Celebrate National Yoga Month with Jaime McFaden
Yoga is a fitness form that has been around for thousands of years! Recently, it has become popular and yoga is here to stay. I will admit, when I first tried yoga – I did not enjoy it. What I didn’t realize is that it wasn’t the yoga I didn’t enjoy, it was my monkey brain. For some of us, the relaxing of the mind can be the toughest part of yoga – in addition to the tough poses. Yoga is a fabulous way to connect your mind to your muscle and make some serious changes.
If you haven’t taken a yoga class – I highly suggest signing up for one today…right now! Yoga is not only a great way to unwind and relax the mind, it can work wonders on your body.
Here are just a few of the amazing benefits you will get from yoga:
Flexibility and balance- At your first yoga class, you may not be able to touch your toes and will likely realize how wound up you are. Within a few classes, you will notice a drastic change in your balance and flexibility. Having better balance and flexibility will help you in daily activities. Tight muscles can cause injuries so you want to be sure to work on your flexibility for vitality!
Muscle tone – This is a wonderful benefit. No dumb bells or fancy gym equipment needed to shape up those limbs. Have you ever looked at a yogi’s body – they are so toned and lean and all caused by their own body weight.
Posture and bone support- Posture is one of the leading causes of many spinal injuries and has many negative effects over time if you have bad posture. Yoga can help you to align your body so you will be healthy and stronger!
Calm mind and raises awareness – One of my favorite benefits of yoga practice is the mental clarity and awareness. By taking time to focus on breathing and checking in with yourself you can start to see what your body needs. Life can get so fast paced we forget to take care of the number one thing we have…ourselves! A fit body cannot be fully fit without a fit mind.
Try this easy yoga sequence:
Mountain pose – stand tall and press hands together in front of your heart center. Imagine lengthening the spine and reaching the head and toes as far away from each other as possible. Breathe here for 5-10 deep breaths
5 pointed star – from mountain pose inhale and step your feet out to a wide position and reach your arms out to your sides, extending as far as possible. Take 3-5 deep breaths in this position.
Warrior 2 – as you exhale turn your right toes toward the center and left toes towards the wall. Extend your arms out at your sides and gaze over the front finger tips. Lower the legs into a high lunge position and breathe here 3 deep breaths. Keep the hips and chest forward.
Triangle pose – keep the toes facing where they are and straighten both legs. Press the left hip out and slide the arms to the right. Rotate only the arms, resting the back of the right hand against the inside of the right leg. Press through the feet and also through the fingers. Hold here and breathe.
Go back to mountain pose and repeat the sequence switching sides.
About the Blogger: Jaime McFaden is a Personal Trainer, Jillian Michaels BodyShred instructor, fitness nutrition chef, fitness model and FitnessMats Brand Ambassador.