As if I need any additional excuses to forgo cardio, I much prefer to do summer yoga to beat the heat and get some type of physical activity in each day.
Yoga has many health benefits. Some of my favorites include … increased flexibility, improved muscle strength and tone, protection from injury, and improved athletic performance. Yoga can also be an incredible way to de-stress after a long day!
Below are a few of my favorite Yoga poses, as well as, some of my favorite pieces from the Alo Yoga collection. Alo Yoga has incredibly chic activewear you can easily transition from the gym to social activities after your work out sesh!
Here are some of my faves …
Lotus Pose – A seated pose, the Lotus is ideal for relaxation and meditation. This beginner pose stretches your hips, knees, ankles, and thighs. Sitting upright in this position helps to align your spine which calms your entire mind and body, reducing stress and anxiety. Lotus pose can also help to improve your posture and possibly ease menstrual cramps. I love the lotus pose for prayer and reflection and also to practice my posture.
Warrior 1 Pose – The Warrior 1 pose strengthens your arms, legs, ankles, and back. This pose opens up your hips and chest, improving your circulation and respiration. Warrior 1 is also a great stretch for your legs, belly, and back. Immediately energizing the entire body, Warrior 1 is an excellent way to improve focus, balance, and stability. I especially love Warrior 1 to stretch my hips and lower abdomen and give me a boost of energy in the mornings.
Eagle Pose – The Eagle Pose is a standing balance pose which strengthens your inner thighs and ankles. This pose also helps to stretch your calves and upper back and loosens your legs and hips, improving flexibility. Attempt holding for 20-30 seconds at first and gradually work up to holding longer. For me, this pose is especially beneficial for balance.
Handstand Pose – An inverted balance pose, the handstand helps to strengthen your shoulders, arms, and wrists, while also stretching your core. Even if you can’t balance for very long, a handstand pose can immediately relieve tension often carried in the shoulders from long days behind a desk. A handstand also elongates your body, improving energy and circulation. I find handstands fun and playful and am instantly energized after a doing just a few.
(photos by Blue Genes Photography)
What is your favorite summer work out?