Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Benefits of Yoga

When most people are building an exercise routine, they concentrate on two things: cardio and weight training. However, it is a good idea to incorporate some type of flexibility training into your routine as well.
As we age, the tissues around our joints become thicker and our range of motion becomes more limited. Adding yoga to your weekly routine can help prevent the joints from becoming stiff, while increasing your flexibility. Yoga not only works your joints, but all the soft tissue in your body including ligaments and tendons, allowing the muscles to stretch and strengthen.
Yoga can also improve your posture. Many of the poses rely on core strength for balance; by strengthening your core, you are more likely to sit or stand tall, rather than slumping.
Yoga also improves concentration. While performing the moves, you are required to “check” your body for any tension or strain it may be feeling. This mind-body connection will also help you when you are weight training by improving your focus during your performance.
Below, you will find a simple yoga routine that is suitable for all levels. Give it a try and see how your workouts improve!


For a printable guide with photos go to and click on the article Fry the Fat, then click on "get the workout here".

Eight killer poses that will tone you up and slim you downAdapted from Slim Calm Sexy Yoga: 210 Proven Yoga Moves for Mind/Body Bliss, by Women’s Health contributor Tara Stiles.

Tip: If you need a break, press up to down dog for a breath or two.
Holding these poses isn’t easy, but it does wonders for building strength and focus.
• Hold each pose for five deep inhales and exhales, unless noted otherwise.
• Repeat the entire sequence on the other side.
• Practice this routine four times a week and watch the fat melt away.
Start Here 1 PLANK: Get on your hands and knees. Tuck your toes under and straighten your legs so you’re in a horizontal line. Bring your shoulder blades together, extend forward through the top of your head, and reach back through your heels. Hold for 60 seconds.

2 DOWN DOG: Come down on all fours. Spread your fingers wide on your mat. Tuck your toes, lift your hips up and back, and extend your legs. Press your shoulders toward the floor and relax your neck. Press your palms against the floor. Walk your feet back, pull up through your hips, and press your heels down.

3 DOWN DOG SPLIT: From down dog, raise your right leg behind you, foot flexed. Keep your hips even with the floor. Reach the back of your leg straight up.
Tip: Pull your right hip back and press your left hip forward.

4 DOWN DOG, KNEE TO FOREHEAD: From down dog split, inhale, rise up onto the toes of your left foot, and bring your right knee to touch your forehead. Keep your hips lifted high. Exhale and return to down dog split. Repeat four more times.

5 LOW LUNGE: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Step forward with your right foot. Bend forward from the waist and press your fingertips to the floor on each side of your right foot. Bend your knees slightly and step back with your left leg into a low lunge. Push through your left heel and sink your hips low.
6 HIGH LUNGE: From low lunge, lift your hips until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight up next to your ears and relax your shoulders. Put some weight onto your left foot, reaching your heel out behind you for stability.

7 HIGH LUNGE WITH TWIST: Reach your left arm forward and your right arm back, and turn your torso to the right. Relax your shoulders and look back over your right hand.
Tip: Lengthen your spine and reach up through your fingertips.
8 ROTATED TRIANGLE: Lower the fingertips of your left hand to the floor outside your right foot. Open your shoulders to the right and extend your right arm up. Bring your left foot forward about 12 inches and press your heel down so your toes point a little out to your left side. Straighten your legs.

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