As a yoga instructor and strength coach, my job is to help athletes become stronger and healthier, and one of my favorite methods is using yoga to encourage continued health through consistent movement.
We all have times in our lives when we fall out of rhythm with training and exercise. Our weight fluctuates, and as we get older, it becomes harder to take the weight off and keep it off. A number of factors can contribute to a lack of exercise like work, travel, stress and the holidays. But through yoga, you can start to rebuild your fitness one pose at a time—and lose weight.
These five simple poses, linked together in a Vinyasa, will help you increase your heart rate and challenge your body. Start by learning the poses and then flow from one to another with a faster rhythm as you get more comfortable.
Descriptions and pictures for each pose are below. To complete the Vinyasa, do the following:
1. Start standing with your feet together. Exhale and fold forward.
2. Inhale into Half Lift, exhale and fold forward.
3. Inhale, step back to Plank and exhale through Chaturanga.
4. Inhale to come into Upward Facing Dog. Then, exhale to Downward Facing Dog.
5. Step your feet forward towards your hands, inhale into Half Lift, exhale and fold forward.
6. Inhale to stand all the way up. Then, repeat.
Half Lift1 of 6
Start with your feet together. Hinge forward at the hips and place your hands on your shins. Lift your chest and draw your shoulder blades together to flatten your spine.
Plank2 of 6
Place your hands under your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and straighten your legs. Press through your palms, widen your upper back and draw your front ribs up. Squeeze your legs and extend your tailbone towards your heels.
Chaturanga3 of 6
This movement starts in plank. Keep your core strong and your legs active. Keep your elbows close to your ribs as you lower half way down. This is the transition between Plank and Upward Facing Dog.
Upward Facing Dog4 of 6
From Plank, untuck your toes and let your hips drop towards the floor. Draw your chest forward and up. Press down through your palms and tops of your feet as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Downward Facing Dog5 of 6
Start with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands shoulder-distance apart. As you press through your palms, widen your upper back and pull your front ribs and belly button in. Draw your heels down towards the floor.