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Why Beach Yoga Rocks!
There are few things that I find more relaxing than being on the beach in the early morning, as the breeze is still nice and cool before the sun comes up. Sitting on the beach with a good book is one of my favorite ways to spend the day, and I will quite literally spend 50% of my vacation days just doing nothing on the beach. Well, not quite nothing…
Why I Love Beach Yoga
Doing beach yoga is actually quite confusing for me. On the one hand, Yoga is quite relaxing. It helps to loosen up my sore and tired muscles, and it helps me to stretch and get the blood flowing. The addition of the beach atmosphere, the sound of the waves on the sand, and the breeze blowing around me is just absolutely wonderful, and it makes relaxing so much easier.
On the other hand, Yoga can be quite exhausting. I prefer the more active form of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, also known as Power Yoga. Since doing the P90X video series, this active Yoga has helped to give me a great workout, and my muscles are usually quite tired by the end of the workout. Within just 45 minutes, I'm sweating it up and breathing deeply. It's a beautiful thing.
The combination of these two elements serves to make beach Yoga one of my favorite forms of exercise. Doing Yoga at home isn't always relaxing, as I've got my kids running around and hollering around the house. The idea of doing Bikram yoga (hot yoga) is absolutely awful, as I can't imagine sweating in a 100+ degree studio. Just doing Yoga on the beach is so relaxing, and it's one of the best ways to spend my vacation. It helps me to stay in shape while still being able to unwind.
A Few Great Beach Yoga Poses
Got your beach sheet on the ground, with your Yoga mat on top of it? Get ready for my favorite beach Yoga poses:
Table/Crab Position-- Sit on your butt for this position, and bend your knees to place your feet on the floor. Place your hands flat on the floor, and use your legs and shoulders to press yourself into the table position. If you can go higher, press up until you are in the Crab pose. Hold this for as long as you can, allowing the muscles in your back to keep you in the right pose.
Dolphin Position -- For this pose, place your knees on the mat and your forearms directly beneath your shoulders. Press your body up into the sky, into a modified Downward Dog position (forearms on the mat, not hands). Lift one leg high into the sky, and hold it for 5 to 15 breaths. Bring the leg back down, and lift the other leg into the sky. Keep your hips parallel to the ground, and tighten your core.
Warrior One/Two -- Get into the plank position, and do a push-up to go into Downward Dog. Once there, lift your leg high into the sky, and bring it forward into Runner's Position. Extend your arms straight into the air, and straighten up into Warrior One. Hold for a minute, and turn into Warrior Two. After another 15 breaths, go back into Warrior One, and lower yourself into plank position again. Repeat with the other leg.
Tree Pose -- Stand with your feet together, and your legs straight. Bend one knee, and place your foot on your other knee as you raise your hands into the air. Stand in this pose for 15 breaths.
These poses are absolutely wonderful for both a good workout and a good stretch, and the combination of your Yoga poses with the sea breeze will have you feeling like a million bucks!