Yoga is a wonderful exercise for EVERYONE. No matter what your age or exercise skill level, Yoga can benefit you. Yoga will help you:
- Breathe Properly as you focus on your breathing.
- Improve your Focus as you concentrate on your muscles, how your body feels, and your breathing.
- Reduce Stress Levels as your learn to slow down and "be in the moment". When you do Yoga, you should focus on your body and your breathing, not what happened during the day or what you have to do later.
- Strengthen your Muscles as many Yoga poses tone your muscles as well as stretch them.
Why should cheerleaders do Yoga?
Yoga will help you with your studies as well as your cheerleading skills. Yoga will teach you to improve your focus to help you concentrate on your homework. In addition, it will help increase your flexibility and condition your muscles, which every cheerleader needs! Here are some things to remember:
- Wear something that is comfortable for you to stretch in and do not wear any shoes.
- Focus on what you are stretching and do not stretch if you feel pain. Let your body stretch at it's own pace.
- Think about your breath. Most people never really pay attention to their breathing, which is one of the most important activities we do.
- Do Yoga for you. Do not compare your yoga skills to anyone else. Everyone is different and just do what you can. You will get better with practice.
- Listen to your body. Do not stretch beyond what your body can do.
When should you do Yoga?
Yoga can be done any time of day. Many people like to do a 10 minute routine first thing in the morning to get their body ready for the day. Try it, and see if it helps you focus during your day.
With the help of one of the best yoga teachers in Florida, Beth Budnick, here are some yoga stretches for you to try. Also, we have a complete 25 minute yoga class with Beth on CIC TV - On Demand; check it out and we promise you will want to do it everyday! Enjoy
For more information on Yoga with Beth, please contact her at email@example.com
Benefits: This is a wonderful stretch for the hips, thighs, and ankles.
Details: Do this pose when ever you feel stress and hold the pose as long as you want to.
1. Place your knees on the floor and sit back on your heels.
2. Spread your knees apart slightly keeping your big toes touching.
3. Try to put your belly on your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor.
4. Your arms can reach extending in front of you, they can fold under your forehead, or keep them back alongside the thighs, with the palms facing up; do which ever feels best for you.
Cat / Cow Poses
Benefits: Helps increase spinal flexibility and abdominal strength.
Details: Do the Cat / Cow stretch on each inhale and exhale, move with each breath. Do at least 5 sets.
1. Begin this cat pose on all fours with your back flat (not shown in the pictures). Keep your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
2. For the Cat pose, arch your back and round your spine.
3. Drop your head and put your toes on the floor.
For the Cow pose, drop your belly and look up at the ceiling.
Downward Facing Dog
Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the entire body.
1. Begin on all fours.
2. Curl your toes under and push your hips up and straighten your legs. Try to touch your heels to the ground. ( Beginners can bend your knees. )
3. Spread your fingers and extend your arms.
4. Let your head hang and move your chest toward your legs
Sphinx and Full Cobra
Benefits: Increases flexibility of the spine.
1. Lay on your belly with your toes facing under.
2. Place your hands next to your chest.
3. Roll your shoulders back, puch up and lift your chest.
4. Keep your neck neutral, do not lean your head back.
If you are a beginner, you can start with the Sphinx pose (photo 1) with your elbows on the ground.
Warrior 1 and 2
Benefits: Strengthens Legs.
1. Put your legs in a deep lunge.
2. For Warrior 1 - Turn your chest toward your lunging leg and put your arms in a high touchdown keeping your hands apart or connect them.
3. For Warrior 2 - Keep your lunge to the side with your arms in a T motion.
Benefits: Helps increase balance and leg strength.
Details: The following photo demonstrates 3 levels of the Tree Pose. The beginner should keep their bent leg foot on their ankle. The intermediate student should try the pose with their foot on the knee or thigh. The advanced yoga student can cross the foot on top of the thigh.
1. Stand with your feet apart.
2. Lift your leg to your level.
3. Squeeze your butt and legs to maintain your balance.
4. You can keep your arms in "prayer" position or extend them over your head.