Cross Training Yoga Workout
It's Friday, so that means another installment of fitness motivation and my top workout of the week. Running is always my focus but this week I have been feeling it even more. I've run almost every day. This is pretty normal for me and was before having a baby. Since then running every day makes my low back and pelvis ache. Cross training even on the days I have run is starting to pay off. This Cross Training Yoga Workout post is great for core strength. Sitting around nursing for the first year of my son's life made my body less toned. Any chance I could I was walking, doing lunges, squats, running and cross training when I wasn't sleeping. Nothing prepares you for the lack of sleep that comes with having a baby and toddler. For me, it was important to rest but also to take 5-10 minutes two or three times a day to do some type of movement.
Now that my son is two, he still doesn't sleep well but he will chill out while I do some exercises. He also loves riding in the running stroller so I can run or walk at least once a day. It's super easy to run or walk a bit, stop and do squats or walking lunges and then start up again. I do this on many occasions to get some toning in.
Another thing I try to do almost daily is practice yoga. Even if it's for a few minutes because it helps to ease my mind, relieve stress and strengthen my body. Handstands have been my main focus in the past few months. I have a solid headstand practice but have always been lacking in handstands. By practicing one or two handstands each day, I have started to really see some improvement. Now if I could only get over my fear!
This weeks featured workout is a cross training yoga workout. Yoga is such a great way to help connect the mind and body but also to build strength and stamina. This little workout will help to build overall strength (core, upper and lower body).
Yoga For Strength & Cross Training
Warm-up yoga poses: Start in child's pose for 1-2 minutes, being mindful of breath and body. Move into table top. Pull bellybutton toward spine and start to bring the right shoulder and hip toward each other making a letter "C" curve with spine, move to the other side, continue for 5-8 rounds. Coming back to table top begin to take a few rounds of Cat/Cow.
Flow yoga poses:
Core Table Top: Curl toes under, pull the bellybutton toward the spine and lift the knees an inch or so from the mat. Hover the knees for 5 breaths. Lower and repeat two more times.
Downward Dog (DD): From table top, curl the toes under, start to lift the hips up toward the sky as you straighten the knees. Spread the fingers and press the finger tips into the mat, specifically the mounds between the index finger and thumbs. It's as if you are clawing the mat. Work the shoulder blades onto the back while melting the heart down toward the feet. Essentially you are going for making an upside down letter "V" with the body. This will be a transition pose so I will instruct it here and each time it's called for in the sequence, try to remember the alignment.
Three Legged Dog with Knee to nose: From DD lift the right leg up behind, flexing through the foot. Hold here for 2-3 breaths working on extending out from the right heel. On an exhale, bend the right knee in toward the nose, hold for 3 breaths and re-extend right leg back behind. Repeat two times and switch sides.
Crescent Lunge: From DD, inhale the right leg up behind, exhale the knee to the nose (like the pose above), pause, then step the right foot in between hands. Root down through the front foot and back toes, inhale the torso and arms up to crescent lunge. Inhale lengthen through the arms, exhale and sit deeper, engaging the core. Hold for 5 breaths, transition back to DD (can take a vinyasa if you like) and repeat on the left side.
Plank Holds: Inhale torso forward from DD, into plank position. Scoop the hips up, engaging the core. Pause for 3 breaths. Inhale picking the right foot up off the mat, hovering the toes about 2 inches and hold for 5 breaths. Lower the right foot and repeat on the left side.
Vira Bhadrasana III (Warrior III): Push hips up and back for DD, inhale raising the right leg up behind you, exhale knee to nose and step the foot in between the hands. Inhale rooting down through the feet and come up for crescent lunge. On an inhale begin to bring weight forward into the right foot, shifting weight forward. Step back foot up (taking small steps or just pick it up) in the air bringing the left leg and torso parallel to the floor. Put a slight bend in the standing leg if needed. Start to bend the right knee, reaching the left leg back, runners lunge to plank. Take a vinyasa here if you like. Once in DD, repeat sequence on the second side.
Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose): From DD, inhale the torso forward to plank pose. Turn the left fingers out slightly and start to roll over to the outside edge of the left foot. Stack the right foot on top of the left (or if more support is needed, bend the right knee, placing the sole of the right foot to the center of the mat), extend the right arm up toward the sky and scoop the hips up. Hold here for 3-5 breaths. Transition to DD and repeat on the second side.
Salabhasana (Locust Pose): Come to plank pose, pausing for 4-6 breaths. On and exhale, bend the elbows, hugging them toward the side body, and slowly lower the body down to the mat. Lower the forehead down to the mat and extend the arms along the sides, palms facing up. Start to pull the bellybutton toward the spine and firm the bum so the pelvis presses into the floor. Exhale lifting the head, chest and arms up off the mat. Stay here or start to lift the legs up off the mat, engaging the muscles in the legs and extending out through the heels and toes. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, exhale and release to the floor. Turn the cheek to rest fully allowing the back to soften. Stay resting for a few breaths and repeat the process two more times.
Sirsasana II (tripod Headstand): Step legs wide apart and place hands in line with the feet and shoulder width apart on the mat. Bend the elbows reaching the crown of the head down toward the mat. Place the crown of the head about a foot away from the hands making a triangle with the head and hands. Press palms and head into the mat, engaging the core. Once the hips are over the hands and head, start to lift the legs out and up, coming into a headstand with support from the hands. Hold as long as you like and slowly lower the legs down to come out. Stay in a forward fold for a few breaths and slowly come up to standing.
Finishing yoga poses:
Setu Bandha (bridge pose): Lay on your back with knees bent and soles of the feet working into the mat. Making sure the feet and knees are hip width apart. Bring the arms by the sides with elbows bent and fingers pointing to the sky. Inhale and press the feet and upper arm bones into the mat as you pick the hips up. Keep the hips raised and work the heart up and back, broadening through the shoulder blades. Keep the arms here or roll the shoulders under as you interlace the fingers under the body. Hold for a few breaths and release on an exhale, rolling down nice and easy.
Constructive Rest: Keeping the knees bent, walk the feet out as wide as the mat and allow the knees to come together. Place the hands on the belly and breathe for a few breaths, allowing the low back to rest into the mat.
Reclined Spinal Twist: Brining knees in toward the chest. Inhale releasing the arms out to the sides in a "T". Exhale releasing the knees over to the left, looking up or out toward the right hand. Hold here for 4-5 breaths and switch sides.
Savasana: Extend the legs so the backs of the legs are on the mat. Walk the heels out to hip width, allowing the toes to drop open. Bring the arms along the sides with a few inches of space, palms facing up. Start to slow the breath, closing the eyes and bringing the body to stillness. Stay here as long as you like.
Disclaimer: The information on this website (Alt Yoga Vibe) is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical treatment or hands on instruction. If you are experiencing any severe pain or symptoms, please consult a healthcare practitioner.