Fitness Magazine

Do Yoga, Stay Present – Clever Yoga with Hello Misha

By Linsibrownson @CleverSpark

Oh, hello there, end of January. You’re right on schedule with drab weather and ho-hum activities. No offense, but are you almost done being here? Because February at least has Mardi Gras and Valentine’s and…

OK, so the end of January is a bummer. It’s easy to feel all melancholy this time of year. If you’re like 82.9%* of people, you’ve given up on your resolutions and you’re just kind of… there.

Instead of looking forward to spring (OMG is it here yet?), try to stay present. You can still use this time to improve yourself – meditate and build strength.

Here are a few great poses that improve and strengthen multiple muscle groups. Try them and the winter doldrums will melt away. OK, maybe not, but at least you’ll get way stronger.

Side Plank – This is great for wrists, arms, core and legs. Start off with your basic plank and shift onto the edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of the right. Place your left hand on your left hip. Make sure your torso is perpendicular to the floor and straighten your supporting arm. After making sure your body is one straight line from heels to crown, raise your left arm skyward and shift your gaze up to it. Breathe deep for 6-10 breaths. Return to plank and repeat on the left side.

Orange county Clever Yoga

Variation – after achieving this pose, try it again, only draw your top leg in and grasping your toes. Straighten the leg and hold in this position before returning to side plank and then plank. Repeat on the opposite side.

Hello Misha Side Plank Variation

Warrior II – Here’s another great all around pose – and to be honest, this one makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s very “I just bit into a York Peppermint Patty” if you remember that old commercial. It’s very beneficial to your ankles and legs and it will increase your overall stamina. Here’s how you do it – from standing with both feet together, step your right leg forward 3 or 4 feet. Make sure your right foot is pointed straight forward and turn your left leg to be perpendicular. Raise your arms perpendicular to the ground. Feeling the strength in your core, bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Keep your shoulders centered over your pelvis. Concentrate on feeling the balance in your core and sinking your hips. Focus and breathe for 6-10 breaths. Step your feet back together and repeat on the opposite side.

Hello Misha Yoga Warrior II

Tripod Headstand – here’s the most challenging pose of this bunch. It’s great for your core and like all headstands, very rejuvenating. Begin in your yoga squat (malasana). Place your hands firmly on the floor and rotate almost as if you were going to somersault – place the top of your head on the ground. Keep your hands planted and your elbows bent at 90 degrees – the two hands and the head creates the tripod. From this point, you can either put your knees on the “shelf” created by your elbows (a good place to begin) or straighten your legs and use your abdominals to draw them straight up into the headstand position. If you can remain here for 6-10 breaths, great! I’m still working on maintaining the balance here.

Clever Yoga Tripod Headstand Orange County

I hope these poses will have you kissing January goodbye stronger than ever!



PS – If you’re wondering about my very un-Lulu attire, it was 23 degrees outside the day I took these. We were supposed to be sledding, but the snow was only about 2-5″ deep and had an icy crust, so instead of going home defeated, I thought I should probably do some snow-ga instead.

*completely fabricated statistic.

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