Fitness Friday: New to yoga

June 15, 2012

When I was pregnant I enjoyed doing prenatal yoga, but since I have had my son, I have fallen off the proverbial yoga wagon.

I am hoping to get back into yoga workouts because I really feel that stretching and flexibility are important for any body at any age.

Stretching just releases so much tension that can build up in muscles. It makes your body remember it is alive and active. It can make you feel so good!

Yoga uses stretching, but also incorporates your muscles to make a great workout.


Background on yoga

Several thousand years ago, Indian people were doing yoga to open their minds and bodies, and get them closer to god.

Over the decades, many forms of yoga became popular around the world. There is hatha yoga, ayurveda yoga, dharma yoga and today, hot yoga, which puts participants in a hot room and works them into a sweat.

Hatha Yoga improves strength, flexibility and relaxation by teaching people how to properly align their bodies and focusing on mindful actions.

Ayurveda yoga focuses on exercise, yoga, and meditation.

Yoga is a way to connect your mind, your body, and the deepest spaces of your self-awareness and intention. There are many different forms of yoga - I only mentioned a few here.


New to yoga exercises

• Begin with Butterfly pose. This is a good way to start your morning yoga routine. Sit on the floor, bend your knees so the bottoms of your feet touch. Then lean forward slightly, so you can feel your bottom firmly on the ground. Really feel the pose by rounding your back and feeling your muscles and hips open.

• Move from Butterfly by relaxing your legs and sitting with them straight out in front of you. With knees slightly bent move into a forward pose by reaching toward your toes. Lean forward with your stomach instead of with your shoulders. Focus on feeling the resistance in the backs of your legs. Gently hold onto your calves, ankles or feet.

• Relax your legs and move into Seated Straddle. Open the legs so you are in the V-sit position. Keep toes pointing up and roll your hips and body gently forward. Keep your legs wide so you can feel some resistance and slowly walk your hands forward. Feel the muscles stretching.

A good way to end a short sequence is to sit relaxed on the floor and breathe deeply for a few minutes to relax the mind and body. Then awake refreshed and ready to attack your day.


Let me know your favorite yoga poses and, as always, keep it real in the kingdom of drool!


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    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."