By Dana White
Hello Fly Gyals, I’m Dana. I work full-time, I’m a mom, a Soldier in the US Army Reserves, AND a graduate student, and while doing all that, I also try to keep myself healthy, inside and out. I will try any workout at least once (mountain biking…NOT my thing), but one thing I haven’t been able to commit myself to is yoga. And that’s sad, because yoga is reported to stimulate mental and psychological benefits as well as physical, and with a three year old, my sanity needs all the help it can get. My main issue with yoga is the time component. Yoga is a slow and measured exercise, and focuses more on muscle isolation to achieve the desired results. A full yoga session can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, and Mama just does not have that kind of time! But I didn’t want to miss out on all the benefits, so I did some research and found a few moves that I could do at different times of the day (say, lunch at my desk?), just to give me the boost that we all need at times. Below are a few of the yoga poses I’ve incorporated into my daily routine:
For When I’m Stressed About Deadlines:
“Mountain Pose”- This is about as easy as yoga poses get. You simply stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart, lift your kneecaps and roll your thighs inward, tucking your tailbone underneath you and rolling your shoulder blades down your back. Then, let your arms hang at your sides, palms facing forward. You may raise your arms above your head. Finally, lift the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
For The Days You Have to Carry a 45 lb. Screaming Child Off The Playground:
“Forward Fold” (good for lower back and sciatic nerve pain): Keeping your legs straight, fold your torso towards your thighs. Rest your fingertips or palms on the floor. If you cannot reach, place your palms on your calves.
For The Days You Simply CANNOT Get Fully Awake:
“Upward-Facing Dog” aka “Sun Salutation”: You know how it goes: the best REM sleep you got that night was 20 minutes before your alarm went off. Daylight savings time ended the day before, and you can’t seem to shake off that groggy feeling. Upward facing dog stimulates blood flow throughout the entire body, and after doing 3-4 of them (for 30 secs each), I’m usually able to get all the yawns out of my system. First, you begin in “cobra” (that is, lying flat on the floor, belly down, with your hands at your sides). Then, push down into your hands, straightening your arms and lifting your hips and thighs off the floor. Now, arch your chest upward. Remember to keep the tops of your feet firmly planted on the floor.
There are several styles of yoga, from Bikram to Ashtanga to Ananda. If you have the time, Google a local yoga class in your area or search sites like Pinterest, and see which style of yoga suits your needs. Namaste and good luck!