Let’s face it, there can be a lot of things that can get in the way of a regular exercise routine. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, schedules get busy, or you’re traveling. What I’ve found works for me (and I do workout regularly) is to have a variety of exercise options at my disposal, including yoga.
My ideal exercise routine is the one I follow when I’m home and not traveling. I use my Power Plate and lift weights in my finished basement. Then, I add in walks, yoga, and Pilates sessions. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more parts of my exercise routine—but today I want to talk about yoga.
Yoga is a great all-around exercise because it stretches, tones, and strengthens muscles, and also clears and centers the mind.Yoga is also a good addition into a weight loss exercise program. In addition to taking a yoga class, I incorporate yoga into my at-home workouts. If you’re interested in trying yoga, here are a few yoga poses I highly recommend.
Three Yoga Poses to Add to Your Exercise Routine
Yoga Pose #1: Downward Dog: Start on your hands and knees, then lift your buttocks up so your hands and feet are on floor, and your body is in upside-down “V.” This helps to open the hamstrings and calves, along with stretching your back.
Yoga Pose #2: Half (or Baby) Cobra (see photo): This position is a gentle stretch for your lower back, and it helps to open the heart. Lie face down on the floor with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows tucked in to the sides of your body. Next, lift your head and your chest off the ground. It’s important to keep the tops of your feet grounded down into the Earth. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
Yoga Pose #3: Warrior 1: Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart, and step one leg back at a 45-degree angle. The entire surface of both feet should be pressed down into the Earth. Bend the front knee and lift your arms overhead, with your back leg remaining straight. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg. This move strengthens your legs, and it’s a heart-opener as well.
To see several of these yogs poses illustrated, plus several additional ones you can try, see Yoga for Heart Health. You want to start gently, and work your way up as you get stronger and more flexible.
Now It's Your Turn: Is yoga part of your exercise routine?