Transformation Tuesday: Yoga for Spring Break

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Spring break is coming up, which means that you’re probably stressing. It’s hard to imagine putting on a swimsuit after a long, cold winter. Plus, you have to juggle the time off, the packing and the finishing up of your responsibilities at home before you can actually relax.

What if you could find some time to relax before your vacation? Of course, we all like to make sure that we actually deserve our vacations, but that doesn’t mean we have to run ourselves ragged before our trip.

Here are 5 yoga moves to get your body and mind ready for spring break:

1. Boat Pose:

This one is great for the core. You’ll stand up straighter and have more confidence wearing your swimsuit.
Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Straighten your legs, holding them up to the ceiling. Lift your upper body with your back straight and heart extended toward the ceiling. You should look like you’re making the letter “V” with your body. (Hold on to your legs if you can’t support this position with your core strength). Hold the pose, breathing deeply as you do so. Relax flat on the floor into Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, when you can’t hold it anymore.

2. Camel Pose:

Camel pose can counteract anxiety and fatigue. This is great to get some energy back into your body in preparation for your adventure.
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Don’t sit on your knees; lift your bottom and press your shins and the tops of your feet into the floor. Rest your hands on the top of your buttocks and tilt your tailbone slightly forward. Finding strength in your core and pelvis, begin to bend backwards. If you can, bring your hands down to your feet or ankles, pointing your elbow creases forward. Breathe in this position for 30 seconds to a minute.

3. Warrior:

Warrior pose can help strengthen your legs, improve your mind-body connection, and enhance your courage. That’s perfect if you’re planning an adventurous spring break that involves surfing, sky diving or rafting.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right foot, angling your foot out to the right. Sink down into a lunge, making sure that your left knee does not come forward over the foot. Rotate your upper body so that your hips are square and you are facing forward. Slowly raise your hands over your head, meeting your palms together. Look up if you can. Focus on planting your feet firmly and pushing them away from each other. Inhale while you straighten your legs to release the pose.

4. Downward Dog:

This pose isn’t as basic as it looks. When you’re doing it correctly, your back, arms, shoulders, legs and core are all involved. It’s perfect for energizing your body and preparing for some water sports. You can also flow into many other poses from downward dog.
Start standing up with your feet hip-width apart. Fold down from the hips until your hands are touching the ground. You can walk your hands forward or your feet back to form an upside-down “V.” When you are in position, concentrate on pushing the ground away with your hands and engaging the muscles across your upper back. Hold your stomach in, and imagine that someone is pulling your hips up into the air. All the points of the “V” should be pulling away from the other points, creating space and strength.

5. Plank Pose:

Tone your abdominals and arms while focusing on your strength and clearing your mind.
From a downward dog pose, shift your weight forward so that your shoulders are over your hands and your hips are down. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to heels. Focusing on breathing, engage every muscle, from those in your fingers to those in your glutes. If this pose is uncomfortable on your wrists, support your weight on your elbows instead.

Even if you have never taken a yoga class in your life, it’s never too late to use it to transform your body and your mind. These moves will help you hold in your core, improve your posture and save your sanity. You don’t have to stop doing them on your vacation either. You can also perform these poses in swim leggings and a rashguard on the beach or on your paddleboard overlooking the crystal-clear waters of a lagoon.

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