100 Days of Yoga!

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? Fantastic I hope. Well today I am going to share what I have learned from doing Yoga for a 100 days.

During the Summertime I wanted to find a way to stay fit during the sometimes brutal Summer heat of New York. Personally I am not a fan of being all sweaty while exercising; its annoying and distracting. Usually I do some Yoga moves before and after my exercises. So on another blogger mentioned she challenged herself to do straight Yoga for a week. That was the inspiration I needed to try it out. So I did it for a week and enjoyed it.  Being familiar with Yoga already I was able to design a session that would keep me strong and maintain my levels of fitness. I can say that my strength has increased and I am more resilient doing other exercises.

I am going to break down a session that you can do to evolve your exercises. Before I start Yoga is not all about standing on your head or bending and twisting; there is a philosophy behind it also. But the basic premise I want you to focus on while you try these these poses out is mindfulness; what is mindfulness? In the short term being in the moment NOW. Not your job, Facebook status or whats for dinner. Being focused on how your body moves through the pose.

So here is my basic sequence of sessions, this will get you started as you progress I have added two more phases to get you in the groove. I will give you a breakdown here but its up to you look into it a little further. Links for help will be at the end of the post.

PHASE I

  1. Corpse Pose – This is where you set the tone and start to unplug from the daily routine of your life. Lie down face up and relax. Breathe! Its not uncommon the first times to doze off sleep. Get a timer start with 60 seconds and build up to 5 minutes.
  2. Easy Pose – We are still setting the tone here and really begin to let the Yoga state of mind sink in to yourself. From here you will do neck and shoulder rotations.
  3. Sun Salutations – This is to warm you up and get ready for the session. Start with 3 rounds, 6, then finally 12 rounds. *** face East if you can ***

                 You can stop here and you are essentially warmed up for anything else you like to do in the Gym.

Phase II ( continuing from number three)

  1. Leg Raises – This is to stretch your hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. Do these 3 times.
  2. Wind Relief Pose – This will massage your stomach and spine.
  3. Cat Stretch – To help the upper back muscles and release tension there.
  4. Bridge – This will help the lower back muscles relax and release tension there also.
  5. Fish – This will help the neck and shoulders stretch out tension.
  6. Wheel – The wheel will elongate your and charge your whole nervous system very good to way you up.
  7. Forward bend – This will help your legs and back, also it will counter balance the wheel pose.
  8. Cobra – This is to strengthen the spine and tailbone area.
  9. Locust – This is a great pose to build and develop inner strength. Start with one leg raise then do both.
  10. Bow – This will counter stretch the Cora and Locust pose. Also another great stretch to build power in your arms.
  11. Spinal Twist – This will help your hips and lower back become supple.
  12. Stick – This will aid your posture by  straightening out your back.
  13. Toe Balance – This will help your feet and toes become strong.
  14. Hero Pose – This is to stretch your legs especially if you sit down all day or stand all day.

Phase III

I used to do this after my exercises as a “finisher” to lock in and strengthen my muscles. You can continue from number 14 or as a stand alone exercise.

  1. Mountain Pose – This is all about standing up straight, not hunched over. Just standing shoulders back chest up and spine erect. You will the difference in your posture and will build inner strength also.
  2. Over Head Mountain – Pose in Mountain with arms raised above your head. Great for your shoulders upper and lower back.
  3. ***God Pose*** This is a variation of mountain pose. What you do is stand with your legs a little more than shoulder width apart and arms out with palms facing down. Look straight ahead and breath slowly. You will feel a tug from all four limbs.
  4. Wide-Legged Forward Bend- Great for hips, hamstrings and your whole leg basically. This is one of those poses that takes time to master. be patient and reap the benefits of it.
  5. Warrior Pose I – Great whole body exercise will get your system fired up all over.
  6. Warrior Pose II – The focus here will be on your legs and lower back while keeping your arms straight.
  7. Warrior Pose III – This will help you learn balance and focus. Your ankles and feet will thank you for it.
  8. Triangle – Great side bend pose for your mid section and chest.
  9. Chair Pose – Another way to build strength from the inside.
  10. Corpse Pose – Still is to relax and reflect on your body and mind. This will slow everything down for the moment. Just lie back and breathe.

Well That’s it! I left pictures out for two reasons the first is so that you go and find the poses own your own. Second there are many variations and styles out there. You have to find the one that works for you and your body. I hope that you go out and try what I have shown you here. This could help you in other ways also. But remember! Know your limits and boundaries as with any form of exercise it can harm as well as heal. Its up to you to find that perfect balance as you do with anything else.

Everyone have a great holiday and a prosperous new year!

Some links you help you on your journey.

http://www.yogajournal.com/

Two awesome books that will teach the fundamentals of Yoga.

The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga

Swami Vishnu-devananda

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