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Yoga for Beginners 101: Summer Slimdown

Updated on February 3, 2017

Taking a Summer Break

During this summer season, due to health reasons from my weight loss and energy levels, (my back pain and right knee is flaring up), I’m going to cut back on my yoga classes, until I’m stronger and regain more weight. I’m going to do my Wednesday yoga class every week, except for this week’s session, and do my Thursday yoga class, every other week, while I’ll try to do my home practice on the off days, when I’m feeling better and strong enough by doing yoga daily on my off-days. Since my Friday yoga class ended yesterday for summer break, I don’t have to worry about it. I did pass on my two Thursday yoga sessions, due to fatigue, and will return to it next week. As for Stretch-lates and Yoga-lates, when it returns this fall, I’ll see where I am and on how I feel.

A Star Pose is a Great way to Segue for the Warrior Sequential Poses

Breaking New Tricky Ground in Class

For last Wednesday's yoga class, we had an unexpected and usual sub to fill in for class. We’ve started with some meditation and some various spinal twists and side stretches to warm up the session. Then we’ve gotten down to business with the Sun Salutation sequence first with cat-cow, down dog, mountain and raise arms, forward fold, plank, knee-chest-chin, upward dog, down dog, the awkward chair pose, another forward fold with a shoulder stretch, and back to mountain, The we’ve did the lunge and the Warrior poses, with the side angle of doing the half-bind and full-bind as a twist after the triangle pose. Then we’ve did the Moon Salutation sequence with the crescent moon pose, the star pose, the tree pose, (I still did it against the wall), the kneeling dancer pose, the eagle pose, the fallen angel pose, and a V-sit/boat pose,Then we’ve done some final spinal twists and stretches with the cat-cow and down dog. We’ve finished the session with the corpse pose once again.

For my second to last Friday yoga class for this summer, we’ve started out with the easy sit and raised a yoga block in our hands above our heads. We’ve done some spinal twists to warm our bodies with some side stretches as well. We’ve began our workout with the lunge and the knee-chest-chin pose . We’ve followed it up with the plank, the cobra, the up dog and downward dog with some forward and half folds, the wide-legged forward bend and seated wide-legged forward fold, the triangle pose with half and full binds, the bridge pose, some leg extension exercises, the eagle pose, the pyramid pose, before we’ve closed out the session with the corpse pose.

For my last Friday yoga class for this summer, we’ve started out with the easy sit and raised a yoga block in our hands above our heads. We’ve done some spinal twists to warm our bodies with some side stretches as well. We’ve began our workout with the lunge/kneeling lunge and the knee-chest-chin pose with the pyramid pose. We’ve followed it up with the plank/kneeling plank, the cobra, the up dog and downward dog with some forward and half folds, the wide-legged forward bend and seated wide-legged forward fold, the triangle pose with half and full binds, the reverse bridge pose, the star pose, some leg extension exercises, the eagle pose and the boat pose. We’ve also added some new poses like the fallen angel pose, the gentleman’s chair pose, kneeling side plank/side plank, before we’ve closed out the session for summer with the corpse pose/legs up the wall pose. (Due to balance issues, I did the kneeling variations and only did the lower level of the tree pose, since I was unsteady on my legs.)

Doing the Pyramid Pose Will Give you Back an Intense Stretch in Yoga at Home or on the mat for Class

Yoga Bolsters and Meditation Pillows

In different asanas, yoga bolsters are dense pillows of varying sizes used to support various parts of the body. By placing the bolster under your knees, maximize the benefits of the corpse pose--a meditative and restorative asana commonly practiced at the end of the yoga routine. For a supportive back bend, stick it under the lower back, or open the heart chakra, place it lengthwise along the mid to upper back, neck and head. Like other props, yoga bolsters help take the strain off your body as you ease from pose to pose. They come in different shapes and sizes, which suite a variety of needs.

To encourage a feeling of floating, they can take the place of blocks for a softer form of support or to prop up feet for savasana. For pranayamic breathing to fully open the chest, try the Prayanama bolster. These pillows become your best friend in Restorative yoga. During many poses, they encourage inflection, comfort and ease. To fully engage the pose, round bolsters are great for doing the Child's pose as a way to accentuate the curve of your back. To open the front of your body and stretch your organs, heart, belly and ribs, use a round bolster in a supported back bend. After a long day at the office, allow your body to realign with simple rejuvenating stretches that create the most positive impact of the body.

A Bolster is a Great Yoga Prop for Meditation and Stretches for Your Neck, Back and Shoulders

A Pillow is Great for Meditation and Stretches to Rest Your Head or Buttocks on the Floor

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    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 22 months ago from North Texas

      Kristen, this is an interesting hub about how people only beginning in yoga can slim down over the summer. Voted up!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Au Fait for commenting and stopping by. They can join me in yoga classes and do yoga at home.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 22 months ago from United States

      I only do yoga at home, but was introduced to it at college through a yoga course. And meditation pillows are really useful for sitting meditation, they help align your spine properly. Voted up, and keep it up!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Dreamhowl. Good for you for doing home practice like I do. I would love to have a pillow or bolster someday for my poor back. Thanks for the vote!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 21 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Yoga is such a healthy way to exercise. I sometimes find classes on cable TV and do those.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Catherine, that's a good idea to do it ON Demand. I love yoga and meditation. It's a nice way to start and end the day right. Thanks for the visit.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

      My hats' off-road you for doing yoga after along day at work!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish. More like a long day at the computer to do some online work. I'm unemployed.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      I do some yoga everyday--I find it helps--great article!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Audrey. Good for you! Thanks for your comments. Yoga does help big time. It helped me out with back pain.

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