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.
My ideal 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, stretching, toning, and strengthening muscles—plus clearing and centering the mind—all at the same time. In addition to taking a yoga class, I incorporate yoga into my home at-home workouts. If you’re interesting in trying yoga, here are a few yoga positions I highly recommend.
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 hamstring and calf, along with stretching your back.
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 Earth. It’s important to keep the tops of your feet grounded down into the Earth. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
3. Warrior 1: Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart, and step one leg back a leg’s length at a 45-degree angle. All four corners 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 yoga moves 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.
REMINDER: You can also enter to win a free trip to my Kripalu Weekend Workshop and Yoga Retreat on July 29-31, 2011. I will be demonstrating bio-energetic exercises, and there will be yoga sessions with Thai massage and Kripalu-trained yoga practitioner Liza Doussan.