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Before Yoga, Warm Up Your Wrists and Upper Body

Warm Up For Yoga? You Bet

I am a big fan of vinyasa flow-style yoga, but in a typical yoga flow class you do anywhere from 20 to 40 yoga push-ups, as my favorite instructor calls the vinyasa, or the link between poses.
Needless to say, all those chaturangas really work your upper body. This is why I like to warm up a bit before yoga to lubricate my joints and prime my wrists to take some weight. Here are a few moves I like to do before stepping into my first downward dog:

  • Wrist figure eights: Begin with your elbows bent and your hands in front of you, like you were holding a tray. Begin to draw sideways figure eights with your hands allowing your wrists to move. The palms will alternate between being up and down. Reverse the direction of circling after 10 to 12 reps.
  • Push a wall: Start with your hands in loose fists just below your shoulders. Spread your finger wide as you push an imaginary wall away from you, feeling the power of your arms from your shoulders to your fingertips. Bring your hands back to starting position and repeat 10 times.

I have two more moves for you, so keep reading.

  • Shoulder circles: This simple move is good before any activity in my book. Circle your shoulder forward eight times then reverse the direction for eight more reps.
  • Backstroke: Begin with your hands by your sides. Reach your right arm up to the ceiling, then circle the hand behind like you were doing a gentle backstroke. Allow your upper body to twist to the right as you "swim." Repeat this action with the left arm and continue to alternate for a total of 20 arms circles.
  • If you have a move you always do before yoga class, please share in the comments section below.

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