Working the Mind, Body, & Soul

If you know me you know I LOVE to dance. If you know me really well you know i also love to do yoga. If you didn’t know that..well now you do.

I love yoga for so many reasons. In this blog, I’m going to share with you all the reasons why I love it and all the benefits that come with doing yoga.

• Improves the quality of your sleep. I don’t know about you but I love sleeping. I basically nap every moment I can ( SHORT STORY TIME: one time I decided to take a nap around 4pm. Usually, the time I start to get really tired. I woke up from that nap at 8pm, went downstairs and got some water and a snack, then I was in bed and asleep at 9pm…Slept all through the night too. That’s freaking talent.) Although I still have those nights where I’m not tired at all and I just know I’m not going to be tired for a while. So around the time I want to crawl in bed I take out my yoga mat and do a 20-30 minute, low-key yoga sequence. Mostly focusing on breathing, stretching, and engaging and working the core. 

http://www.fitwirr.com/workout/plan/beginners-yoga-asana/

my suggested workout for improving the quality of your sleep 

Improves mental concentration and reduces stress. This is so true. Doing a yoga routine in the morning before anything else really puts you in a good place. If I know I have a busy day that requires a lot of concentration I will wake up early to do yoga. It basically works like magic. After my yoga routine (and my shower…) I feel ready to attack my day and everything I have written in my bullet journal.


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https://www.pinterest.com/offsite/?token=146-928&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cloudywithachanceofwine.com%2F20-minute-yoga-

workout-for-complete-beginners%2F%23_a5y_p%3D3785514&pin=523895369134359249

my suggested routines to help with mental concentration. 

stress loves to play a role in my life. along with Jesus and dance, yoga is my secret weapon. When I can’t go to the studio and dance I’ll pull out my yoga mat. Yoga is most definitely a great tool to de-stress.

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https://www.pinterest.com/offsite/?token=582-290&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbeautyhigh.com%2Fyoga-poses-for-stress%2F%23_a5y_p%3D1600250&pin=11610911517479093

https://www.pinterest.com/offsite/?token=68-515&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stylecraze.com%2Farticles%2F10-minute-yoga-routine-to-de-stress-yourself%2F&pin=326933254181344773

my suggested routine for de-stressing 

There are so many more mental benefits that come with doing yoga. Now I want to share with you some of the physical benefits of doing yoga.

Increased core strength. Just think about it. All that balancing in different poses, shifting your weight from one pose to another and not falling down! It’s a lot of work! But it all pays off when you have that healthy and toned core.

http://avocadu.com/free-20-minute-yoga-workout-for-weight-loss/  – this is my favorite yoga routine that I will usually do after this belly sculpting routine (http://skinnyms.com/fat-blasting-belly-sculpting-workout/) It says to give yourself a 30 second break in between each pose but I usually don’t do that. Gives me more of a challenge! 

Increases flexibility. Yoga isn’t just for toning your body. There are plenty of routines that mainly focus on flexibility. I try to include a lot of poses that increase flexibility into my toning routines. 

https://www.pinterest.com/offsite/?token=968-277&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fitsugar.com%2FYoga-Poses-Spine-Flexibility-30098067&pin=AczkV7RzzR9ZubM6KZZGXFGm7AS_ziE1VdG2SX5vV7XZ-P_YqsOQ918

http://avocadu.com/20-minute-beginner-yoga-workout-for-flexibility/

my suggested routines for increasing flexibility 

Like I said before, there are so many more benefits that come with yoga. Like, Pain and tension relief, Body detoxification, Improves posture, improves digestions and is great for you mentally. 

And those are all the reason I LOVE doing yoga. 

8 Essentials for Athletes

Kerri Anne and I both dance many times a week, doing a bunch of styles from Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Jazz, etc. We also enjoy other forms of exercise like yoga and pilates. So we have some essentials that can be useful for almost any sport / form of exercise.

A Tennis Ball

A tennis ball is a must have in your gym bag/dance bag. During breaks in class I sometimes will break out my tennis ball. The places I tend to use my tennis ball is my feet, (this is one of the best because it breaks all the soft tissue & prevents injuries)   hip sockets, upper back, lower back, calves, and the booty. I’ve attached some links below of youtube videos showing you how to use the tennis ball properly.

Icy Hot

Icy hot is kind of like magic. If you struggle with a reoccurring injury, chronic pain, or even just recovering from a pulled muscle, icy hot will be your best friend. It comes in a few different forms (gel, spray, balm, etc.).

An Outfit You Love

It’s a fact of life that when I like the clothes I’m wearing, I dance better.

Well… It may not be a fact, but I think it’s true. Make sure you feel good in your workout clothes, but also make sure they don’t interfere with what you’re doing. I love to wear leggings, shorts, tank tops, and sometimes a light sweater. Find out what works best for you!

Drugs. . .

Yes, I am just a dancer BUT I very much consider myself an athlete. Albert Einstein did say, “Dancers are the athletes of God,” so i’m gonna go with it. So moving on, any form of medicine you can think of…i have in my bag. I will admit though that it is the worst for you. You never want to immediately go to pills when you strain a muscle or your back hurts.   The B E S T option for you and your body is STOPPING whatever you’re doing, put any form of icy hot on it, use an ice pack, use a heating pad, roll around on a tennis ball, etc. Any of the more natural ways to relieve your pain is always the best option.

A Chiropractor

A human being that cracks your backs in places you didn’t know could crack is must have for an Athlete. Like seriously fam…If you don’t have a chiropractor you need to freaking
get one. It is very common for athletes & dancers to have issues with the neck, back, hips, knees, etc. If not just one of those then all of them..like me.. Some are worse than others but no matter how serious it is a chiropractor can help. I go to one at least once or twice every two weeks. It improves my movement in class and my body feels better overall when my body is aligned.

Cross Training

This could be an entire blog post in itself. Here’s the dictionary definition for cross training: “training in two or more sports in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in a main sport.” Most people pick a form of exercise and tend to stick to that, whether it be soccer, tennis, running, or for us, dancing. The problem with this is that we often become   unbalanced, working certain muscle groups much more than others. This can become a major problem, and can lead to injury. Kerri and I often do things like yoga, pilates, and we take a stretch/strength class at our studio, which is designed to cross train us dancers.  Research cross training specifically for your sport –  it prevent injuries, but it will also enhance your performance!

Fun

One of the most important essentials is to really enjoy what you’re doing. If you hate playing your sport, find something else! There will always be days when you feel lazy and don’t want to do it, but overall you should be happy with how you are spending your time. If you hate going to class or practice, you won’t perform as well and will likely quit eventually. Maybe you love the sport, but hate the environment you are in. So find a different team! Make necessary changes in order to love what you’re doing… but also understand when you just have to wait out a bad season.

Good Snacks and Nutrition

We are planning a whole blog post all about our favourite snacks, particularly on busy days. Healthy eating is an important aspect of anyone’s life, but even more so if you are training. If you struggle to have a well-rounded diet, meal planning is a great tool! Research and consider what your body needs, and plan accordingly.

Beginner Yoga Sequence

Abs + Arms + Legs

Targeting all 3 in 1 Yoga workout.

I usually do this sequence at night because it is not a difficult routine. Though it is also a good morning routine to do before a shower just to get the heart rate up and your muscles engaged.

NOTE: this whole sequence only takes 10 – 15 minutes.


First: Start off in a standing position making sure your abs are already engaged, your ribs are closed, shoulders relaxed, and taking deep breaths. For the whole yoga routine you really want to focus on flowing from move to move & engaging your core and glutes in each move. 

ALSO breathing should be a main focus during this exercise.

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Standing position.
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Step out into Warrior pose. Hold for 16 counts.
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Arch back in Warrior pose in a high release – hold for 8 counts
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Bend forward and twist toward the sky *still keeping abs engaged* -hold for 16 counts
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move to plank + go into 12 plank dips.

 

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Stretch into downward dog into – hold for 8 counts

 

 

 

 

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Stretch one leg up an open up hips. – hold for 4 counts
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From there you take the leg that was up and move into a plank position with the your knee to your shoulder. Then take your leg back up to previous pose. Repeat that 8-12 times on same leg.

After you have finished the last move you go back to downward dog and make your way up to the standing position. Repeat again to the left. Then again to the right. . .then again to the left. So in the end you have done 4 sets, two on each side. 

NOTE: All moves can be adjusted to your own skill level.