Yoga Routine


Create A Yoga Routine

Arranging Your Own Yoga Routine

Repetition can cause boredom - that's a fact! When you do the same thing for a long time, your body becomes accustomed to it, therefore, making your efforts count for nearly nothing! To help combat this in yoga, it's critical to rotate positions and routines frequently.

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Practice one routine for seven consecutive days, and then completely change the routine by the beginning of the next seven days.

Switch it up! Don't be afraid to try something completely different in place of your usual yoga routine. The possibilities are endless - so don't feel afraid to completely break out of your usual cycle!

It takes time and devotion to familiarize yourself with all the positions; but with a little patience and practice, this knowledge can become yours to permanently benefit from.

Briefly listed below are some of the more prominent yoga poses and how you can transition between them. In addition, it's worth practicing and learning about other poses as well to supplement your yoga routine.

Let’s get started!

So, after your starting position into sun’s pose, normally you bend down to touch your toes, right? Well, instead of that, we’re going to begin differently.

1. Start by standing with your legs fairly wide apart, (wider than shoulder-length) and bend down to place your hands on the floor in between them.

Once you have done this pose a few times, you may keep your arms behind your back as you go down and then stretch them as far up toward your head and as far out toward the ceiling as you can. It is a great stretch that I can’t go without on any day.

2. Next, stand back up, keeping your legs spaced evenly apart. Bend your knees and come down so that you almost look like a crab. Your legs are still far apart and your knees are bent, bringing your upper body down and forward a slight bit while your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you are feeling a great stretch here, you may rest your elbows on your thighs, but if you do not feel a stretch, go down until you can rest your forearms on the floor.

Another good way to start a yoga routine is to begin with a balancing pose. Many people have great balance; however, you will benefit from warming up your muscles properly before beginning. By starting your yoga session with a balancing pose, you are able to gauge your progress by setting milestones in your routine. You begin with one, you set one in the middle by the next time you stand up, and so on and so forth. It’s very helpful in getting to know one’s strengths in this area.

The middle of your yoga routine is a bit of a “free zone” in the sense that you can do almost anything in this spot and then set the tone for a completely different end to your routine. In the beginning, we talked about different moves that would energize you and give your muscles a good stretch. That was the preparation for this stage of the session. Now, we’re going to see what else we can do.

Arranging Your Yoga Routine (The Middle)

One way to continue your routine is to simply keep doing the same moves from the beginning, but to give yourself a deeper stretch each time (just don’t overstretch, or you could risk injury or strain). But so long as you’re not excessively straining your muscles, you can nearly double your progress in those areas. It’s not something that's recommended each and every day, but put this into your yoga routine once, and you should see progress soon!

The middle of a routine is like a mini version of choosing a subject for school. You simply need to choose a focus that will dictate what you do after beginning your yoga routine. It’s much like the way you go from one pose to another in the beginning of your routine, but instead your one pose is actually one group of similar positions (like balance, deep muscle work, etc). After this, you can transition into the end of your workout.

So, that having been said, let’s talk about balance. Balance poses are great to fit into your routine anywhere, and you can have an entire concentration of balance poses right in the middle of your workout. Here is what to do:

1. After you’ve done your last crescent pose in the beginning of your workout, simply lift yourself up and forward so that you are reaching out over your front leg.

2. Now, lift your back leg and continue to move forward so your body actually goes out over your front leg. Straighten your front leg as you do this and balance on your front foot. Breathe deeply in and exhale slowly. If you need to, concentrate hard on that foot that is on the ground. It helps me hold myself up without wobbling.

3. Now, bring your foot down, give the sun a salutation and transition back to crescent pose on the other leg so that you can balance on that foot this time. Then, you will transition into other balance poses (tree pose, etc).

One of my favorite ways to continue through my session is to do some stretches that resemble what you should be doing for the end of your routine. You simply sit on the ground and do your ground stretches. You know those great things that work your thighs, hips, and lower back? I love ‘em and I make sure they’re, at least, half of my workout. They combat my lower back problems and I feel that inner thigh flexibility is one of the most translatable needs for daily life. People are pulling groin muscles all the time because they don’t have this sort of flexibility and I feel it’s necessary to implement these stretches into your regimen. Here's a few more steps in this area:

1. So, now that you have moved into a seated position, lay your legs so that they are together and straight out from your waist. Come forward and touch your toes. If that is easy for you, keep your hands on your toes but move your torso down further while keeping your back straight. This will give your hips a deeper stretch. You want to hold this for longer than a normal yoga pose because we are now transitioning into our cool down period, so relaxation is key.

2. Now, come back up into a sitting position and bring your feet in toward your body so that you are almost sitting cross-legged, but instead you’re going to place your feet so that the soles are touching and your heels are as close to yourself as you can get them.

3. Now, keeping your back straight, lay forward over your ankles and bring yourself as close to the floor as you can. I still cannot touch the floor with my chest, and many of you will not be able to, but I have seen it done before and I have seen others progress so much that they can do it. It’s different for everyone, so don’t push yourself too far and you will get where your body is able to.

These stretches, since they are about relaxation as well, employ a comfortable stretch more than any difficult, straining stretches. So, now that you know what I’m talking about with these “sit ‘n’ stretch” moves, you can feel free to come up with your own moves.

Arranging Your Yoga Routine (The End)

During the end of your yoga routine, you need to be relaxing on the floor. This is the cool-down phase and you will find it to be fantastically soothing, if nothing else.

So, depending on how you decided to proceed in the middle of your workout, you will end in one of two ways: Either lying down or sitting. And, again, depending on what you did before, you will do different things with your cool down.

First, let’s talk about sitting.

When you’re in the sitting position, you probably did the sitting stretches in the middle of your routine. This path is good for working on your concentration. It is also probably familiar to many of you as "movie" yoga where the guy is simply sitting cross-legged with his wrists on his knees. He’s probably humming something, too. Here's how you can achieve that awesome pose:

1. Begin by sitting, and then bring your palms together in front of your chest. Close your eyes and try to relax. Pull your palms apart slowly and, just as slowly, begin to cup your hands. Imagine you are holding a ball of energy. Many people believe you truly are holding a ball of your own energy.

2. Now, it isn’t important how you proceed from here. What is most important is that you move your arms and torso while you keep your hands exactly as far apart as they are now or else you will drop or squish the ball. You need to concentrate on holding your hands steady.

With enough practice, you'll be able to do an entire catalog of motions without crushing or letting go of your energy. Pay attention to how you are progressing and you will be encouraged by your own growth. Research has indicated that this routine can be a mild cure for certain forms of ADD and ADHD.

Now, let’s talk about when you are lying down.

If you decide to be in the lying position, you can get here from any point in the middle of your routine, whether it be balancing, deep stretches, sitting stretches, etc.

Here's how to peacefully end your yoga session:

1. Begin by closing your eyes and lying down, legs about shoulder-width apart, and arms out about a ruler length from your sides. This is called “Dead Man’s Pose.” I’ve already written about this part, but I feel it is better to understand it in context as well. Now, you will bring one leg up to your chest, locking your hands around it so that you can hold it there. Then, you will twist so that your knee touches the floor on the opposite side of your torso and your same arm will be outstretched to its own side. This will give you a great stretch in your back, torso and legs.

2. Now, slowly bring your leg back to your chest and then back down to the floor so you are in your dead man’s pose once again. Repeat this process with the other side of your body in order to maintain balance and return to dead man’s pose. Make sure you keep your eyes closed the entire time you do this.

I’ve made up quite a few of my own positions here in this phase of the workout. You can do so, as well, as it is very important to get stretches that work for you while keeping you relaxed. One of my favorite is to imitate a sun’s salutation, but very slowly, and while I am lying down. If I stretch my arms as far as I can above my head, I get a great stretch in my back and I feel fantastic afterward. There are many you can do, but I highly recommend doing the generic moves first. I always look forward to creating new moves, though and you should too!