Whether you think a yogi is a bear, or haven’t met downward dog in over 15 years, it’s never to late to discover (or rediscover) the positive health benefits of yoga.
Of course, stuff happens, and we can’t always make it to the studio.
Don’t let this crazy, mixed-up life get in the way of those well-intentioned plans to focus a bit of attention on yourself, though. We recently sat down with Ramit Kreitner and Carla Stangenberg of Jaya Yoga Center (1626 8th Avenue), who gave us their tips on introducing a home-based yoga practice.
SSN: How do you fit yoga into a busy life?
JY: Never doubt that even 5-7 minutes of yoga a day can help maintain a supple spine, enhance mood and leave one with a greater sense of well being and peace.
On days when you can’t get to the studio, try this short sequence:
Find some space about the length and width of a yoga mat, or if you have a yoga mat on hand, stand at the top of it. For this series of exercises unless otherwise indicated, please breathe in and out through the nostrils.
Stand up tall. From the down of the feet, feel for the up of the spine have a sense of the length of your self. This is called Tadasana or Mountain Pose
Inhale your arms out and up look up to your fingers.
Exhale swan dive your arms down to toward the floor.
If your fingers done reach the floor, worry not, bend your knees!
Inhale sweep the arms out and up, look up once again see the fingers and beyond, see the sky.
Exhale reverse the swan dive over the legs.
Repeat the above 3 times. These are half sun salutations. A simple way to move the energy around the body.
Standing at the top of your mat, extend both arms upward on an inhale
Exhale Side bend left, upper arms remain extended framing the ears, spine is in lateral extension.
Come back thru center and repeat on the other side.
Come down to hands and knees for Cow and Cat. Spread your fingers wide and see that knees are underneath hips, wrists underneath shoulders.
Inhale arch the spine look forward stick the tongue out make a sound AHHHH
Exhale round the spine, kiss the navel upwards drop the head, drop the neck.
Repeat 3 times.
Come to lie on your back on the floor.
Bend both knees and hug the knees in.
On an exhale let your knees drop to the right at hip heights and open the arms, take the gaze to the left, twisting the spine.
Stay for 10 full deep clear breaths through the nostrils.
Inhale to bring the knees into your center hug them.
Exhale release the knees to the left, arms extending outward at shoulder height, gaze to the right, twisting the spine. Stay for 10 full deep clear breaths through the nostrils.
If time remains, lie flat on the ground for savasana, final resting pose. Close eyes, if you have an eye pillow place on eyes and be held by the earth for 5 full minutes.
Want to kick it up a notch, and join a class in the Jaya studio? You’re in luck, because Carla will be hosting a beginner yoga and meditation workshop on Sunday, April 28, from 12:15pm to 1:45pm at the studio’s South Slope location (1626 8th Avenue). Admission is $16. For more information or to register, visit the Jaya Yoga website.
Image via Ramit Kreitner