Yoga that you can customize to fit your time constraints, as well as physical and mental state…
This is the first of several posts from our friend, Jenna Robb, about her “Exquisite Practices.”
This month I’ll be presenting a series of yoga practices for you to try at home. The beauty of having a home yoga practice is that you can customize your workout to your time constraint and physical or emotional state. In this “Radiant Yogis” series, I’ll focus each week’s poses toward different physical and emotional conditions, which you can do on their own or incorporate into a longer practice. And check out the fantastic FP Movement outfits, which are perfect for stretching and exercise. Enjoy!
WEEK 1: Energizing Poses
We’ll begin this month with energizing poses. At the end of a long workday, it can be difficult to face making dinner or going out. If you’re like me, you’ll plop down on the sofa and scroll through Instagram until there’s not enough time to either work out or go out. So you order a pizza with… plenty of vegetable toppings and call it a ‘movie night’. Bad girl! While I’ll readily admit that a once-in-a-blue-moon pizza and movie night is essential for anyone’s overall well-being, letting it slip into weekly frequency turns me into a blue moon. That’s when I close my apps, roll out my yoga mat, light a candle,and spend just ten or fifteen minutes doing a series of poses to re-energize and center myself. Below is a series of poses that work as well as a late afternoon lattè.
Mountain Pose with Deep Breathing
Beginning your practice in mountain pose with deep breathing will bring your mind and body into focus. Stand in mountain pose, feet rooted into the ground and head floating up toward the sky. Inhale your arms up over your head, reach up and look up, then bring your hands down to your heart in prayer, exhaling completely. Keep your core intact and continue a few more times.
Interval exercises of any kind are great for boosting your heart rate and getting you energized. Some of my favorites are done from plank pose: jumping your feet forward and back from plank to squat, or bringing your knee into your opposite elbow, then extending it across your body (as shown below) and alternating for 10-20 reps. Both of these exercises are not only great cardio, but are excellent for strengthening your core. As always, keep your breath steady and your core intact throughout your intervals.
Lay on your back with your feet as close to your bum as you can get them. Keep your feet and knees facing directly forward and your hands placed firmly at your sides. Inhale, then slowly exhaling, roll up from your tailbone, lifting your hips as high as you can. If you can, roll your shoulders back and clasp your hands underneath you, breathing steadily. Keep your hips lifted and your knees parallel. I’ve shown two variations below: slowly shift your weight and lift one, then the other leg for a more challenging pose. To reverse, from the very top of your spine, slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time.
Upward Bow Pose
Noticing a pattern? Backbends of any kind are very helpful for re-energizing and getting your blood moving through your body. Only do upward bow pose if you are an experienced yogi — know your limits and move carefully into new poses. Starting in the same position as bridge, bring your hands behind your shoulders, inhale, and then exhale lifting your hips and shoulders off the ground. Let your head hang heavy, keep your tailbone extended toward your knees, and keep your knees and feet facing directly forward. Then, inhale, and very slowly ease out of upward bow by lowering first the very top of your neck and rolling down one vertebrae at a time back onto your mat. Once you’re comfortable with upward bow, play around with gently straightening your legs and pushing your chest forward. Keep breathing!
Want more Yoga tips?