Yoga & Pilates


Yoga

Yoga is a great way to exercise your body and mind. Yoga exercises are designed to ease tense muscles, tone up the internal organs, and to improve the flexibility of the body’s joints and ligaments. There are different stages and styles to yoga. There are many benefits of yoga such as increased flexibility and mobility; tone and strengthens muscles, improves posture, and encourages weight loss. It also helps your mental health by relaxing your mind and sharpening your concentration. While learning yoga, you will also become more familiar with different breathing and meditation techniques. SharpMoms thinks the best way to learn yoga is by enrolling in a class at your local fitness center.

Pilates

People love pilates. It is one of the fastest growing trends in fitness. It is an easy exercise technique that can be done at home, indoors or outdoors, and if you need some extra help there are plenty of pilates Here are a few exercises to get your started on your pilates journey:

Head and Neck Rolls
Start by lying in the neutral position, looking straight ahead and concentrating on relaxing muscles of your neck. Roll your head slowly to one side, allowing the weight of your head to perpetuate the movement. Return to center, pause, and then roll your head to the opposite side. Return to center. Repeat five times.

Shoulder Mobilization
While lying in the neutral position, inhale into your ribs. On the exhale, stretch your arms up towards the ceiling with the palms facing in towards each other and keeping your elbows soft. Inhale and stretch one arm higher to lift your shoulder blade off of the floor. Exhale, and let the shoulder blade drop back down. Repeat on the other side, and do five repetitions on each side.

Spine Lift
Bring yourself back into the neutral position and inhale. On the exhale, engage your pelvic floor and pull your navel to your spine while lifting your tailbone off the floor slowly. Imagine each vertebrae of your spine rolling up off of the floor, one by one. Keep your thighs relaxed, and stop lifting when your torso and thighs form a straight line and you are resting on your shoulder blades. Hold the position and inhale without relaxing your center. On the exhale, reverse the movement and allow each vertebra to roll down onto the floor until you reach your starting position. Use the strength in your center to control your body during the entire exercise. Repeat.

Hip Rolls
Lie in the neutral position with your arms stretched out to your sides and bring your knees and feet together. Inhale and engage your center. While keeping your knees and ankles together, exhale, lifting your left hip and tilt your knees to the right. Stop when you feel your left shoulder blade start to lift from the floor. Inhale, then exhale and return to center, keeping your knees and ankles together and your center strong. Repeat on the other side. Do a total of five repetitions on each side.

Abdominal Curls
Lie on the neutral position with your arms stretched over your head, elbows soft. Inhale, then exhale, bringing your arms over your head and tucking your chin into your chest as you engage your center and use your abdominal muscles to peel your shoulder blades off of the floor. You should end in a full curl with your arms stretched out in front of you and your gaze fixed over your knees. Inhale, and then exhale while reversing the movement and returning to your starting position. Repeat as many times as you are able without losing control of your strong center, progressing up to five repetitions.

Always end your workout with a 10-15 minute stretch and then take a few minutes to relax quietly with no movement.