Yoga, Play, Love, Repeat By Holly Moore from Love Yoga Photos by Jill Jones
When we find ourselves faced with life’s challenges, it can be easy to get stuck in negative thinking and endless cascades of worst-case-scenarios. This thinking is based on fear and anxiety about the future, which takes us out of the present moment and out of our bodies. It is during dark times, that we are called to integrate our yoga and self-care practices to help us regain focus on the truth of things. You can access the possibility and light of the present with a child’s mindset. Let go and commit to being silly. Be playful, curious, unhinged, and free with your movement. The following exercises can be done anywhere. But you might find them even more healing if you can get outside and move.
What follows is a playful, cardio yoga-based practice, made for those with young kids in mind but they can be done solo as well. They are strengthening and nature-based exercises to get you into your body and out of your head. I also include a lot of these exercises and poses into my Power Sculpt and Barre classes, so I hope that you’ll also feel a little spirit of the studio in these moves. The idea here is to have fun, move a lot, and breathe deeply; cherish your body, your family/friends/ pets, and the things that will remain regardless of what’s happening in the world around us.
Let’s start with a simple cardio warmup with some exercises that are great for all ages. Do each of these exercises for one minute, or until you’re really feeling your body get warm. Set a timer or even make this into a contest with your kids to see who can do each exercise for the longest or fastest.
Warm-Up Jog in place
(or around the block or driveway)
Jumping Jacks Hop on one foot (do both sides)
For these next exercises and poses, you can set a timer for 1-2 minutes for each set or go until you really feel the burn. Mountain Pose into Alternating Lunges
Stand in Mountain pose with your feet hip width distance and arms down by your sides. Roll your shoulders down away from your ears and engage your legs and core. From there, step your right foot forward into a high lunge position, while bending your front leg to 90 degrees and keeping your back leg mostly straight. Step or jump back to mountain pose and then step forward with the opposite foot. Repeat. (If you have kids, say “Superstar” as you lunge forward.) Unicorn Gallops: Hold your lunge position on one side and bring your palms together overhead, creating a unicorn “horn” and then gallop around keeping that same leg forward. Then switch sides. Bring in whatever sound effects feel appropriate.
406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 6 Business