Hey #bfitnation!! Last time you heard from me, I promised to share with you some more about practicing yoga, so here we go!

Yoga, though a great source for exercise, is for sure a practice rather than a sport. Keep in mind that this may not necessarily be your thing… and that is totally okay! But I encourage you to give it a try – there are so many benefits from practicing yoga.

Again, yoga is not for everyone, but anyone can do it if they have enough patience and persistence. It may not look like it, but the practice requires a lot of strength all across your body, but especially in your legs and core.

In case you are wondering, yoga is considered a practice not just because there is always room for improvement with the poses, but because yoga is also just as much a mental journey as it is physical. Yoga requires inner and physical balance, patience, relaxation, and persistence.

A great way to start out your practice is by beginning with some sun salutations. There are as many sun salutations as there are people practicing yoga – but here is how I like to do a sun salutations:

Step 1:  

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Step 2:                    

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Make sure in these first two steps that you keep your shoulders pulled back and downwards. You should feel some stretching in your core and shoulders.

This next position (step 3) is called your ‘Downward-facing Dog”, which is a very common and popular pose. Make sure to keep your back completely straight (as you can see, I’m not doing that here!).

Step 3:

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Step 4 is your basic plank. Make sure to keep your core engaged and back straight.

Step 5, my favorite part, really stretches out your back, so don’t be surprised if you hear a few cracks!

Step 4:

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Step 5:

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After Step 5, I like to go back to Step 4, then 3, and so forth. This is a great way to wake up your body in the morning.
One of my favorite poses is called the “Seated Twist.”  To do this pose, you will bend your knee, and then hook your other foot across. Try to sit up as straight as you possibly can with your shoulders pulled down and back. This is another great pose for stretching and strengthening your core.

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And finally, “Wild Thing!” This pose is a more complicated one; that I am (clearly) still working on. Start in your Downward Dog, and then pick up one of your feet and slowly move it up and over to the other side of your body. Then, pick up the hand from the same side and move it over the same way you did with your leg. You will feel your back bend, and you might flip over (that’s what happened here), but feeling your back arch is an important part of this pose.

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As you can see, yoga requires a lot more effort and strength than one may think just by looking at it. So, keep trying, and be patient with it! There are always yoga classes and instructors to be found in your city. Check out your local YMCA or fitness center.

Written by Ella Moyer, bFit Blogger