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Thursday, May 17, 2007

beach blanket body

someone at iyogalife must've read my mind. living here in southern california, there's sure to be at least one occasion -- if not more -- where i'll have to don a swimsuit in public (and worse yet, with people i know). and heaven forbid that i'll have to keep my sarong wrapped around me so i don't scare people away!

thank goodness we're still going through a phase of "may gray" (and maybe even "june gloom"?); it gives me some time to work on getting myself beach-ready before the warm sunny days are finally here...

so here's what they said in the email i received from them today:

Anyone who wants to shed a few before summer (35 days to go) should look to this sequence from Baron Baptiste, the king of power vinyasa yoga. For the next seven weeks these five poses done at least five days a week will have you drop at least one sundress size.

and here is that magical sequence baptiste suggests we do:

Hold each pose below for five to 10 breaths. The poses can be done as a sequence or in any combination.

Revolving Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
With right foot forward and left leg stretched behind you, go to the ball of left foot, squeezing left leg straight. Right knee is stacked over right ankle. With hands pressing together at the center of body, straighten arms, bringing left hand to the floor on the outside of front foot. Right hand reaches up. Pull shoulder blades toward the spine. Open chest wide and breathe deeply. Place hands on floor, step feet back, and switch sides to repeat. The twisting action tones and whittles your waist.

Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)
From standing, bring left arm up and roll right hand open so palm faces forward. Bend right knee and bring right foot up from behind. Reach right hand back and grab inside of right foot with thumb pointing like a hitchhiker. Bring knees together. Set gaze forward and lift chest high as you stretch forward, bringing leg up. Keeping chest a bit higher than hips, hold, then repeat to other side. This pose will make your shoulders, spine, and legs strong and elongated, so you look slimmer.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
From a wide-leg standing position open arms so they are parallel with the floor. Turn right foot to face forward and turn back foot to a 45 degree angle. Reach down and grab right shin, bringing left arm up. Arms should stack in one vertical line. Resist the temptation to let body weight drop into the lower shoulder; engage the shoulder and surrounding muscle by extending from fingertip to fingertip. Engage upper thighs and stack entire body on one plane (as if between two panes of glass.) Breathe slowly before coming up to standing. Step left foot forward, then repeat on other side.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lying on belly, bend knees, bringing them hip-width apart. Reach back and grab tops of feet or ankles. On inhale, press back through legs as you lift thighs and chest off floor. Press feet back into hands, drop chin to chest, and breathe deeply. Release and repeat. Bow pose contracts and tones ab muscles—the first step to a washboard.

Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Lying on back, squeeze knees to chest. Contract core and on the exhale, bring legs and hips up, rolling onto the back of shoulders. Bring hands to lower back and walk elbows and shoulder blades toward each other. Press up through the soles of feet, using hands to lift and support hips. To come down, draw knees into chest and gently roll onto back. Rest before coming to sit up.