Channel Your Inner Yogi

I don’t know what it’s like where ever you are, but it’s about to get COLD up in here! (I know, all you midwesterners are shaking your heads at me right now). Virginia is about to get hit with Polar Vortex #2… or are we up to #3 now?

Regardless, I’m NOT looking forward to it. Bring on summer, that’s what I say!

Yesterday ended up being a pretty good day at work, considering that it’s a Monday. Not the busiest day ever, but definitely a decent one. But the best part of my day definitely came after work when I headed to the gym.

My original plan was to go to my favorite spin class. However, apparently about 30 other people had that exact same idea and the girl in front of me got the last bike. Major bummer. Monday nights are definitely the craziest at my gym (anyone else feel that way???). So as I was trying to figure out a plan B, I stumbled across a vinyasa yoga class that was about to start and figured, “why not?”

In the end, I’m SOO glad I went. Not only was the instructor terrific, but it seriously stretched out my super sore shoulders, and left my legs shaking. It may not have burned the same kind of calories at spin would have, but I definitely still got some burn in!

As I was driving home, I started thinking about some of my favorite yoga poses, as this class seemed to hit nearly every single one of them. And then I thought that it might be something fun to share with you all, since I know there are definitely some other yogis (or wannabe yogis like me) out there!

So without further ado, I present to you:

Yoga Moves

Pigeon Pose

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I personally love this pose, because I love how much it loosens my hips. I honestly find myself using this pose even when I’m not in yoga class. After a long run, or after a leg day at the gym, I love spending some time in pigeon pose and stretching out my hips, which always get super tight when I’ve been working hard. It’s just kind of comfy!

Eagle Pose

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I know, this one looks a bit goofy. But nothing makes my legs quiver quite like Eagle Pose. There is something about all that twisting, PLUS the balance aspect that makes my poor standing leg work like I’m holding a 50lb barbell. And I love it. Plus, it really forces me to focus and keeps my mind engaged. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my mind starts to wander in yoga. But these kinds of balance poses always bring me back.

Cow Face Pose

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Cow Face Pose kicks my butt every.single.time. Seriously. Something about my short legs, and the bending, and the over-under thing… I sit my tush on a block. But boy does it stretch out my hips, thighs and IT bands like no-one’s business. Plus, the arm stretch is great for opening up and stretching out my chest and shoulders. For me, this is definitely one of those “hurts-so-good” kind of poses.

Downward Facing Dog

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I know – about as basic as you can get. But that’s exactly why I love it so much; it’s simple and yet so effective. It seriously works your shoulders while simultaneously stretches out your calves and hamstrings. As someone who also has terrible posture most of the time, this is one of those poses that always helps me remember to elongate my spine because you can actually FEEL the difference when you do. I’m also determined to one day be able to put my heels fully on the ground. Someday…

Chaturanga Dandasana

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This move is most often seen (at least in my experience) during a sun salutation sequence or during any kind of flow. It most often starts from a plank, and typically moves on into upward facing dog and then downward facing dog. While I struggle a little with this one after a full yoga class due to my bad wrist, I do love just how much it works my triceps. It’s like doing tricep pushups in slow-motion. Except with relaxing music! If I go to a yoga class that involves a lot of these, I can definitely feel it in my arms the next day!

Well there you have it – 5 of my favorite yoga moves. Once again, I’m no serious yogi, but I definitely enjoy the practice and I’m very glad that I’ve been able to incorporate it more into my weekly routine. But I’d love to hear about your experience with yoga and certain poses!

So tell me: Do you practice yoga? What are some of your favorite (or least favorite) poses?

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Comments: 13

  1. Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness January 28, 2014 at 9:46 am Reply

    I love yoga! It works wonders physically and mentally. You’ve shared some of my favorite poses. I really like the tree pose and a few poses from the P90X3 workout series that are new to me.
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Lorna Jane Move Nourish Believe ChallengeMy Profile

    • MyFreckledLife January 30, 2014 at 6:48 am Reply

      I’ve actually heard really good things about the P90X yoga portion! I definitely need to get my hands on it to try it out!

  2. Jenna January 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm Reply

    I love yoga. It is one of my favorite ways to break a sweat and to relax. I always feel so rejuvenated after a class, not to mention warm! Since we have moved I can’t seem to get warm except when I am in yoga class. My favorite poses are pigeon, tree, and savasana.

    • MyFreckledLife January 30, 2014 at 6:49 am Reply

      I love it because no matter how stressed I am when I walk in, I always leave calmer and more relaxed! And I always seem to sleep better too!

  3. Leslee @ Her Happy Balance January 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm Reply

    I adore yoga, but the studio I like is so darn expensive! But I’ve decided to treat myself to a package of classes starting in February now that most of my holiday bills have been paid off :) I love pigeon pose as well.
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance recently posted…Hard Rock & Metal Workout PlaylistMy Profile

    • MyFreckledLife January 30, 2014 at 6:49 am Reply

      That’s awesome! Yoga studios definitely can be really pricy, but I love the idea of treating yourself for a month!

  4. Kristen January 28, 2014 at 9:46 pm Reply

    I want to try pigeon pose now! Anything that will help stretch my legs after a long run is definitely on my list of things to try!
    Kristen recently posted…Try New Things Tuesday: My Bucket ListMy Profile

    • MyFreckledLife January 30, 2014 at 6:50 am Reply

      I LOVE it because my hips always get super tight when I run long distances, and for me it’s one of the best ways to open them up!

  5. Lindsay @ Typically Late January 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm Reply

    I love Pigeon Pose – it’s probably my favorite, other than Child’s Pose (because nothing is more comfortable to me than that!). I really like hip-openers and back stretches, because those are the places where I find I hold the most stress. I’d like to try a yoga class at an actual studio sometime – I’d imagine it’s far different from yoga at Gold’s! :)
    Lindsay @ Typically Late recently posted…a lazy girl’s guide to meal planningMy Profile

    • MyFreckledLife January 30, 2014 at 6:52 am Reply

      I’ve only ever taken a “real” yoga class once or twice, and the atmosphere really makes all the difference. There was one where they came around and put lavender oil on your forehead during savasana (sp?). That was AMAZING!

  6. Kim January 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm Reply

    Grrr. I hate when I plan to go spinning and don’t get a bike! I do love spinning, I always push myself more. I only tried yoga twice. Ehh.. It was OK. Ha not really my thing I guess. It was relaxing though :)
    Kim recently posted…Treasure HuntMy Profile

    • MyFreckledLife January 30, 2014 at 6:53 am Reply

      I was so frustrated because I love to spin, but yoga wasn’t a bad alternative. Helped me get out the frustration from my non-spin class! haha.

  7. Amy @ Run with Perseverance February 1, 2014 at 8:36 am Reply

    Pigeon is a favorite of mine, too! But, Eagle and I don’t get along. I feel like I look ridiculous when doing that posture because I can’t full twist my arms or my legs! It’s tough for me, but I’ll keep working at it.
    Amy @ Run with Perseverance recently posted…My First Stitch FixMy Profile

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