Do Yoga!

Do Yoga!
By Amy Roberto M.S. YogaFit

Do you practice Yoga?  Yoga is a fantastic exercise that promotes flexibility, stress relief, strength, improves circulation, balance, core strength, cardiovascular conditioning, inner peace, presence and focus. This short list of benefits doesn’t even begin to translate how good this training can increase your physical and mental well-being. Moreover it can be done anywhere and no equipment is needed.  The tools of yoga are the poses or asanas that flow together or can be performed separately.

A few things to keep in mind when practicing yoga is body alignment (YogaFit). Establish a firm base with dynamic tension and core stability.  I like to equate this to standing up straight and firm where you are with a commanding presence. Engaging  your core muscles helps to align the spine and creates hip stability. Keep your knees soft and align them with your ankles and hips. Relaxing your shoulders back and down, will reduce stress in the neck and shoulders. Put all that together and you should recall memories of your mom insisting you sit up straight, don’t slouch, etc. In addition, think of how you move and bend. Always protect your back by hinging at your hip, not bending at the waist. This will reduce the stress on your low back permitting your glutes and hamstring to function properly.

On the go or at home, try these free yoga apps, rated the best in 2016. The first two are my favorites.

5 Minute Yoga (free) : A great app for beginners, 5 Minute Yoga gives users short sessions that they can fit in anywhere, anytime. Each pose includes an animated illustration plus instructions to make sure you’re training safely. Because they come in five minute sessions, they are perfect for when you feel crunched for time. Add these to your morning routine, to beat the midafternoon lull, or for a bit of relaxation at the end of the day.

Daily Yoga (free) : Daily Yoga is the best of the best. Not only will you find more than 500 yoga poses with instructions, you will also get more than 50 complete yoga sessions, along with background music. The app isn’t only for pros, as there are three different intensity levels and several duration choices to choose from. You can find the routine that’s right for you. The app is gamified, meaning you can earn scores for practicing, and you can also make friends in the forum.

Down Dog: If you think you’re likely to get bored doing the same yoga routine every time, Down Dog has the solution. Each time you log in for a session, you’re greeted with a brand new sequence, which will keep things fresh. Choose your playlist and how long you want the session to last, and the app will create a session that’s a perfect fit for your needs and experience level.