Yoga, yoga, yoga!

So to continue our stress management theme, Kristina and I thought we should talk about stress management and workouts! One of the best ways to beat stress is to sweat it all away. You can go to the gym, go for a run, or even a swim. And though some people love to jump on the treadmill and sweat the anxiety away, we thought another great alternative would be yoga. Though it began as a Hindu philosophy, it has been adopted and adapted by the western world to help people relax and get fit. Yoga is simply the practice of posture, breath control, and various body exercises to create an overall well-being. In India, many people practice yoga as a part of their Hinduistic beliefs however the western world uses yoga as an alternative workout.

Yoga combines stretching, meditation, and strength building exercises to give you a great workout and a relaxed feeling when you walk out of the studio. Practicing yoga lowers stress, builds muscle, and strengthens joints. Also, yoga helps to lower blood pressure and improve one’s overall health. Yoga is perfect for every women out there. You can find a yoga studio nearby or practice simple yoga and meditations at home. There are a great varieties of yogas to try. There is meditative yoga, bikram yoga, and vinyasa yoga. These are a few of the many varieties, but often these three are the most popular. Meditative yoga focuses on meditation above all else. It is often a practice of simple poses and breath control. Bikram yoga is the opposite. It is a series of poses, some very challenging, done in studios at up to 100 degrees! With varying temperature, comes varying degree of difficulty. Vinyasa yoga is all about flow (no, not hair flow). Vinyasa yoga is filled with various sequences of positions, called flows. The sequence requires easy transitions from one posture to another hence the name flow.
If you want to learn more information about yoga, there are a couple websites that you should check out:
http://www.yogajournal.com/
http://life.gaiam.com/
Also. if you want to try some yoga poses at home, for some reason the pictures would not transfer but we will try to have them up shortly!

 

1. Easy Pose/ Butterfly Pose
Sit with your legs crossed and hands resting on your knees. Make sure that your back is straight and that you feel comfortable.

2. Child’s Pose
One of my favorite yoga poses for when I need a break during my yoga classes. You can bend your knees, sitting on your ankles, and bend over with hands stretched out. Another alternative is to put your legs in a W position, so your butt rests between your ankles and to bend over with hands stretched out (as shown in the image above.) Don’t forget to keep your back straight!

3. Standing Forward Bend
Fold over, with knees slightly bent, as if you were going to touch your toes. Have each hand hold onto the opposite elbow and just hang here. For a challenge, try it with your knees straight but without putting strain on your back or shoulders.

4. Downward Facing Dog
Bend over with your hands at the front of the mat and your feet at the back. Make sure that your feet are flat on the ground and shoulder-length apart. Press your palms to the ground and keep your back and legs straight as you press your butt up.

5. Legs Up the Wall Pose
Lie down and place your legs on the wall so that you create a 90 degree angle with your legs and torso. Your head should lie flat on the ground.

 

Have fun!
– Kristina and Carina

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