We believe the key to being your best self is to be balanced. Why else would we bring together great taste with good for you ingredients? But to help you stay balanced inside and out, here are a few yoga poses to strengthen your core, stretch legs, back, shoulders and open hips. Just remember, this sequence should only be done after your body is warmed up. So jump, jog, or just get loose real quick.
Downward-Facing Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
Starting on your hands and knees, make sure your fingers are spread wide and hands are under your shoulders. Begin to lift your knees and reach your hips back. Your body should be in the shape of an “A”. With your knees slightly bent to ensure proper alignment. Lengthen your spine, engage your core and lift toward the ceiling. Rotate your arms so your elbow creases face out and lower head so that it is between your upper arms. Take 5-10 deep breaths.
Plank / Phalakasana
From downward-facing dog move your upper body forward so shoulders are over wrists. Your torso should be parallel to your mat and your arms perpendicular. Keep your gaze between your hands and your fingers spread for maximum support. As you push away from the floor feel your upper back expand and chest rise. Engage your core and begin to push your heels back slightly. Remember to breathe as you hold the pose. Hold for 30-60 seconds to activate your core and build heat.
Side Plank / Vasisthasana
In plank, begin moving your right hand in towards your left so it is underneath your face. Start to transfer your weight to your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of your right and begin to open your body and raise your left hand. Keeping your right hand firmly pressing into the ground feel the strong energetic line from your right hand to the left fingertips reaching towards the sky. Create a diagonal line from your head to your heels by keeping your hips lifted and thighs engaged. If this feels too challenging for your body, try with your right knee on the ground. For a more advanced pose, you can rest your left foot on inner right thigh for tree in side plank pose. Once you have held for several breaths move to left side.
Pigeon / Kapotasana
Move back through plank and bring the right knee towards your right wrist. The right foot should be facing towards your left hand and your shin perpendicular with the front of your mat. Begin to reach the left leg out behind you by walking the toes out towards the wall behind you. Once you’ve reached your deepest stretch without straining allow your pelvis to sink towards floor. You can always add a block or blanket under your right hip for more support. Sit up tall with shoulders down and away from your ears and start to lean forward over your bent leg. You can rest your head on a block or your hands. Breathe as you relax into the pose. Hold for at least a minute. Switch sides by first moving through a downward-facing dog, plank or hands and knees.
Lord of the Fishes Pose / Ardha Matsyendrāsana
From pigeon, start to roll onto the hip of your bent leg. As you do this, bring your extended leg around your front body and across your bent knee. Place your foot flat on the ground and anchor down through your sits bones. Cross opposite arm over upright leg so your elbow is on the outside of your knee. Reach the crown of your head to the sky as your shoulders fall away from your ears. Use your elbow pushed against your knee to help you rotate your body any amount more into a deeper twist. Keep your gaze slightly down or over your shoulder. Breathe and hold pose for several breaths. Switch sides.