By Katie Uhran, ACKTIVE LIFE
Yoga has been a big part of my life, both emotionally and physically. I have learned a lot about my body and mind since I stepped on the yoga mat almost 10 years ago. Before I started practicing yoga, I could never touch my toes, my muscles were always tight, I wasn’t properly breathing, my balance and core were weak… The list goes on and on!
Yoga is GREAT for EVERYONE, and that is what I love about it! No matter what your age, skill level, or training goals, anyone can step onto the yoga mat.
The physical benefits have truly improved training, especially with my balance and core. These are just a few of the yoga poses that I believe help not only improve your balance, but also your strength, while engaging almost all the muscles in your body. Try them out, watch the videos, and let me know how it goes!
Standing Split with Kundalini Squat – Stand on one leg, while making sure that your hips are square to the ground and your lifted leg is as high as it can go. Let your head fall heavy and embrace the stretch in your hamstring. Slowly bring your standing leg behind your knee and squat as low as you can go. Slowly bring your leg back up to the starting position. Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat. Perform 10 repetitions on each leg.
Chair Pose with Twist – Sit back like you are sitting in a chair, with your weight in your heels, so that you are able to lift your toes. Lift your arms above your head and suck in your core. Bring your hands to prayer in front of your chest and twist. Wrap your elbow around your knee and twist and twist and twist. Hold for 30 seconds and then come back to center. Repeat on the other side. Perform 3 sets on each side and hold each pose for 30 seconds.
Dolphin Pose to Plank Pose – Start in a downward dog and then come down on your forearms. Walk your feet in so that your shoulder are slightly over your elbows. Hold and then slowly move down into plank position. Hold plank position for 30 seconds and then slowly come back up into dolphin pose. Repeat for one minute and then rest.
Extended Side Angle to Reverse Warrior – Start in triangle pose…Make sure your front heel aligns with your the arch of your back foot. Bend your knee into a 90 degree angle and place your hand on the mat, while your other hand is above your head. Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly come back up, while keeping your knee bent and lean back as far as you can go. Slowly come back into side angle. Hold again for 30 seconds and repeat. Perform 10 times on each side.
Chaturanga Dandasana – Start in plank position…Slowly lower to the ground, until your arms and elbows are at 90 degrees. Keep your triceps glued to your side. Slowly come back up to plank position. Repeat 5 times and rest.
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