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By Carrie Burchettwww.valleyartandyoga.com
This is the second of a monthly series of yoga sessions designed for the triathlete. Each session builds in complexity. Yoga classes are typically over an hour long, so we have broken up a class into segments. This will allow you to master each segment before moving on or combining it with the next.
Once we have all of the segments published, you can easily mix-and-match segments to fit your particular lifestyle and time constraints.
--> See the previous session 1, Breathing and Warmup.
Session 2 - Sun SalutationsThe focus for this second session will be the Sun Salutations. These are a series of 12 poses that flow from one to another and are coordinated by your breathing. In this series we repeat each Sun Salutation four times.
Session 2 - Yoga Poses for the Sun Salutations
*A note on the lunges: for the knee that is on the ground, keep that foot perpendicular to the ground as this will alleviate discomfort in that knee that you may experience if you try to bend the ankle to touch your shins to the ground.
Hatha yogaThis series is built around the Hatha yoga concepts typically practiced in the West. These concepts include several 'asanas' (postures), breath control and meditation to balance the mind via the different exercises. For triathletes, this will improve balance and core strength while also stretching your muscles.
How yoga helps the triathleteAs these sessions evolve into more complex poses, you will find that many of the poses support your bodyweight. Several yoga poses mimic exercises that you may do in the weight-room or gym (lunges, pushups, etc) but the notable difference is that these exercises are much more slower and controlled in yoga.
Also, many of the yoga poses will serve to gently stretch your muscles out. The yoga for this series will not focus on stretching your muscles further than they already do, but to work within your current body's boundaries. Over time and practice, you will gain flexibility.
As triathletes move into the off-season, now is the perfect time to switch gears and focus on your muscles, joints and core strength through slow and controlled movements.
How often to practice yoga?As often as you want. Though as triathletes training in three other disciplines, time is of the essence. Try to do yoga 2-3 times per week at the minimum. This will help your flexibility, strengthen your joints and improve your balance.
You can certainly do yoga 7 days a week too. It is preferable to do several shorter sessions (20-30minutes) during the week instead of a 90 minute long session once per week.
Always inform your instructor of any injuries, illness, or acute discomfort prior to class. Yoga is very safe, but certain postures may aggravate irritated parts of the body. Benefits come from the awareness with which you stretch, not how far you stretch. Respect your body and its capabilities. The following guidelines help ensure your safety:
*Listen to and follow instructions carefully *Do not perform postures or movements that are painful *Breathe smoothly as you stretch *Do no hold your breath or strain to attain any position *Work gently, respecting your bodies abilities and limits *Ask for help if you are unsure of any movement *Pregnant women must consult their healthcare provider before starting yoga