“Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.” Sound familiar? The principles we learned about stretching when we were in elementary school are still vitally important today. But that doesn’t mean you have to resort to old-school calisthenics to stay limber. Yoga is an outstanding alternative to your old school P.E. moves. How so? Sticking to a yoga routine can boost your energy and help you get stronger while supporting relaxation, sleep, mind and body balance.
What to Know Before Signing up for your First Yoga Class
Finding basic postures that resonate with your body is the first step in beginning a yoga routine. Start by checking in with yourself and your goals. What are you hoping to get out of your yoga practice? Where do you tend to carry tension? Do you have any injuries that you need to account for?
You can start identifying what works for your body and what doesn’t by moving through a few beginner’s poses. Want a little more hands-on guidance? Join us at the club for a Gentle Yoga or intro class.
Understanding basic poses can help prepare you for your first class. Knowing the names of poses and how your body responds to them will help you navigate your new yogi world.
Wake Up with Sun Salutations
An energizing yoga routine can jumpstart your day without needing caffeine. You will feel more awake and alert when you start your day off with a few basic and deliberate movements. A few minutes of yoga is all it takes to activate your muscles from cat-cows to downward dog.
When you wake up in the morning, start by checking in with your body. Open your arms wide to each side, then raise them above your head. This will open your chest up and make you feel awake.
Incorporate Basic Yoga Stretches Into Your Work Day
We don’t need to tell you how dangerous long-term sitting is for you. For many of us, sitting is a part of many of our lives: the desk, transit, and couches. If you want to alleviate many side effects of sitting, office yoga may be the ticket for you.
Try taking breaks from work to practice a few postures. Reach up, then bend forward to touch the ground. Move into warrior one pose and try to shift your weight from one leg to another to see where you feel most balanced and comfortable.
The practice of yoga promotes mindfulness of the body. By incorporating small stretches like this into your workday, you take the first step to having a healthy yoga routine and a balanced lifestyle.
Cool Down After Your Workout
Besides being an excellent workout in its own right, yoga can support your other fitness goals. For example, a few cooldown poses after a cardio workout can loosen tight muscles and regulate your central nervous system. You can target the areas in your body that were just used in the training you did. Starting a yoga routine that fits into your fitness schedule is the first step to having a more balanced day-to-day life. Here are a few cooldown yoga poses to try after your next workout.
The best poses after a cardio workout are downward dog and a forward bend to give your hamstrings a nice stretch. Lunge into a warrior two pose if your inner thighs are feeling the burn.
Yoga to Help You get a Good Night’s Sleep
Yoga can help you get a good night’s rest and is an excellent opportunity to get your daily yoga stretches in. Bedtime yoga helps you wind down and sleep soundly because it focuses on breathing and slow, deliberate movements to increase relaxation. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate to create peace of mind.
When you’re most relaxed, the easier it is to fall asleep. Unlike other yoga forms, bedtime yoga focuses on gentle movements, relaxed breathing, and low stimulation, so your body and mind are ready to decompress and rest for the night. From child’s pose to a seated spinal twist, yoga can bring a much-needed balance to your life.
Start Your New Yoga Routine Today
If the thought of starting a new yoga routine seems daunting, just remember it can be as simple as mindful breathing. Once you open yourself up to the benefits of yoga, you’re sure to find small ways to bring your practice to life throughout the day. A little yoga goes a long way, and our yoga classes can help balance your fitness and lifestyle goals.