YogAlign Bird Dog A Weight Bearing Movement.

By Renee’ Fulkerson

Some weight-bearing movements where your bones support your weight are walking, dancing, stair climbing, and gardening, to name a few. I love to do all of these activities. Well, maybe not stair climbing so much. I also find when using my 5lb weights for 20 minutes at least twice a week. My arm, back, and chest muscles stay toned. By stressing our bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Men can also get osteoporosis. To learn more, click on https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/men

We all come in different shapes and sizes and find enjoyment and various benefits in different ways of moving our bodies. Even something like weight lifting plays a different and unique role for each individual. For some, weight lifting is serious business. Men and women of all ages going to great lengths to achieve a competitive body ready for competition. And those more mature using 5lb free weights to fend off osteoporosis. We can use our body’s weight to our advantage. Did you know the femur is the longest/ strongest bone in the body and the heaviest? An average human being weighing 150lbs leg weighs 26lbs. Much heavier than a 5lb or 10lb weight. And the weight in the arm is 8lbs. Three more pounds than a 5-pound weight. And just under 2 of a 10-pound weight. 

Bird dog is a posture you can use your leg and arm weight to your advantage. Bird dog promotes proper posture and increases range of motion. Improving balance and stability and strengthens the core, hips, and back muscles. Anyone can do the bird dog including, the more mature set. (and lean muscle does diminish with age)

YogAlign Bird Dog:

  • Begin by starting on all floors also, known as table pose. Be sure to distribute your weight evenly front to back. This balance will take the extra pressure and weight off your wrists.
  • Next, focus on your head/ neck posture. Imagine putting a marble in the long crease in the back of your neck. Place it right between your hairline and the top of your shoulders. When you begin to drop your head too far forward (chin to chest). You will lose your marble. If you lift your head too much, you will also lose your marble. The goal is not to lose our marble. 
  • Extend your right leg back with the top of your foot gently touching your yoga mat. Toes pointed, begin your SIP inhale (breathing through a straw), and slowly with purpose, raise your leg. Bring your leg only as high as the rest of your body, not higher. Making sure you are not lifting/ twisting your right hip towards the ceiling.
  • Smile and start your sss-hale like a snake and slowly bring your leg down and back to starting position. You can begin moving from side to side with conscious breath, posture, and pointed toe. Taking it to your edge and then come down and rest on your forearms. 
  • Take a nice inhale and exhale through the nose.
  • Now add the arms (jet plane arms) with palms facing down and fingers spread. Create gentle resistance by pushing your arms down towards the floor. Be mindful not to let your shoulders creep up towards your ears. Left leg/ right arm and right arm/ left leg.

It is more important to move slowly with proper alignment with less number of times. Then, rushing through the posture with more times and little to no benefits. After all, can you imagine the possibilities in a body you can trust?

Aloha

Fitness, Movement, Health and Fun!

By Renee’ Fulkerson

What words would you use to describe your fitness routine? Everyone seems to have their vision of what fitness means and what it looks like; Fitness, movement, health, and fun are the four words that come to mind when describing my YogAlign practice/ classes. In my opinion, the YogAlign method meets my definition of fitness. The postures put me in proper alignment. And create a good physical shape for my body and structure. I can trust my body when performing a specific task or purpose. I want my fitness program to support and enhance my abilities to perform daily activities pain-free. Have you clearly defined what you want from your fitness program?

Movement, I love all kinds. I think dancing would be my favorite. I could dance for hours without much thought; I get lost. The movement of walking is also underrated and has endless benefits mentally, spiritually, and physically. To learn more about five surprising benefits of walking. To learn more about five surprising benefits of walking.

When I think about my health, it is not merely just the absence of illness or injury. It is the complete package addressing body, mind, and spirit. I rely on my YogAlign practice to keep my immune system up as my diet. In my everyday life my, mantra is all gain and no pain. Our minds allow us to think and feel. We want and need to feel good during and after our practice/ class to fill up our spirit. To keep wanting to come back. One of the main things we can do to be healthy is to have conscious breathing. Our lungs work all day and night, whether we are awake or asleep. That’s 20,000 or so breaths per day! 

Fun is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “Light-hearted pleasure, enjoyment, or amusement; boisterous joviality or merrymaking; entertainment”. Although particularly associated with recreation and play, fun may be encountered during work, social functions, and daily life. There is something to be said for having a laugh and a good time. I remember when I took my first YogAlign training with Michaelle Edwards (founder and creator). She recommended having a few jokes up our sleeves. And sure enough, jokes and having a good time were encouraged. I know myself and others have commented I did not arrive with a smile but, I am leaving with one. Are you having fun with your fitness?

In conclusion:

  • What words come to mind when describing your yoga or exercise class?
  • Have you clearly defined what you want from your fitness program? 
  • What kind of movement do you enjoy?
  • Do you finish your practice/ class with a smile? 
  • And do you keep wanting to show up for your fitness and health?

Aloha