An international yoga instructor writes a healthy living blog with an emphasis on yoga.

Yoga Tip: Centering

If you're looking to practice yoga at home, my biggest tip would be to make sure to start with a centering. Generally with workouts, we are so amped up to start that we skimp on the warm up. A centering is like a warm up for the yogic mind. It's a dedicated time for you to completely quiet the mind, and set an intention for your practice, making your yoga session more focused.  

How to do it: Start in a comfortable seated position. Let your hands rest on your legs, or you can bring them into Anjali mudra (prayer position, as seen in the photo). Close your eyes. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, and begin to observe the quality of your breath. Just note how your breath is-  is it shallow or deep? Are your breaths long or short? Then, begin to connect with your breath, setting a bit of intention behind each inhale and exhale. Breathe through your nose. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the present moment. Set an intention for your practice if you want. An intention is a simple statement for what you want out of your session. (Ex: I want to stay present. Or, I will honor how I'm feeling today.) After three to five minutes, start your yoga practice. 

Benefits: Focuses the mind on your practice which may help to prevent injuries. Allows you to go inward in your practice, transforming a simple yoga workout into something more spiritual. 

Tips: If you can't seem to get comfortable sitting with your legs crossed as shown in the photo, try sitting on a block or a bolster. This alleviates discomfort in the back.