Category Archives: Back-to-School Yoga Basics

Best Free Online Guided Meditations for Beginners

You know meditation is good for you. But, maybe you’re not sure how to begin. Try one of these free guided meditations from experts we love.

Are you looking to advance your practice but don’t want to pay for an app subscription or membership at an expensive meditation studio? Look no further. We’ve compiled some of the best free online guided meditations that can help you relax, channel love and compassion, find self-forgiveness, and relieve anxiety.

See also This 6-Minute Sound Bath Is About to Change Your Day for the Better

Yoga Helped Me Feel Again after Losing My Mother

After losing her mother her senior year of high school, Natalya Malarczuk shut down her emotions completely to avoid feeling immense grief. She explains how yoga helped her reconnect with her body in order to heal and feel joy again.

Natalya Malarczuk

I do not consider myself a sad person. I consider myself a complex, deeply feeling individual with more on my plate than I can handle at times. My experiences have given me a unique awareness that most people my age don’t have. However, I have experienced trauma from being unable to process painful experiences as they were happening, and then burying them deep inside.

My trauma stems from the death of my mother, who died from a pulmonary embolism when she was 48. She was my only parent. I had turned 17 that summer and was going into my senior year of high school. Her death was a shock to me. I didn’t know how to react and there was nobody to guide me. So, I moved through the motions of life and started school again like life was normal. I passed familiar faces in the hallways and went to the same locker and made it to all my classes. I was hanging in there, hoping it would get better with time.

See also How Yoga Helped Me Accept My Chronic Disease. 

When I graduated and began college, I convinced myself I was moving on, but I wasn’t. A year passed and I was stagnant in my healing process. Still, I moved into college, went to my classes, made new friends, just as I was supposed to do. I was barely functioning, but I thought that was enough. At 19, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II and PTSD. I was experiencing manic episodes that were destroying my relationships. …

Try This Sequence to Stave Off School Stress

Making time for stillness during a stressful school day is an act of self-love and compassion that can fill you up when you’re feeling depleted.

Find a quiet and empty space where you can roll out your mat to practice this sequence. Coming to our mat during stressful times isn’t the easiest, but it’s definitely important. Making time to find stillness helps relieve the stress of our daily lives and allows us to feel more centered throughout the rest of our day.

This sequence is designed to get you out of your head and into the present moment. It features both restorative and grounding postures that will allow you to turn inward and connect with your breath, relieving tension in both the body and the mind.

See also Feeling Scattered? Center Yourself ASAP with a 10-Breath Meditation

Cultivate a deep and continuous breath throughout the entire practice. Take time to notice what sensations and thoughts arise throughout your practice, and, then, continue to return your attention to the breath and the here and now. 

See also 6 Cheap and Practical Ways to Practice Yoga for Students.

Yoga Helped Me Connect with Myself and My Culture

As a child growing up in Bangalore, India, Riya Davda was “forced” by her mom to take yoga classes in third grade. Eventually, yoga became a passion that led her to 200-hour teacher training in Rishikesh, India, the “yoga capital” of the world.

Riya Davda in Rishikesh, India

A stronger body, clear thoughts, moments of deep relaxation–these are a few of the many changes I’ve experienced since making yoga a way of life. Yes, I believe yoga is a way of life. But, this was not how I felt about yoga back when my mother forced me to take it in elementary school, in Bangalore, India (instead of more “fun” pursuits like volleyball, basketball, swimming, or soccer). Wanting to rebel against her, I told her I thought that yoga was dull, slow, unfashionable, and meant for senior citizens. Little did I know, this practice would soon take over my life.

Yoga as a Child

It all started in third grade after having negotiated with my mom to do a physical activity of her choice for just one year, and, later, switch to any activity I wanted. While at first resistant to yoga, it did not take much time for me to become fascinated by the various poses. I was eager to attempt all the backbends, splits, and forward folds. I chose to continue beyond that one-year mark and practiced for another three years! Then, I entered middle and high school and forgot about yoga completely.

Like many teenagers, my physique mattered most to me at the time. I started skipping meals and tried various unhealthy methods to get the body I wanted. I reached my “goal” weight, but was I actually feeling any better? Did it give me the glow I wanted? These questions were not consciously in my mind, …

6 Cheap and Practical Ways to Practice Yoga

Are you a broke college student or simply living on a tight budget? No worries! There are plenty of ways to practice for very little dough or even for free.

There are so many ways to practice yoga for free. 

Free Classes in Your Community

It might take some sleuthing, but there could be a variety of free yoga classes offered in your town. If you’re enrolled in an academic institution, go online or visit the fitness center to find out what’s being offered. But, no need to stop there! Local libraries and churches often offer free or donation-based classes. Many yoga clothing stores like Lululemon and Prana offer free weekly in-store classes. If you’re into Kundalini Yoga, sadhana (daily morning practice) is always offered free of charge.

Work Trade Programs

Many studios offer exchange programs where you can exchange time working in the studio at the desk or cleaning after class for a free or discounted membership. Many studios have this opportunity listed on their site, but for those that don’t, reaching out to studios and inquiring is definitely worth it.


There are many skilled yoga instructors that have their own YouTube channels offering high quality and free video classes with a wide variety of styles and lengths. Some great channels to check out are (links) Yoga With Adriene, Body Positive Yoga, and DOYOUYOGA.

You’re already here. Stay a while! Head on over to our sequences and video pages to find hundreds of free practices: from stress and anxiety reduction to vigorous strengthening workouts.

Donation-Based Classes

Many studios have at least one donation-based or free class on their schedule. Check out some of the local studios in your area to see if they offer these more accessible classes. Attending these free classes at multiple …

How Yoga Helped Me Accept My Chronic Disease

We asked our college-age readers to share stories of how yoga has impacted their lives. As a child, Emily Kurc, spent her time at doctors’ appointments instead of running and playing with friends. She explains how yoga helped her find peace with her diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and joy in moving her body again.

Emily Kurc practices tree pose. 

When I was younger, I wondered why children my age were taking road trips with their families to vacation spots, when the only road trips I took with my parents were to different doctors. As time went on, I began to wonder why I couldn’t run like the other children in gym class. I wondered why nobody else around me seemed to sympathize with me when I explained that I just didn’t feel good today, even when I looked fine on the outside. It took a year of different tests, scans, and diagnoses, some false, to finally reach a conclusion at age 10: I had rheumatoid arthritis.

I have spent half of my life feeling defeated by this disease. The summer before my diagnosis, I spent on my living room couch because I was too fatigued to even speak. The only visitor I had was the at-home nurse who administered my weekly dose of medication via the PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line that ran through my body. I picked out new knee braces more often than I went shopping for new clothes

I’ve spent a lot of time suffering from this disease, And, I’ve spent just as much time running away from it. I would avoid my parents when they told me it was time for my weekly injection of medication. I avoided telling my friends, because nobody seemed to really understand. “Isn’t arthritis for old people?” Rheumatoid arthritis …