Yoga benefits and how to perfect your poses

June 16, 2016

What many in the fitness world do not realize is that Yoga is not simply another form of stretching. Yoga, though it involves stretching, is fundamentally a series of isometric contractions paired with intentional breathing patterns. Done properly, Yoga will not only increase your flexibility and potentially prevent injury but it will help to increase your range of movement and may open up a whole new realm of workouts you didn’t think were possible for your body composition before. Yoga done right will increase your mobility and flexibility. Yoga helps to increase your ability to bend and stretch so that you’re less likely to tear or strain something while working out.

Take a look at the following poses to see the method and benefits of each. Whether you’re a HIIT, Tabata, power lifting, or running fan, these poses are able to promote your core strength, stability, and flexibility to protect you from injury and assist you in all of your fitness endeavors.

bridge

The Bridge pose

How to:

Begin by laying on your back

Pull up your knees keeping your feet on the ground, hip distance apart

Keeps your arms at your side with your palms facing the floor

Inhale slowly and lift your lower back, middle back, and upper back off of the floor

Squeeze your glutes to hold the pose, keeping your thighs parallel to each other and the floor

*Make sure you don’t hyperextend your hips by raising them too high in the air

Keep breathing steadily

Hold the posture for a minute or two and exhale as you gently release the pose

Benefits:

Allows you to focus on your workout heart rate and breathing

Strengthens your back muscles

Activates your glutes

A great exercise to use as a warm-up to promote core stability

Gives an effective stretch to the chest, neck, and spine

triangle-pose

Triangle pose

How to:

Start by standing with legs 3 feet apart

Turn your right toes to the right wall and the left toes slightly inwards

Inhale and press your left hips out to the left as you slide both arms to the right parallel to the floor

Exhale and rotate only your arms, raising your left arm up and resting your right hand against the right leg, with your palms facing forward

Reach your fingertips away from each other, bringing the arms into one straight line with the shoulders stacked on top of each other

Press the left hip forward and the right hip back

Hold and concentrate on breathing for 4-6 breaths

Benefits:

Engages every part of the body to strengthen the core

Allows you to focus on your workout heart rate and breathing

Opens hips and develops the hip hinge range of movement

Direct application for kettlebell swings, deadlifts, and kettlebell windmills

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Pigeon pose

How to:

Begin on hands and knees

Bring your right knee forward until it is close behind your right wrist

Place your ankle somewhere comfortable in front of your left hip

Slide your left leg straight back, straightening your knee and pointing your toes

Gently lower yourself down making sure to keep your hips level

On an inhale, lift your upper body, come on your fingertips, hands shoulder width apart, draw your navel in, tailbone down and open your chest

On an exhale walk your hands forward on the fingertips and lower your upper body to the floor you can rest your forearms and forehead on the mat

Hold the pose for 5 breaths or longer and on an exhale try to release the tension in your right hip

Benefits:

Increases range of motion in the hips by lengthening hip flexors

In most cases alleviated lower back pain

Allows you to focus on your workout heart rate and breathing

Advanced versions open your chest and shoulders

Yoga presents a great exercise opportunity to get in tune with your body, your breathing, and your workout heart rate. Taking time to perfect your poses means you take time to really feel what your body is doing during yoga. Focusing in on your breathing and your heart rate will help you to know what feels normal for you and will help you to regulate your breathing to see how it affects your heart rate.

How do you feel about yoga? Do you find time to practice daily or do you finish each workout with a few key poses? We would love it if you shared some of your favorite poses, while wearing your MZ-3 or MYZONE Bra to social media using #myzone #myzonemoves and #effortrewardrd. Your example may be just what someone else in the MYZONE community needs to see in order to give yoga a try!

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