Sweat: Yoga I

Its been a couple years since I began practicing yoga. I started as a way to improve flexibility as a runner & I hated stretching. Even when I “retired” from running, my yoga practice continued; because I realized the other health benefits. Not only was I more flexible, but I felt more centered, I was calmer, less anxious and most importantly,

I always leave the mat feeling empowered! 

Despite countless hours spent on the mat,  I still felt like I couldn’t progress past “novice”. In my frustration, I realized just how much strength I developed. Whenever I am struggling with a new pose/sequence, I find myself going back to this first yoga sequence I ever learned called the SUN SALUTATION. The difficulty level is low. There is low impact. Not much equipment is needed just a yoga mat but you can do it even without the mat.

  1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
    Start at the front of the mat with your feet about shoulder length apart bring your hands in front of your chest allowing your elbows to form a right angel exhale into mountain pose.
  2. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
    Next, inhale as you reach your hands over your head. Keeping your palms together, bend your head back to look at your thumbs.
  3. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
    Exhale as you release your palms and slowly bend over into a forward fold. If you feel pressure in your lower back bend at the knees slightly. To further modify you can use blocks if your hands don’t reach all the way down to the mat. Release your neck and allow your head to hand heavily.
  4. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
    Inhale as you step your left foot back to a lunge then right foot to meet the left in the Down Dog Pose. Press your hands firmly against the mat. Imagine that your torso is being stretched between the arms and legs.
  5. Front Plank
    Exhale bringing your torso forward until your shoulders are over your wrists. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. Engage your core to prevent your back from collapsing. Try holding for up to 60 seconds.
  6. Upward Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
    Inhale and straighten your arms, and sweep your chest forward into Up Dog. Keep your legs engaged and press your the front of your thighs upward, drawing your shoulders down and away from your ears. Look straight ahead or look slightly upward.
  7. Table Pose (Ardha Uttanasana)
    Exhale and push your fingertips down into the floor, straighten your elbows, then lift your front torso away from your thighs. Lengthen the front of your torso as you arch evenly along the entire length of your spine.

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