When was the last time you blew 15 minutes watching TV or in front of the computer doing nothing productive? We all do it most days, and it’s just a waste of time. What if you could transfer those lost 15 minutes into a life-changing daily practice that boosts immunity, mood and overall health? You don’t have to be a beginner to do these routines, even people that have been doing yoga for years still perform these workouts. Here’s some approachable, quick yoga exercises that you’ll be sure to love during your next workout.
Cat Cow Yoga Pose
Like Shaun T says on the T-25 DVD’s, come into tabletop position on your hands and knees. Keep your knees directly below your hips and your wrists, with elbows and shoulders in line and your palms totally flat. Keep your neck long, with your gaze on the floor. On an inhale, lift your tail and chest toward the ceiling, and let your tummy hang toward the floor. Lift your head and look up. Stay here for five rounds of breath in and out.
On an exhale, round your back like a mad Halloween cat and tuck your tailbone under, pressing firmly into both palms. Send your gaze to your belly button, and hold this pose for five rounds of inhalations and exhalations. Repeat the entire process 8-10 times.
Child Pose Exercise
Spread your knees wide, let your tail sink down, and relax your forehead onto the floor. Press your third eye into the ground, stretch your arms out alongside the body (either in front of you or reaching back, palms up or down). Close your eyes and relax into this restorative pose for fifteen rounds of breath—go slow and deep, and stay a little longer if you wish.
Downward Facing Dog Workout
Start in a tabletop position then curl your toes under and press into both palms, sending your tailbone up and letting your head dangle. Straighten both arms, then begin to peddle out your legs, bending one knee at a time. It’s okay to keep your knees bent the entire time, especially if you’re feeling tight in the hamstrings. If possible straighten both legs after peddling out your dog, and hold the pose for 8-10 breaths. Keep your neck long and send your gaze to your belly button. Come out of the pose into child’s pose at any time if you feel as though you need a breather.
Planks are basically high push-ups in a still position. Come onto your palms with your arms straight, and extend both legs back, pressing all of the energy out of your heels. Splay your fingers, and don’t grip your mat; instead, think of it as pressing the mat down and away from you with both hands.
Engage your core and pull your belly button to the ceiling. Keep your neck long, and remember that it’s an extension of your spine. Don’t dangle your head, and keep your gaze fixed straight down on your mat.
Don’t hold your breath—try to hold the pose for five breaths, then reset by coming into a child’s pose for 1-2 breaths. Repeat the entire process 5 times.
Yoga Tree Pose
Stand up straight, then shift your weigh to your right foot and bring the sole of your left foot to the inside of your or calf or thigh. Do not press the foot onto your knee, and focus on keeping your standing leg strong and steady. Place your hands at your sternum in Namaste (prayer pose). Hold the pose for ten breaths, then repeat on the other side.
There are hundreds of free yoga videos available online. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the different styles and teachings out there. Start slowly, take your time, and let yoga show you the way. Your body will tell you how good it feels and be sure to stretch.
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