I haven’t done yoga for a month. I was doing it almost every day for a good 6 months (at least once a week prior to that) but ever since moving back and not having the space (or place) to do practice, I just haven’t done it. Nor had I been truly motivated to either. I wanted to and I researched some studios in the area, but that was as far as my drive went. I can tell the effect not practicing has had on my physical and emotional health. I don’t feel as connected to myself as I once had, I’m listening more to my body, but the mind, body, soul connection has weakened.
So with that said, I have dedicated today’s post to none other than yoga. A sort of “how-to for beginners” for those of you who would like to practice but are still a little intimidated. I want to start off by giving you all a simple Salutation you can do to help familiarize yourself with some of the poses. This will be something you can do any time, any where, and will help on your path of wellness.
First, standing at the front of your mat (if you don’t have one find a carpeted surface) with your hands at your side, warm your lungs with a few deep inhales and exhales. Be sure to check your posture, tummy sucked in, butt pulled underneath you, and standing up straight with your heart open and pushed towards the sky.
Next, as you inhale raise your arms up and over your head and as you exhale lower them back down. Repeat this 10 – 12 times.
Then, as you inhale and raise your arms, rotate your trunk starting to the right, exhale and reach your right arm to your left side and your left arm behind you to your right.
Repeat this rotating to the left, reaching your left arm to your right side and right arm behind you to your left. Repeat this 5 – 6 times each side.
Now, inhale arms up and exhale into a Swan Dive – arms out to your side, leading with your heart toward the ground, tailbone back, back arched and knees softly bent – and sweep your fingertips to the ground.
And inhale Reverse Swan Dive – arms out to your side, heart still pushed forward, back arched, lifting with the legs, knees softly bent – exhale bringing your arms back to your side. Repeat this flow 6 – 8 times.
Moving on, inhale arms up, exhale swan dive, and inhale into Monkey – flatten your back, imagine a string is pulling you at the spine in both direction causing it to lengthen, place your hands on your shins, shoulders pulled back, knees straightened.
Exhale place your hand on the mat (or floor), step both feet back into a plank position
(lower to your knees if you need too)
and lower yourself into Chaturanga – elbows in close to the body, tailbone pushed up, back arched, chest toward the ground but not touching it, lower yourself into a push up.
Inhale to Upward Facing Dog – push your heart up to the sky by straightening your ams, tops of your feet on the mat, thighs lifted off the mat, do not let your back fall towards the ground, use your muscles to keep the arch secure.
Exhale into Downward Facing Dog – toes curl back under and heals towards the ground, lift your tailbone to the sky (imagine a string pulling your tailbone to the ceiling), push your chest towards your mat, arms strong, weight shifted to your legs. Remain here for 6 – 8 breaths
When you’re ready, inhale stepping your feet to your hands and Reverse Swan Dive arms up, coming together at the top in a prayer position
Exhale bringing your hands down the center of your body, through your third eye for wisdom and clarity, and to your heart’s center.
-You can do this flow several times, doing each move with each breath making it a fluid motion, otherwise do it at your own pace according to your own breaths.
It’s time for a GIVE-AWAY! Leave me a comment of your favorite yoga moves or exercise moves that you can’t live without, and one lucky winner will receive a box of some of my Vegan Favorites!