BLAST 500+ CALORIES DOING YOGA

I LOVE THIS WORKOUT AND DO IT FOR ABOUT AN HOUR EACH DAY – POSES ARE “DOABLE” This calorie-zapping yoga routine will melt away pounds while sculpting every major muscle in your body. Remember cutting out or burning 500 calories a day leads to 1 pound of weight loss each week!!  It is also nice that this workout can really be done anywhere so if you’re traveling for work or vacationing and stuck inside, throw a towel on the carpet and work it!

Adapted from Alyssa Shaffer; Photographs by Dorit Thies

Lose Weight with Yoga

How much can yoga really do for you? A lot. This is a  total-body routine that is a mind and body booster. The workout is built around the classic sun salutation series, with challenging core and upper- and lower-body variations added for a fat-blasting twist. Do the entire sequence four to five times through (keep at it for an hour) and you’ll burn off the calorie equivalent of a banana split while sculpting your arms, chest, abs, butt, and legs and improving your flexibility.

YOGA 500-1

How it works: Start and finish each circuit with a sun salutation, a four-move series done forward and in reverse that is the foundation of the workout. Every time you do this main series, you’ll add a challenging variation to keep your heart rate elevated while toning your whole body. Each sun salutation, plus all of our variations, should take about 15 minutes.

Sun Salutation (Main Series)

1.

YOGA 500MOUNTAIN

Mountain Pose Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides. Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.

2.

YOGA 500 standingforward

Standing Forward Bend From mountain pose, exhale, sweeping your arms sideways as you swan dive forward, bending at hips, until fingertips or palms reach the ground on either side of your feet; keep fingers in line with toes. (If your hamstrings or back are tight, bend your knees.) Think about drawing the crown of your head down and the backs of your legs toward the sky.

3.

YOGA 500 forwardflatback

Forward Bend, Flat Back From standing forward bend, keep feet together and place fingertips on ground near outer edges of your feet, in line with your toes. Inhale as you lift your torso halfway up, keeping your back flat. Look forward, reaching your tailbone away from the top of your head. If you feel tight in your hamstrings or lower back or can’t reach the ground, bend your knees and place your hands on your shins.

4.

YOGA 500- DOWNWARD DOG

Downward Dog From forward bend with flat back, bend knees, place palms flat on ground shoulder-width apart, and jump both feet back, landing softly in downward dog. Spread your fingers and make sure your feet are hip-width apart and parallel. Reach your tailbone up and away from hands and your heels toward the ground.

5. Reverse this series back to the start Bring your legs toward your hands and straighten legs, returning to forward bend with flat back. Drop your head and return to standing forward bend, then to mountain pose, sweeping arms out to the sides and overhead to complete the main series.

Build Your Workout Each time you complete the sunsalutation, add on a new challenge series until you’ve incorporated all the moves. Each full sequence will take about 15 minutes; do 4 to 5 times.

Add On: Half Push-Up Series

Part 1.

YOGA 500 tabletoptohalf

Tabletop to Half Push-Up From downward dog, get on all fours, aligning your knees on the ground under hips and your hands directly below shoulders (not shown). Keeping abs pulled in and head aligned with your spine, bend elbows about 45 degrees in a half push-up, arms close to sides. Straighten arms; repeat push-up 4 to 6 times.

Part 2.

YOGA 500 extendedchilds

Extended Child’s Pose From half push-up, straighten arms and bring your tailbone back toward heels, resting the backs of your thighs on your calves. Hold for a few breaths, feeling the stretch through your back and shoulders. Return from child’s pose to tabletop, then back to downward dog; do the remainder of the main series in reverse.

Add On: Lunge Jump

Do the half push-up series, returning to downward dog. Step left leg forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees while keeping right leg straight. Hold for a few breaths, then switch legs, jumping left leg back and right leg forward. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to downward dog and reverse the main series back to the start.

Add On: Warrior Series

YOGA 500 warrior

Warrior 1 with High Lunge Do the main series, adding on both half push-up and lunge jump, ending in downward dog. From here, step left foot forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees with toes facing forward; keep right leg straight and lift upper body. Raise arms overhead next to ears; hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Straighten left leg while lowering arms; keep palms in and right heel lifted. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to warrior 1, then to downward dog; repeat on opposite side, ending in downward dog. Reverse the main series back to start.

Add On: Chair with Twist

Chair Pose

YOGA 500 chairpose

Do the main series plus each of the previous add-ons one time through, ending in mountain pose with arms raised. From here, bend your knees, pushing your butt back.

Bring palms together in front of chest and bend forward, pressing right upper arm against outside of left thigh as you twist your upper body to the left. Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, then come back to center and twist to the right. Continue alternating sides, 4 to 6 times in each direction, then return to a standing position.

YEAH!! YOU DID IT!!

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MY YOGA POSES: WET DOG, OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!!

I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND BEGINNER POSES BEFORE MOVING ONWARD AND UPWARD – I’M PRETTY FIT AND SOME OF THESE INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED POSES I’M FINDING TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE!  I’M CALLING MY YOGA POSES WET DOG, THE OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!!  BUT THESE CAN BE MASTERED – WORK AT IT GRADUALLY!

Downward Dog: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 1

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Downward Dog: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 2

  • Start in beginner position.
  • Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then lift one leg toward the ceiling and hold for 3 full breaths; keep hips level.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

Downward Dog: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 3

  • Start in beginner position. Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Walk your feet together and lift one leg toward the ceiling.
  • Press your palms and other heel into the mat. Once stable, slowly lift your opposite hand and hold for 3 full breaths.
  • Lower; switch sides and repeat.

The Crow: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 4

Get into downward dog position (palms pressed into mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk feet forward until knees touch your arms.

Bend your elbows, lift heels off floor, and rest knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep toes on floor, abs engaged and legs pressed against arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

The Crow: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 5

  • From beginner position, squeeze your inner thighs to lift heels off floor.
  • With fingers spread wide, slowly move body forward until your weight is balanced over your hands.
  • Draw abs inward (as if pulling belly button to spine) to lift your hips up higher, keeping your face forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

The Crow: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 6

  • Start in the beginner position and slowly move into the intermediate pose.
  • As your upper body tilts forward, begin lifting your right leg toward the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your glutes, spread out your toes, and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

The Lunge: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 1

  • Start in downward dog position. Step your right leg forward to the inside of your right hand.
  • Drop your left knee to the floor and lift your chest up. Keeping your right knee in line with your ankle and your back straight, place hands on your knee. Hold for 10 breaths.

The Lunge: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 7

  • From beginner pose, press into the ball of your back foot and lift into a standing lunge.
  • Straighten back leg, place heel down on floor, and turn foot out a few inches. Lift arms toward ceiling (Warrior I). Spread your fingers, turn palms in, and open up chest. Hold for 10 breaths.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

The Lunge: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 8

  • From lunge position, hinge your upper body forward from the hips and slowly lift your back leg while straightening your front leg.
  • Stop when your back is flat and your entire body is parallel to the floor (Warrior III). Balance here for 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

ARE YOU FEELING THE LOVE?