The average yoga class (that includes virtual!) runs about 60 minutes — but is that really enough time to fully reap the benefits of your practice?
"In the not-too-distant past, yoga classes were commonly scheduled for 75 or 90 minutes," Tom Johnson, a certified yoga teacher with Enjoy Community Wellness, told POPSUGAR.
Due to the demanding schedules of busy practicers, condensing classes to an hour has become the new normal, resulting in a shortened warmup.
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While this may benefit our agendas, it can be of a disservice to our bodies. Johnson admits that warming up both the body and mind not only reduces the risk of injury, but prepares students to practice more complex postures.
Instead of letting your hectic routine get the best of you, take full advantage of your allotted yoga time with Johnson's pre-virtual-class flow — your muscles, joints, and mind will thank you.
Yogic Breath (Pranayama)
"Practicing deep yogic breathing – or pranayama – resets the mind and body and prepares you for yoga practice," Johnson explained.
Deep breathing is a strong foundation for any practice because it heats the body, relieves the mind of everyday distractions, and helps guide you to slow down and go deeper.
Cat-Cow (Marjaryasana, Bitilasana)
Cat-Cow pose reinforces the connection to the breath and begins to warm up and open the spine, rib cage, shoulders, and hips — key elements of most yoga postures, Johnson notes.
Plus, this move helps to tone and massage the internal organs and muscles in the core.
Bird Dog (Parsva Balasana)
Bird Dog pose warms up the back muscles, which support the spine and are critical to many balancing postures while strengthening the core and challenging balance and focus, Johnson explains.
According to Johnson, Cobra pose helps to open the front side of the body, massage abdominals and organs, strengthen the back muscles, and open up the chest, shoulders, and core.
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Now that individual parts of the body are warmed up, it's time for full-body stretching and toning.
Johnson explains that Downward Dog pose energizes the body while calming the mind and nervous system.