Melt flab fast with these yoga exercisesBy:
This flowing power yoga sequence by David Magone, creator of PranaVayu Yoga, will raise your heart rate while introducing you to relaxation and meditative techniques that you can use off the mat.
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Sit at the front of your mat in a comfortable cross-legged position. Allow your eyes to close, ground your tailbone to the floor, and lengthen upward through the crown of your head.
Lift your right hand to your face. Place the tips of your index and middle fingers on the space between your eyebrows. Direct your focus there as you breathe. Block your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Block your left nostril with your ring finger, pause a second, and then exhale through the right. Repeat, breathing slowly and deeply from the left side to the right for 10 to 20 rounds of inhale and exhale.
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Begin standing with your hands at your chest in prayer position. Direct your focus inward and breathe deeply for 5 to 10 rounds of inhales and exhales.
Inhale. Sweep your arms overhead.
Refresh your yoga routine with these sun salutation moves
Exhale. Keeping your back straight, hinge from your hips and fold forward taking your fingertips or palms to the floor next to your toes.
Inhale. Lift from your full forward bend up to your fingertips, lengthening your spine forward and forming a right angle between your torso and your legs. Exhale, hinging from your hips and folding forward again to deepe the stretch to the backs of your legs. Inhale, keeping your spine straight and sweeping back up to standing. Extend your arms overhead. Exhale and bring your hands together in prayer position at your chest. Repeat the half sun salute 10 times. Note: If transitioning with straight legs between forward bend and standing bothers your back, bend your knees.
A yoga workout you can do anywhere
After finishing your last round of the half sun salute, bend your knees and reach both hands overhead on an inhale. Lengthen your spine by gently scooping your tailbone toward your heels. Lift your belly muscles up and in. To relax your shoulders, turn your palms inward toward your face and allow your shoulder blades to slide downward your back. Hold for 10 full breaths. To release, straighten your legs coming to mountain pose and bring your hands to your chest in prayer position.
Transition: Inhale, sweeping arms overhead. Exhale, hinging from your hips and folding forward. Inhale, lifting to your fingertips and lengthening your spine forward. Exhale, stepping back, squeezing your elbows into your ribs, and lowering to low pushup position (chaturanga). Engage your abs; reach through your heels and the crown of your head; relax your shoulders away from your ears.
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Inhale, rolling over your toes to up dog, straightening your arms and pulling your chest through them to bend your back. Exhale and curl your toes under, lifting your hips into downward-facing dog pose (adho mukha svanasana). See next slide.
To protect your wrists, make sure that your middle fingers point directly forward. Press evenly through all parts of your hands. Keep your spine long and straight by pressing outward through your crown and scooping your tail as though it could touch the space between your heels. To engage your legs, rotate your heels slightly outward and press them toward the floor, drawing your kneecaps up as you do so. Press your heels closer to the floor every time you exhale. Hold for five full breaths.
A Yoga workout for athletes
Tip: If keeping your back straight is difficult, practice down dog with bent knees.
Lift your right foot into the air from down dog. Look forward and step it up next to your right hand. Turn your left foot out about 25 degrees and place the heel down so your left arch lines up with your right heel. Inhale, bending your right knee, and come to standing with your torso facing left and your arms extended out at shoulder height. Keep your right knee stacked directly above your ankle. Stack your shoulders directly above your pelvis. Hold for 10 breaths.
Take a vinyasa: Exhale and return to plank pose and lower to chaturanga. Inhale and roll over your toes to up dog. Exhale, lifting your hips to come into down dog. Repeat warrior II on the other side.
Step your right leg forward to warrior II position from downward dog. Keep your right leg bent and either stack your right arm on your right leg or place your right hand on the floor near the inside of your right foot. Keep the sides of your torso long and extend your left arm over the left ear creating a long line from the outside of your left foot all the way out through your left fingertips. Extend with your inhales and twist your torso open further every time you exhale. Hold for 10 breaths. To release, take a vinyasa and repeat on the other side.
Increase your flexibility with yoga
From downward dog, lift your right foot into the air and step it forward between your hands. Keep your left heel up and bend your right knee. Sweep your arms up overhead into the crescent lunge. Square your hips to the front of the mat and lift them away from your thighs. Place your hands in a prayer position at your chest, lift your belly up and in and twist to the right. Cross your left elbow over your right leg and gently twist your torso to the right. Hold for 10 full breaths. To release, inhale your arms overhead, take a vinyasa and repeat on the other side.
Tip: If this is too difficult with the back knee raised, or you feel too wobbly, you can move your front foot toward the outer edge of your mat for stability or lower your knee to the floor (as shown here).
Inhale and step your feet forward to your hands from down dog, lifting onto your fingertips to lengthen your spine. Exhale and fold forward. Inhale, bend your knees, and reach your arms overhead into chair pose. Cross your right arm under your left. Bend your arms and bring your palms together. Cross your right leg over the top of your left leg and hook your ankles if you can. To help balance in this the pose, fix your eyes on one point and breathe deeply for 10 full breaths. To release, unfurl your arms and reach them overhead. Draw your right knee to your chest and straighten the standing leg. With your arms still extended overhead, step your foot back to warrior I (virabhadrasana I) position. See next slide.
Yoga workouts for better posture
Tip: Don't worry if you can't hook your ankles. Simply cross one knee over the other and work toward it patiently.
Turn your back heel so the toes are angled out about 45 degrees and your front foot faces directly ahead. Square your hips and torso with the front of the mat and extend your arms overhead. To stabilize your foundation, ground down through your back foot as though you were squishing a grape under your heel and scoop your tailbone to lengthen the lower back. Hold for 10 breaths. To release, take a vinyasa and repeat, from eagle on the other side.
After returning to downward dog, lift your right foot into the air and swing your right ankle toward your left wrist. Bring your knee and shin to the floor. Shift your right knee to the right until it is aligned with your armpit. Draw the foot of your right foot back toward your left hip bone. Keeping hips relatively square, curl your left toes under and slide your rear leg back. Lengthen your spine up. Hinge from your hip crease and fold forward. Rest your head on top of your hands in prayer position. Hold for 10 full breaths.
Om Alone: At home yoga workout
Tip: If your hips are tight and you can't get your butt to the floor, place a block or a folded blanket under your right hip.
From pigeon pose, place your hands on either side of your leg. Inhale and bring your torso upright. With an exhale, swing your left knee over the top of your right knee. Draw your left foot back near your right hip and stack your knees if possible. Hold your feet like the handlebars on a bicycle. Ground down through your sit bones, lengthen upward, and then fold forward. Hold for 10 breaths.
Keep your legs in cow face position and sit up tall. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand behind you on the floor. Try to keep the bottom of your ribcage from jutting as you twist. Lift your belly muscles up and in. Lengthen upward on your inhales and twist further on your exhales. Hold for 10 full breaths. To release, untwist and and uncross your legs. Plant your hands near the front of the mat and jump back through a vinyasa. Take five full breaths in downward dog and repeat the last three poses (pigeon, cow face, cow face twist) on the other side.
Yoga for your post-break up
After finishing five breaths in your downward dog, sit or hop to a seated position on the floor. Extend your legs straight out in front of you with your toes pointing straight up. Move the flesh of your buttocks out from underneath you and separate your heels by about 6 inches apart. Grab your big toes or wrap a strap or towel around your feet if you can't reach. Keep your back straight as you fold forward. Lengthen your spine, drawing the crown of your head toward your toes. Hold for 10 full breaths.
From a sitting position with your legs and arms stretched out in front of you, slowly roll down your back one section of spine at a time. Extend your legs on the floor and allow your feet to be slightly wider than your hips. Extend your arms out to the sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and relax for 10 minutes.
Yoga for Bedtime
This body scanning method can be used to release tension, decrease anxiety, and cope with stressful situations. Although the technique can be used anywhere, it works particularly well with in corpse pose. Depending on how quickly you scan, the exercise can take between 5 and 15 minutes to complete. Here's how:
Imagine that your body were made of candle wax. Shift your awareness to the crown of your head, and melt that space with your gaze. As the wax begins to melt, feel the tension releasing from your scalp. Scan downward slowly through your face, neck and the rest of the body until you reach your toes, spending extra time melting any areas that feel tense. To finish, scan from the toes all the way back to the crown of your head. When you have finished, focus your mind on the sound of your breath and simply relax.
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