traditional yoga. This type of yoga is a great way to approach intimidating poses like inversions or back bends, and the power of gravity allows for deeper muscle releases than you can achieve on the ground.

Keep reading to learn about Acro Yoga and Water Yoga.

Acro Yoga
This unique form of partner yoga incorporates acrobatics, but instead of doing your poses on a mat, you do them on another person. The person on the bottom is called "the base," and the person on top doing all the crazy moves is called "the flyer." Holding another person in the air requires a great deal of strength, so you'll definitely get ripped with this yoga practice. But more importantly, doing yoga poses on another person offers deeper stretches and a sense of connection you could never get while doing yoga on your own. This type of yoga is playful, exhilarating, and complementary to any current yoga practice.

Water Yoga
You love to swim and you love to do yoga, so why not combine the two? It's somewhat like water aerobics, but instead of leg lifts and side bends, you use the resistance and buoyancy of the water to practice yoga poses. It's great for those with joint paint or other injuries and a wonderfully different way to improve your strength, balance, and coordination, all while achieving a sense of deep relaxation. Some poses are done while standing on the pool's floor, while others use equipment to help you stay afloat, so you can do poses suspended in the water. During the hot Summer months, it might be a wonderful switch from the traditionally hot and sweaty practice you experience at the studio.

Source: Flickr user lululemon athletica, Flickr user lululemon athletica, Flickr user lululemon athletica, and Flickr user innacoz

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