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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Power Yoga For Modern Living

By Keith Langevin

This power yoga routine is excellent for a total body warm up before you begin your exercise program and, in fact, is a very good workout in itself. It stretches your muscles and works your breathing, as well as strengthens your arms, back, chest and legs. It is important to breathe fully and to do each part of the exercise slowly. Do not hurry through this and concentrate on your breathing throughout.

You start in a standing position with your arms hanging at your side. Slowly breathe in deeply while you look to the ceiling and raise your arms overhead. Try to touch the sky. Slowly bend forward, breathing out, and touch your hands to the floor. Keep your legs as straight as possible but it is important that you stretch down as much as possible. In the beginning, you will probably have to bend your legs. Your head is close to your body and you want to look between your legs. If you are limber, place your palms flat on the floor. Breathe in and, holding the same position, lift your head and look forward. Breathe out and walk your feet backward as you get into a pushup position.

When you become efficient at this routine, you can jump back into position if you like. Breathing in, lower your belly close to the floor, at the same time shift your feet so the top of your feet are flat on the floor and stretch your upper body upward. You stretch your neck muscles as well by looking up at the ceiling. Breathe out and move your body so that the bottom of your feet are now flat on the floor and your butt is as high in the air as possible. Look between your legs. You are in an inverted V position. Breathe in and walk your feet forward until you are back into the position where you are touching the floor with your head close to your body and you are looking forward. Breathe out and lower your head so you are now looking between your legs again. Breathe in and slowly stretch up, standing and reaching for the sky, looking at the ceiling. Now breathe out and return to your starting position, hands at your side. You have just completed one set.

Your goal is to work up to five sets eventually. Remember to concentrate on your breathing. When you breathe in, do it slowly and take in as much breath as possible. When you breathe out, exhale all your breath and try to touch your back with your belly button. Do these before exercising or do them first thing in the morning to get your body ready to face the day.