I have found a new love for Yoga. In my teens and early twenties, I focused on cardio. It burned the most calories and I didn’t like wasting time. Then I discovered Pilates! Perhaps this would get rid of my soccer thighs, I thought! When that failed, I turned to strength training. While it helped me shed inches, I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel for lifting. Do I keep adding weight? How many reps do I need to work up to? It didn’t seem efficient anymore. That’s when Yoga came along.
I had taken a few classes at large gyms but didn’t like any of the instructors. Then I found Todd from South Boston Yoga. He teaches at Revolution Fitness as well. His class was challenging, it made me sweat and most of all, it made me feel relaxed and filled with happy pills. I then taught myself via YouTube how to do a headstand. This was my greatest accomplishment of 2009. It reminded me of being a kid, learning how to do a backhand spring. I wanted to show it off. And I did, awkwardly for my sister’s boyfriend’s friend, my trainer and on my blog. If you have not tried Yoga yet, I highly recommend the practice. Not only will it relieve stress but it will also increase your flexibility, reduce risk of injury and help firm up your muscles. Yogi’s also happen to have the cutest workout clothes made for them.
I try to take a yoga class at least once a week. However, I am not certified in yoga, nor do I plan on getting certified (as of now). I enjoy learning, listening and the calming side effects I get from my hour long classes. I feel like teaching would change my role and turn it into work, perhaps creating a less desirable practice. Many beginner or gentle classes breeze through poses that strengthen all the muscles in the body, turning off hard core fitness addicts (like myself) for a more time efficient workout.
With that in mind and wanting to change those mind, I bring you a yoga inspired strengthen and lengthen workout video that I filmed in real time. Yes, that means you can follow along. This workout is challenging! All you need is a yoga mat.
Start with 4-5 Sun Salutations to warm up.
From high plank position, bring left knee to nose and then extend foot back towards the fall. Repeat this 8x then switch sides and repeat.
Moving on from downward dog position, lift right leg up towards sky into downward dog split. Lower right leg down toward ground and then right back up towards sky. Repeat this 10x, the pulse up at the top, lifting and lowering a few small inches 10 more times. Switch legs and repeat.
From high plank position, bring right foot up by right hand and place foot flat and firm next to hand. Reach right foot back into high plank position and then immediately bring left foot up by left hand. Plant foot down firmly and flat next to hand. Lift leg and bring foot back into starting position. Do this 8 times with each foot. Try to keep body in plank position the entire time. Do not raise up your butt. From the high plank position, move into a side plank. Lower butt towards ground and crunch hips back up to form a straight line with your body. Do 8 crunch ups on one side. Repeat sequence, finishing with 8 side plank crunches on opposite side.
Watch this workout on YouTube with Sarah and do it in real time! Visit Sarah's blog at SarahFit.com for new weekly videos, healthy recipes and tips from the original Diet.com Video Producer and Host.