Emmalyn Gaertner wants to live in a world where health is about balance, we find happiness in the little things, and our food is cooked with love. As a yoga teacher and wellness expert, Emmalyn guides women through flowing transformation both on and off the mat. When Emmalyn isn’t practicing yoga or at her computer she enjoys hiking with her dog Ollie, cooking with her husband, and always loves a hug! For recipes, tips & tricks, and healthy inspiration please visit her website www.emmalyngaertner.com.
Spring is the transition between the cold, wet, and sometimes snowy winter to the hotter, drier summer.
It’s a time of year when the snow is melting, dirt roads turn to muddy paths, flowers beginning to bloom, and the trees turn green. While all of this is going on in the outside world similar things are happening inside our bodies.
Spring is the time of year when allergies grow more intense, our immune systems weaken and increase our chances of getting sick, the quality of our skin can drastically change, and we start to lose the extra weight we put on in the winter.
Yoga can help make this time of transition smoother by moving out everything (mucus, toxins, etc.) that we don’t need and making room for the new season.
These yoga poses will help open up the front of your body, an area that needs extra attention after a long cold winter. You can include these poses in your regular yoga practice or time some extra time to focus on a few of these poses. As always make sure your body is warmed up and you are listening to your body to know how deep to go in a pose.
Side-waist Opening Pose<: Interlace your fingers together over your head. Inhale, lengthen your spine, exhale arch over towards the left. Take deep breaths into the right side of your body and feel the chest and ribs expand. Repeat on the other side. This pose is great to open the sides of the body and get movement into the breathing body.
Heart Opening Pose: Come onto your hands and knees, with the knees hips distance apart. Keep your hips over your knees and reach your hands as far forward as you can. Let your heart gently move towards the earth while keeping your hips in the air. You can hold this pose at the point where your heart is closest to the ground or you can pulse into the pose by inhaling as you lift your heart up and exhale as you move it back down while keeping the knees and hands in the same spot. This pose gets movement into the spine. opens the front of the chest, and stretches into the shoulders.
Bridge Pose: Lay on your back with your knees bent. Keep the knees as far apart as your hips with ankles under the knees. Root your hands into the earth and lift your belly button up to the sky. Feel the chest move towards the chin and the chin away from the chest. To take this deeper tuck the shoulders under the body and bring the hands together under the back. With the fingers interlaced reach the hands towards the feet to open up more through the chest.
Upward Bow Pose: Lay on your back with your knees bent. Bring the palms to the ground with the fingers turned towards the shoulders. Engage through the legs, the core, and the arms as you press the hips and chest up to the sky. Do not put weight in the head during the transition. To come out of this pose use the strength in the arms and legs to lower back down without putting pressure into the neck.
Locust Pose: Lay on your belly with your hands by your sides. Engage the core, like you can lift your belly button off the floor, and lift the arms and the legs. Keep the back of the neck long as your lift the chest. There are many different arm variations to try: keep the hands by your sides, bring them together by your lower back, reach them up past your ears, play around with what feels right in your body.
Bow Pose: From locust pose bend the knees and bring the hands to your ankles. Press the feet into the hands as your chest and legs lift farther away from the ground. Both these poses strengthen the lower back, open the shoulders and chest, and engage in the core.
Please remember that you are the best teacher for your own body. Practice these poses in a safe place and always work with a yoga teacher before attempting a pose you have never done.
Make sure these poses get included into your regular workout by printing the Essential Yoga Poses for a Refreshing Spring! Click HERE for access.