Whether you're cranking out burpees for time or squatting a specific weight, exercise is a numbers game. Add in calorie burn and total time and your workout becomes a math class.
Tracking your exercise can be valuable, but yoga is the perfect opportunity to prioritize how your body feels, rather than how long, hard or fast you're moving. Using a deliberate breathing pattern, yoga allows you to be totally present in the moment — no timed intervals needed.
"We use [Ujjayi] breath in a typical yoga flow in order to anchor ourselves into our practice," says yoga instructor and meditation specialist Hailey Lott. "It supports our mind in being present with our body."
In this flow, Lott will introduce you to some beginner-friendly, fundamental yoga movements to help your body and mind unwind. All you need is a few feet of space to get started — even a yoga mat is optional.
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You'll link your breath to your movement as you flow through this series of poses. Although Lott moves at a steady pace, feel free to pause the video if you need a little break or want to hold a pose for more time.
- Seated Position: Practice your Ujjayi breath to help anchor into your practice, inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
- Mini Sun Salutation: As you round your back, tuck your chin into your chest and breathe all the air out of your body.
- Cat-Cow: "This is a great practice for energizing through the spine," Lott says. "As you do it, I invite you to notice how this feels in your spine and in your body."
- Sunbird: As you raise your opposite arm and leg, contract your abdomen and think about pulling your limbs away from one another.
- Child's Pose: "Imagine with each inhale you're creating space in the low back, feeling your right rib expand [and] left rib expand with each breath in," Lott says.
- Downward Dog: After you lift your hips to the ceiling, take a moment to move side to side. If you feel some tightness in the hamstrings, you can pedal your feet to help loosen those muscles.
- Child's Pose: Shift your weight forward through a high plank back into Child's pose, resting your head onto the floor or your mat.
- Seated Position: Press up to a comfortable seat and bring your hands together in prayer position at your chest to complete your practice.
As you sit in your final pose, consider trying some simple meditation techniques to help relieve stress and calm the mind further.
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