BEST WAY TO START YOUR WORKOUT
The way we start the warm up for our yoga practice or workout sets the tone for the entire session, just like the way we start our day sets the tone for our entire day. That’s why you want to be deliberate with the first few poses and exercises you choose at the beginning of your workout.
Think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to energize or calm down? What kind of workout do you have in mind? Are you going to twist, open the hips or work on balancing? Is it a leg day, chest day or back day? These are all things you want to consider for your warm up.
And while you want to make sure that the body parts that will be doing most of the work later on are thoroughly warmed up, you also want to make sure that you move through all the major muscle groups and joints so that your entire body is ready for what’s to come.
To give you some inspiration, we put together a video of the way we usually warm up before our workouts. This is more of a general warm up that works for any kind of workout or yoga practice as we move through the entire body and fold forward, bend backwards, twist, stretch, build strength and of course incorporate some core work.
Give it a try. You’ll get your heart pumping and feel ready for whatever comes next.
Ultimately you can start your yoga practice or workout in almost any pose, but we have a few of our favorite starting poses for you in case you need some ideas or your creativity is lacking today. Keep in mind, there is not really one best pose to start with, it all depends on how you feel in this very moment and what you want to accomplish with your workout.
#1 Child’s Pose
We love to start in Child’s Pose sometimes because it promotes an action of drawing inward and allows for feelings of self-care, comfort and relaxation. Besides, it’s a pose that accomplishes quite a bit and extends and expands the hips, back and shoulders. But most of all, it allows our body and mind to become still for a moment, get into the present moment and prepare us for the practice ahead.
#2 Mountain Pose
Starting in a standing pose is a bit more energetic than Child’s Pose, but you still need to be present and aware in order to stand up straight and in the right alignment. What’s great about Mountain Pose is that it promotes a level of trust in our body and provides us with groundedness and rooting while creating space upwards. Plus, it boosts confidence and integrity, all within this basic posture.
#3 Easy Seat
This is a very common way to start a yoga practice and with Easy Seat, we include any comfortable seated position that suits you best. It immediately challenges us to quiet our mind, which rarely happens throughout our busy days. Easy Seat promotes focus and brings the mind into the body while at the same time requiring just the right amount of stretching and activation in the hips, abs and spine.
#4 Standing Forward Fold
Standing Forward Fold is a great way to start your class if you want to immediately start to open up the backside of the body. While it might start out uncomfortable and tight, if you stay in Standing Forward Fold for a while, bend the knees and paddle through the feet or grab opposite elbows and sway your upper body side to side or forward and backward, you end up in a comfortable, relaxed space. Plus, since your head is lower than the heart, you get all the benefits of a gentle inversion, improve the blood flow to the brain and get your mind into a better place.
#5 Gentle Hip Opener
A gentle hip opener like for example Reclining Bound Angle Pose is a great way to start your class because our hips can store a huge amount of tension and with a gentle hip opener we give our hips the opportunity to release and stretch, while giving the lower back a break as well. Keep in mind, we need to give our hips some TLC because most of us sit all day and tight hips are very common these days. Besides the physical tension, hips are also a well-known location to store emotional tension, so starting with a gentle hip opener will help to set the tone for some emotional release as well. Don’t forget to use props to make this as accessible as possible so you can actually enjoy all the benefits.
#6 Restorative Fish
Since most of us are hunched over a computer or cell phone screen all day, it’s a great way to start your yoga practice in Restorative Fish, to open up the chest and let the shoulders drop backwards. Not only are we opening up physically, but we also open up our heart. Sure, we may be in a vulnerable state exposing our heart, but it sets the tone for an honest, loving practice and the blocks will give us a sense of support, safety and comfort.
There is nothing better than relaxing and resting like the dead right from the start. It’s a great place to bring the focus internally, shut everything else out and simply bring the awareness to this present moment while grounding through our entire back body. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to practice a breathing technique here, which invites a deeper awareness of our current physical as well as mental state. While this state is constantly changing, tuning in to this present moment can give us more clarity about how to best approach our yoga practice.
No matter what pose you choose to start your yoga practice or workout, make sure that you spend some time on warming up your body and move through all the major muscle groups and joints to get your body ready for what’s to come. And keep in mind, in addition to preparing your body, you will get your mind away from the rest of your day so that you can truly enjoy your workout and get the most out of it.
If you want to know more about warm ups and what kind of benefits they come with, check out our blog ‘BEST DYNAMIC YOGA INSPIRED FITNESS WARM UP’
PREPARE YOUR BODY & MIND FOR A DYNAMIC YOGA PRACTICE OR WORKOUT
Joschi & Monika