Recently my boyfriend made a comment on the ratio of girls who wear yoga pant versus girls actually doing yoga in them; I then came up with my solution of always doing some yoga when wearing my yoga pants along with my regular active workouts. Today’s combination of relaxation and workout is transitioning through yoga poses doing stretches I would in a ballet or jazz class. Being motivated to workout is not something that comes easy to this lazy body of mine so I start off simple just to get my body up and moving and then push myself to work harder and burn more calories to make up for the sweets I take in on the daily!
It is important for me -being easily demotivated or distracted- to start off working and end stretching, so I begin standing and will finish on the floor, the final resting place! Through the course of my stretch today I will go through ten basic yoga poses and ten ballet positions, steps or stretches. While this won’t be a calorie burner, I hope to feel the tone in muscle and the tightness of my body, I can get my calorie work out on later.
- 6th Position: Releves avec Grand Port des Bras
- 1st Position: Plies avec Port des Bras
- 2nd Position: Combre de Cote
- 3rd Position: Single Leg Barre Stretch Devant
- Single Leg Lunge
- 2nd Postion: Flat Back a la Second
- 2nd Position: Grand Plies avec Port des Bras
- Tricep Push-Ups
- On Back: Single Leg Stretch
- Sitting: Legs Straight Flex and Pointe Stretch
- Tadasana: Mountain
- Utkatasana: Chair
- Modified Downward Facing Dog
- Adho Mukha Svanasana: Downward Facing Dog
- Virabhadrasana II: Warrior II
- Trikonasana: Triangle
- Vrksasana: Tree
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Bridge
- Baddha Konasana: Bound Angle
- Savanna: Corpse
I will start off with the releves and the alternate between the ballet and the yoga in the order above. Because each stretch focuses on a different aspect of the body, I calculate my time allotted based on the results I am looking for -to each his/her own- and you will see the variations in my style. Now that I am ready to work my muscles I will begin, don’t be surprised if I break to write of my experiences and use it as an excuse to take a break!
My initial round of this routine I held every stretch or did each exercise for two minutes total; one minute per side if it required two sides, and thirty seconds for port des bras positions. Here is my first outcome:
I held my sixth position in releve for a complete two minutes, spending thirty seconds in each of the following positions: bras bas, en avant, en couronne and a la second. By roughly a minute and a half in I could feel my muscles start to quit on me but I held on and tightened up, keeping my ribcage closed, to find my center and complete the full two minutes. I plan on trying two more options; a) balance for a minute come down do mountain for a minute and then repeat doing how ever many repetitions I challenge myself to or b) do continuous releves with a grand port des bras per releve. The second option can easily be turned into a full two minute workout for my best calories burned or I can alternate it minute for minute with the mountain to find down time allowing me to regroup and perform more repetitions in the long run due to the increase in stamina!
The yoga poses are far more obtainable for the two minutes; the mountain pose I felt balanced, centered and a continuous work in my shoulders and pectorals.This is a pose I would enjoy doing in one minute intervals between releves for five repetitions; I will work up to it. The image to the left shows the active muscles during Mountain pose; I had to concentrate on elongating my neck, pulling the crown of my head up and I was able to pop a lower vertebra feeling tension melt into the floor.
Transitioning from Mountain to first position was a simple heel shift forward and a tightening of my inner thighs. I did two minutes of demi plies consecutively with a demi port des bras. My ideas for the next time I work on this is to spend half a minute holding a demi plie twice to make a minute and then follow it up with a minute of continuous plies, targeting my butt, lengthening my quadriceps and overall alignment of my body. My favorite thing about plies is slow or fast, I always feel my muscles ache from working so hard and it gives my brain an workout of its own on concentrating on all that opposing forces that keep a ballerina on her toes; such oppositions include pulling up while your body sinks into the floor, pushing against the bend in the pile, resisting the return to first position.
To continue working my lower body I the moved to Chair pose, which I executed twice for a minute each. This was another pose I felt I could have pushed myself on harder. I think I would like to start off with five repetitions and eventually work up to three reps of two minute holds. The only problem I had with the chair pose being after the plies was that my muscles were shaking from exhaustion so I think breaking up more between the ballet and the yoga will become a more active workout.
The combre de cote was a perfect stretch to give my lower body the rest needed after four different mini sessions; I could feel my spine elongating and was able to concentrate solely on my stomach, ribcage and the stretching of my arms. I spent one minute on each right and left side with my arms extending in opposing directions one up and over the other down and across. My ideas of altering the stretch are a) positioning of my arms while holding the stretch and b) doing an eight count stretch alternating sides for the two minutes.
I then turned to stand up straight against the wall bend forward at the waist and with my arms reaching out in front of me resting on the arm of the couch, allowing my body to be in a perfect 90 degree angle. The stretch is a variation of the picture to the left however with my legs being pressed against the wall put my hamstrings into a major stretch. After a minute and a half the stretch became a pain that I feel will go away once I continue to do this stretch, probably my favorite to getting my flexibility to where I want to be at. With my arms being out reached I found those muscles get an intense pull as well and my body started to sink into the stretch in stead of lengthening and pulling out of my spine. I think I relaxed into the stretch when I needed a little more concentration.
My single leg stretch devant for a minute with each leg on the arm of the couch was a nice segue from the modified downward facing dog. It allowed me to extend the stretch of my flexibility by folding in half over a single leg; once I am ready to push myself harder I will move my leg from the arm of the couch to the back of the couch to push the height and stretch. I will also alternate between flexing and pointing my foot and possibly add repetitions as I don’t think I want to hold a single side for two full minutes. After complete the two minutes in this stretch I took a break as we had a guest over for a short period of time.