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How to achieve the most results in Yoga?
Have you tried yoga at home? Ready to change your exercise routine and try something new? Try this yoga routine to help increase your flexibility, balance, strength, and improve your overall health! It doesn’t get much better than that right?
How to achieve the most results in Yoga routine?
We live in a fast-paced, over-stimulated world. By nature, human beings are creatures of habit. Getting up and going into autopilot, just to fit it all in so you can get it done and move on to the next day is the norm. This applies to work, relationships, and our bodies.
This is a huge mistake! Not listening to our bodies is a recipe for disaster.
The body is incredibly intelligent and it is full of data. When we strengthen the connection between body and mind, we become more aware of and receptive to the body’s feedback. This is what yoga does especially power yoga.
Slowing down and paying attention helps you to slow down and pay attention. Paying attention to your thoughts and the physical sensations in your body lets you counteract “the autopilot cycle” and opens you up to greater wellbeing.
So how do you get started? Begin practicing yoga today, by completing this 3 sequence of poses that are broken down into three categories: Strength Balance and Flexibility.
The sequences are meant to be done together and in that order. However, some yoga is better than no yoga, so if you are short on time work on 1 or 2 sequences and finish the rest later at least do a few of these poses at home.
Take six to eight deep breaths in each pose.
1. High Lunge
Target Muscles: Strengthens quadriceps and glutes; stretches hip flexors.
Getting into the Pose:
- Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips.
- Step back with your left leg and bend deeply into the right knee.
- This is a good way to draw your body parts. Draw the top leg on its side so that it is parallel with the floor and hug the thigh. Then stack the heel over the big toe. Turn the hand and make a circle as you move down to your toes.
- Extend your arms skyward.
2. Warrior 2
Target muscle groups: Strengthens the thighs and quadriceps; stretches the inner thigh.
Getting into the Pose from High Lunge:
- Turn your feet 90 degrees and place your heel down on the floor so that the outside edge of your foot will be parallel to the short side of your mat.
- Open up your arms to the horizon and look over them.
Target muscle groups are the upper body and core muscles.
Getting into the Pose from Warrior 2:
- Cartwheel your hands to the floor.
- Hands frame the right foot.
- Stand the right foot back to meet with the left. You may be able to release your knees to the floor for support.
Target Muscular Groups: Strengthens the back and core muscles; opens the shoulders and hamstrings.
Getting into the pose from Plank:
- Place your palms flat on the floor and bend your elbows to bring them to the floor.
- Look between your thumbs and walk your toes toward your elbows.
5. Locust Target muscle groups are the posterior chain, chest, and shoulder muscles.
Getting into the pose from Dolphin:
- Walk your feet back out to the forearm plank and release them onto the ground.
- Bring your neck slightly forward, so that your chin rests on the floor. Extend both arms out in front of you with palms down.
- Lift your feet so that your chest and arms are off the ground.
Balance postures require a tremendous amount of focus while still challenging and building strength in the legs. They also highlight any areas of weakness in the smaller stabilizing muscles.
This standing at home yoga sequence builds on the strength sequence challenging balance while continuing to stretch and strengthen the quadriceps, hip flexor, inner thigh, and glute muscles. All balancing poses begin in the Mountain pose.
1. Mountain Pose
Target Muscle Groups: Your entire body!
Getting into Mountain:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press the balls of your feet and heels into the ground, and engage your thigh muscles to draw your knees up by using your thighs.
- Tuck your tailbone toward the ground. Crouch toward the floor, curving your belly button downward and back.
- Inhale deeply and fix your gaze on a stationary spot in front of you.
Target Muscles Group: Inner Thigh
Getting into Tree:
- Rock your weight over to the left leg and externally rotate your right leg bending at the knee slightly and resting your foot on the floor.
- Choose a standing position, with your right leg up in the air and your right foot on your calf. (Don’t put pressure on your knee joint.)
3. Figure 4
Target Muscle Group: Deep 6 Rotators
Getting into Figure 4:
- Wiggle the left leg and lift the right knee at an angle.
- Rightward rotate the right leg and place the outer right ankle just above the left knee.
- Deeply bend the left leg.
4. Standing Quad Stretch / Dancer
Target muscle groups: Quads, hip flexors, chest and abdomen.
Getting into Standing Quad Stretch:
- Get your weight into the left leg and bend your right knee heel to butt.
- Catch your right foot with your hand.
- Stay here or progress to Dancer by kicking your right foot into your right hand.
After a workout, stretch your muscles. The flexibility exercises below will help align the spine and open hip flexors, hamstring muscles in your back, and inner thigh muscles.
1. Standing Forward Fold:
Exercise the hamstrings. Do an exercise to exercise your back and hamstrings.
Getting into Standing Forward Fold:
- From Mountain pose, hinge from the hips and bend forward.
- Clasp your hands together with the right hand in front of you and the left hand behind you. Grip the back of both hands with your elbows reaching toward the ground.
- Make a hand symbol and put your arms behind you. Do a back stretch.
2. Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
Stretches the inner thighs and groin.
Getting into Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold:
- Find a comfortable seat on the floor.
- Sit with your legs stretched out. Sit on a block or towel for support.
- Extend your spine and walk your hands forward so you are looking over your shoulder.
3. Revolve Head to Knee Pose
Target muscle groups: Stretches the hips, hamstrings, inner thigh and side body.
Coming up from a seated wide leg forward fold:
- Bend the left leg and stick your left foot to your right inner thigh.
- Make a fist with your right hand and reach your left arm up and place your right hand or forearm to the inside of your right leg.
- Find length in your waste and bend to the right. Be sure to keep your left sitting bone grounded.
4. Seated Spinal Twist
Target Muscles: Stretches the spine, chest, and hip.
Get into the Seated Spinal Twist from Revolve Head to Knee.
- Stand up and cross over your left leg.
- Put your left hand on the bottom of your spine so you can rock back and forth.
- Twist your spine and hook your right elbow around or in front of your left knee.
- Extend the right leg or bend the knee to deepen the outer hip stretch.
The benefits of an at-home yoga routine are many: increased strength flexibility and balance reduced stress elevated mood and sharpened focus. Do the above sequences three times per week for one month, and notice how you feel. You may also notice subtle shifts in other areas of life. Perhaps you will feel more focused or alert, or perhaps you will feel less stressed or anxious about your daily activities. Sleep better or are more patient at work.
People who practice yoga at home have a greater appreciation of their physical well-being and tend to make healthier decisions, including food choices.
Anything you love to do will benefit from yoga, including golf and team sports. Yoga will improve your balance, flexibility and endurance.
The physical poses are challenging, but it is also a good way to get in shape.
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