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:
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!
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
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
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…
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?