It’s me again, Kimberly from Belle En Rouge. I hope you guys have been having a fantastic new year and an even better mind set for this week. Drea has been kind enough to feature on her blog once again and this time to talk to you guys about yoga. Side note: Before going any further, did you read my post on how to make Maca Oatmeal Muffins? If not, then go there and then check out what Drea wrote on my blog about Chia seeds.
What is yoga? Yoga to me is the one time I take out of my day to regain my thoughts and spend some time with myself. I’ve only been practicing continuously since the year started and I’ve fallen in love with it. I met up with a friend last week and she pointed out that I’m much happier and she thinks it’s because of my practice. I have found love for all things yoga and meditation. If you’re anything like me, then your life can be go-go-go and plan-plan-plan. Believe me, I enjoy having a busy schedule. Busy schedule means no time to waste and time is precious. However, sometimes you need to wind down and take time to get in tune with your body. That is, have a moment where you mind and body flourish. Yoga is not about being flexible or doing a handstand. Yoga is about reconnecting with yourself and strengthening your body. I can guarantee that you will leave your first class freaking out that you just touched your hands to your toes. Yoga for me has become a routine and a ritual. It has become a way of living.
Not sure how everyone got this mind set that in order to practice yoga, you have to go to a studio. You don’t! You can practice in your own living room. I personally go to a studio once a week because I want to partake in a chant meditation with other individuals. After the chant, we practice an hour and thirty minutes of Asana Yoga. This is nothing like Iyengar Yoga aka Hot Yoga, but I do break a sweat.
Here’s how you can pull out your mat and practice yoga in your own living room. (For sake of lighting and how beautiful SoCal weather has been out, I had to take it outside. :-))
Sit on your legs at a 90 degree angle and then slowly pull your bum back until it touches your ankles. Make sure you toes are touching. Stretch your body forward and reach your hands to the top of your mat as far as you can go. You can only hurt yourself in yoga if you pull your body to roughly when you know where your limit is at. It all takes time and practice.
From child’s pose, you raise your body up to table top. Table top is when your knees are leveled under your hips and your feet are untucked behind you. Your hands are leveled under your shoulders. Then you lift yourself up to plank and you slowly drop your body down to the mat, keeping your arms tucked into your body. For a challenge, slowly drop your body down, but don’t let it touch the mat. Float over it. Remember to keep your feet untucked. Then left your heart/chest up and keep your hands under your shoulders.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG
This is your Chaturanga in the Vinyasa Flow. From cobra, you lift the rest of your body up and create downward V with your hips. Your feet are supposed to be completely on the mat, but my hamstrings are not loose enough yet. Usually, if this is your first time practicing, you may not be able to create a V, but as long as you’re stretching your body, you’ll get there.
THREE-LEGGED DOWNARD DOG
For more of a stretch, you can lift one leg at a time and reach it as far back as possible. Hold it for a few seconds and then alternate.
Now get down on your back and release the tension in your shoulders before you enter into the Bridge pose. For the Bridge, you slowly lift your body from your shoulders down. Remember to keep the feet leveled under the knees and your legs at the level of your hips. The weight here should not be on your, but rather on your shoulders. If your back begins to hurt, place your hands under your lower back for support.
To help out with your core strength, start out flat on the mat with your back relaxed. Slowly lift both you upper body and legs until the form the shape of a V. Keep your arms stretched out next to you and stay like this for a few seconds. Your abs will start burning! Eventually, you’ll be able to have your legs at a 90 degree angle and then fold onto them where you forehead is touching your knees.
Finish up with your Chaturanga (table top, cobra, downward dog) and sit cross-legged on your mat with your hands at heart center. Close your eyes and think about your intentions. Why are you practicing? What do you feel? Meditate for as long as you like and then thank your body for your strength and ability.
For more yoga related posts, head on over to my blog and input YOGA in the ‘Search Box’. Next week, I’ll be talking all about your Chakras so stay tuned!
Thanks for staying with me until the end.
Belle En Rouge