Doing warm up exercises is an important routine before you begin a yoga session. It makes you physically ready to perform the poses that are necessary in this discipline. It also makes your muscles attuned to the more difficult postures that you will be doing as you progress with the practice.
Here are some of the most popular exercises that can help to warm you up before you begin a yoga session:
1. Eye Training
Yoga is intended to make you physically and mentally healthy. It can help to make your muscles strong and flexible, including your eye muscles. There are lots of eye exercises that you can perform before engaging in a formal yoga session. Most of them involve moving your eyes in every direction without turning your head. We will cover these exercises in our next article.
2. Neck Exercises
Work, bad posture, or prolonged exposure to the computer can cause tension in your neck and shoulders. This can lead to discomfort, stiffness and headaches. There are at least four yoga neck exercises that you can perform to ease this tension, and make your neck and shoulder muscles more flexible.
2.1 Bow your head and allow your chin to touch your chest and go back to the upright position.
2.2 Bend your head to the right and bring it back to the upright position.
2.3 Bend your head to the left and bring it back to the original position.
2.4 Bow your head again and let your chin touch your chest then move it from right to left and from left to right.
You can repeat these exercises for as many times as you want. These should help to ease the tension of your neck muscles.
3. Shoulder Lifts
Just like neck exercises, shoulder lifts are intended to relax shoulder muscles. Remember, you should do this exercise slowly with relaxed shoulders and spine kept straight.
3.1 Raise your right shoulders and drop it to its original position.
3.2 Raise your left shoulders and drop it down.
3.3 Raise both shoulders together and drop them down to their original position.
You can also do these exercises for as many times as you desire. These should be able to relax your shoulders and ease the tensions of its muscles.
4. Shoulder Stretches
Shoulder stretches work well to to relieve stress and to ease the tension on your shoulders and your upper back. This exercise requires you to use a strap. Here’s how to do it:
4.1 Sit in an erect position and make sure that you are comfortable. You must see to it that your strap is long enough to allow you to hold it with both arms aligned to your shoulders.
4.2 Hold your strap with both hands and stretch both arms forward. Inhale and move your arms upward until they are directly above your head. Exhale and bring them behind you at shoulder level.
4.3 You should coordinate your movements with your breathing to make them smooth and fluid.
4.4 The objective of this exercise is to draw an imaginary arc or semi-circle with your stretched hands as they go up over your head and behind your back.
5. Cat Pose
The cat pose allows you to initiate movement from your center and to coordinate your movement with your breath. Fluid movement and proper breathing are two of the most important elements of yoga. Just remember that this pose may not work well for people who are suffering from back pain or injury.
We will cover the cat pose in our future postings.
Yoga warm up exercises are necessary to prepare you for the actual yoga practice that may become more intense as it goes. Performing them before each session can help to protect you from injuries. Remember, yoga may look simple, but it is a powerful activity that can hurt anyone who is not well-prepared to perform it.