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Saturday Morning Drill: Gentle Springtime Yoga for Flexibility

The weather is finally warming up, which means we’re all gearing up to get outside and exercise more. For many, this means strapping on the tennishoes and getting out for for a run. I’m hoping to do so myself as running is one of my absolute favorite activities to do outside, especially in the springtime.

With increased exercise often comes soreness and tight muscles, which requires a proper stretch and adequate rest for our bodies. Our solution? A gentle yoga routine that will help you slow down, breathe, get re-centered and give your muscles a good stretch. Stretching is not only important for preventing injury, but it also keeps our bodies limber and flexible to complete all of the activities we love to do – indoor and out.

This 8-move yoga routine was designed by our own Jill Lawson, a certified yoga instructor in Colorado. We recommend getting into some yoga-appropriate attire, finding a good place to practice, and then reading through all of the instructions before jumping in. Doing so will allow you to practice the movements fluidly, and ensure you do them properly to avoid injury.

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UPS Uses Yoga to Prevent Driver Injuries

I think we can all agree that no one works harder than our loyal UPS, FedEx and other delivery drivers this time of year. Their tirelessness really shows, even beyond the time the last heavy box is brought to your door on Christmas Eve. If you could imagine what it must feel like to carry around heavy boxes in between intervals of stiffening behind the wheel, you might want to read how you can show your appreciation by offering something that will really help these men and women feel terrific.

When UPS’s health and safety manager Mike Yates told CNN, “You have to keep yourself in top physical condition to perform the job safely day in and day out,” he had decided that a yoga for therapy program for the drivers was a necessary element in preventing injury. Proven to be successful, yoga for UPS drivers in Napa Valley, California has had numerous and therapeutic effects. According to one driver, fewer injuries were just one of the benefits. Drivers have reported having more energy, in addition to feeling more balanced and experiencing a greater sense of well-being after practicing yoga.

The following simple yet effective yoga routine is designed specifically for the hard working delivery drivers of our nation. Pass it on as a helpful suggestion to your devoted delivery driver this Christmas.


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Mix Up Your Yoga Sun Salutation for Increased Upper Body Strength

Most fitness experts will tell you that mixing up your workout can lift you out of a plateau and bring you closer to your desired results. Doing the same exercises day in and day out can not only lead to burn out or overuse injuries, it can slow your advancement towards becoming fitter, tougher and leaner. By changing your routine from time to time, your body will be challenged and become stronger as a result.

If you are one of the millions who practice yoga not so much for the repetitive routines some styles offer, but because you love to mix it up, stay fresh and keep it interesting, the following will show you what you can do to add a challenging variation to the classic sun salutation sequence.

In some traditional yoga styles you would normally be exhaling into chaturanga, inhaling into upward dog and then exhaling back into downward dog. This is the mid-section of a sun salute, also referred to as the vinyasa, and is great for developing total upper body strength and tone. However, mixing it up just a touch can be exactly the refreshing change you need to take your upper body strength to a new level.


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Use Yoga to Relieve Menopause Symptoms

Menopause occurs in women sometime after the age of 40. It is defined as the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and can be highly symptomatic. Symptoms vary in intensity and duration and can last for years. The most common symptoms are hot flashes, anxiety and loss in sex drive. Other symptoms include incontinence, digestive problems and bone loss.

Since menopause is a natural biological process, not a disease, holistic measures prove to be helpful in relieving the symptoms. The following is a list of specific yoga poses that can help when the symptoms of menopause are bringing you down.

Child’s Pose for Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes are the result of abrupt changes in your body’s ability to regulate temperature and can be triggered by stress. Calming down equals cooling down. Spend up to three minutes in this pose, inhaling through your mouth (cooling the air as it comes in) and exhaling through your nose, to relax your body completely.


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The Most Popular Yoga Poses

Downward Dog

With the myriad of styles to choose from it can feel a little overwhelming to know which yoga classes to take. It might be of comfort to learn that each style shares in a lot of commonality. Unless you are choosing between a super advanced inversion class and a passive restorative class, you can bet you will find some crossover in the occurrence of poses.

The following is a list of the top five most popular yoga poses with special tips on how to perform each correctly, plus their benefits for the mind and body.

1. Downward Dog

With both hands and feet on the mat, this pose affects all the muscles in the body. It is often revisited over and over again in class, therefore considered the number one most commonly practiced pose.


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