Yoga is part of my daily routine. When I wake up and before I go to bed.
Yoga is mostly known for increasing flexibility, improving bone health, and strengthening your muscles. But few people know that yoga has several unexpected benefits — such as improved oral health. Here’s a great article by Guardian on the dental health benefits of practicing yoga.
One example of this is observed in people who grind their teeth regularly, which is often caused by a misaligned bite. I used to clench and grind my teeth while sleeping; that was related to stress and a crooked bite when younger. Many people don’t know that I got braces as an adult and had a custom aligner created. That helped stop the grinding.
An aligner alone is often used to fix crooked or misaligned teeth. You can get an aligner through your dentist or an orthodontist. There are also “over the counter” at-home aligners to consider. UpSmiles offer a reasonable price point and a choice of all-day or nighttime-only treatment. By addressing teeth misalignment and managing your stress with yoga, you can reduce or eliminate teeth grinding altogether.
If you are looking to enhance your overall wellness — as well as your oral health — with yoga, below are five ways that you can elevate your at-home practice.
Start using blocks
To build your home yoga practice, it’s worth it to invest in basic props and tools. A yoga prop that everyone should have are foam blocks. Using blocks can elevate your yoga by helping you with new and more challenging poses.
Over the long-term, blocks can help you increase your flexibility, and take your abilities to the next level. If you are someone who considers themselves to have a low level of flexibility, yoga blocks make almost any pose more accessible (especially standing poses).
Get comfortable with yoga bolsters
Yoga bolsters are essentially large cushions. If you’ve ever attended an in-person yoga class, you’ve likely used one, or have been offered to use one.
Bolsters are very versatile and can help you expand your yoga practice. One of the most common uses of a yoga bolster is to provide comfort. Those who face a disability or injury can modify numerous poses with a bolster. These cushions can act as a barrier between the mat and a sensitive knee, or provide extra support for those who have back injuries.
Bolsters can also be used for prenatal yoga, and to enhance flexibility. You can either opt to buy a bolster online, or learn to make your own.
Boost your at-home practice by using various yoga apps
While some individuals prefer to freestyle or use images of yoga poses, many others need step-by-step guidance (especially for beginners). Since it isn’t always possible to practice yoga in a space that has a television, it is much easier to use one of today’s highly-rated yoga apps on a digital device like your smartphone.
Download several yoga apps and try them. You can use these apps to watch guided classes from top instructors, set flexibility or weight loss goals, and improve your technique.
You can easily find options that are free and ones that come with a monthly subscription. The right choice will depend on your individual practice goals and your budget.
Introduce the use of an exercise ball
Greatist.com notes that exercise balls (also referred to as stability or balance balls) are a fantastic addition to any at-home yoga practice. There are poses that you can do with an exercise ball, including modified versions of downward dog, upward dog, warrior I, and warrior II.
An exercise ball can further enhance your flexibility, challenge your balance, and strengthen your core. I also use a large exercise ball to sit at my desk which helps with posture.
Use yoga mat spray
Finally, keeping your yoga mat germ-free is critical when trying to boost your overall health and wellness. If you don’t have one already, purchase or make a yoga mat cleaning spray. It’s common these sprays are made with essential oils that have natural antibacterial properties.
Elevating your at-home yoga practice is an excellent way to stay engaged in your yoga routine and to take care of your health (including your dental health). Introducing valuable tools like these will help you improve your abilities, and enhance your wellness for the long-term.
This content around yoga and oral health was inspired by Derek Goodman
Photo credit via Pexels