Yoga Poses To Strengthen Your Bones

I found this amazing article about a study that was conducted on persons doing just 10 minutes a day of yoga, and as a result help improve their bone health. They succeeded doing this just by doing the following poses:

  • Tree pose
  • Triangle pose
  • Twisted-triangle pose
  • Side-angle pose
  • Bent-knee twist
  • Corpse pose
  • Warrior II pose
  • Locust pose
  • Bridge pose
  • Supine hand-to-foot I pose
  • Supine hand-to-foot II
  • Straight-legged twist pose

You can read more about it you can find the original article below.


Post-Holiday Workout

I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful holiday celebration with their loved ones. I am sure you ate great and now have a little belly action as a result. I am here to tell you that all is not lost and give you some small tips to help you get back to feeling great!

If you have not already started enjoying the weather we are having in Chicago, please go for a light 15-20 minute walk. This will get you started by warming up your muscles and allow you to fully reap the benefits of a post-holiday workout. Make sure you drink lots of water prior to and after your walk.

After you go for your walk, you are going to need to stretch out those muscles you just warmed up. Nothing too major, you can do a toe touch, hamstring and calf stretch and make sure to stretch your arms and neck as these can be the tightest areas in your body and where most people carry their stress.

From there, you should begin with setting your intention: “Today I want to workout for (choose your time frame).” Then, begin your workout. I’ve listed below some exercises you can use in your practice; however, you are more than welcome to create your own workout.

  • Jumping Jacks: 3 reps of 15
  • Squats: 3 reps of 15
  • Lunges: 3 reps of 15 on each leg
  • Arm Circles: 30 forward & 30 backward
  • Push-Ups: 10-20 (or however many you can do with proper form still intact)
  • Plank: Hold for 30 secs – 1 minute
  • Alternating Push-Up Plank: 3 reps of 15-20
  • Tricep Dip: 3 reps of 10-15
  • Hip Raise: 3 reps hold for 20 secs each
  • Sit-Ups: 3 reps of 10-15
  • Leg Spreaders: 3 reps of 15
  • Supine Bicycle: 3 reps of 20 to each side

Cycle through each exercise and rest for 30 secs – 1 minute in between reps. You can also take a rest for 15-30 secs every time the exercise switches focus to a different area of the body.

I hope you find this helpful and that you have a great new year of healthy choices in front of you. Enjoy!

Starting Your Yoga Practice

Knowing how to begin can sometimes seem difficult and overwhelming. It feels like no matter how hard you want to start, you can never find the time to do so. Does that sound familiar? I have an easy way to help you get started and stay on top of your new (or help to improve upon your current) yogi lifestyle practice. These suggestions are so easy to follow that you can start right now today.

For starters, you will need a few supplies if you do not already have them. They can be found in most stores and online:

  • A yoga mat 🙂 okay that one was obvious
  • A blanket or towel
  • A strap, or you could use a belt
  • Two yoga blocks
  • A calendar, you will need a paper one and you can use an app

Make sure your calendar is where you can see it everyday when you wake up and go to sleep. We have to first start by making a schedule. Do you already have a morning routine? A night time ritual? If so, you will understand how using a schedule can come in handy. If your calendar does not have already have it, feel free to begin by writing out your typical day in half-hour increments. From the time you wake up, say 5:45 AM, until the time you go sleep around 9:30 PM.

Now look for times when you are the least active. Whether is first thing when you wake up, or part of your lunch break, or before you eat dinner. All you need is 15-20 minutes of time to squeeze in your yoga practice. Write in the times you plan to practice yoga for a week, making sure you have a time scheduled each day.

If you plan on doing some morning yoga as part of your routine, you can do some easy stretches and poses right in your bed before doing anything else to help you wake up and feel energized for the day. If you plan on doing yoga during your lunch break, make sure you do it before you eat. You can do some simple office chair poses and stretches. When you get home for the day, you should schedule your yoga practice before you have your dinner. That is, should you choose to schedule your evening yoga practice.

Did you notice the pattern there at all? Yoga should be performed on an empty stomach. You of course should drink water to stay hydrated; however, you will do some inverted poses and it is best not to have food on your stomach.

Once you have your schedule together, then you will want to duplicate this process each week so that you can fully embrace your yoga practice.


Yoga Certification Complete!

Well, I finally did it. I had decided that yoga was for me a long time ago. It’s low impact and keeps me exercising. Back in 2008, I fractured my spine and for a long while could not hyper-extend my back. Now I’m working on a backbend again! It has definitely been an exciting and trying road, but one I could never regret. I love sharing knowledge and I can’t wait to really put my certification to use and begin teaching yoga to others. More excitement to come!!

The Warm-Up

Warming up is the best way to insure that you minimize injuries during workouts or sporting events. I used to run track & field in high school and college and it was the first thing we did before really getting into the thick of practice. All athletes are required by their coaches to do a warm up routine, but they aren’t the only ones. Singers do warm up exercises for their voices and musicians do warm up exercises with their instruments making sure both are finely tuned. Actors even do warm ups before they begin their scene.

Warming up is part of the fitness process but the concept is used widely. Here are a few warm ups I like that are low impact and get the blood flowing properly to the muscles:

  • 5 minute walk/jog
    • I usually walk/jog around my neighborhood, or I pick a specific destination if I’m planning to do a light workout at home later. This gets the whole body warmed up without having to add more exercises.
  • High-knees
    • Doing high-knees opens up the hips and warms up the lower half of your body. There is two ways to do high knees: 1) you pull your knee to your chest with your hands alternating legs. 2) while holding your hands straight in front of you, you raise each knee to your hands rapidly.
  • Toe touches, then touch the sky
  • Arm circles
  • Lunges