Metabolism Boosting Yoga
Elena Brower, co-owner of Virayoga, one of the best yoga studios in NYC, shows us a simple metabolism boosting series.
“This sequence combines Kundalini yoga with some Hatha postures to warm us up and boost our metabolism. The Kundalini postures were compiled with guidance from my teacher Hari Kaur Khalsa.”
“A nice way to begin is to acknowledge the creative consciousness that connects us all. Simply place hands in prayer in front of your heart and connect to your breathing for a few breaths. Set a timer for 3 minutes. Bring your prayer hands up to your forehead, and place your thumbs on your third eye point, in the middle of your forehead. Breathe slowly and deeply. This meditation can help to strengthen metabolism (as well as help control high blood pressure). It works the glandular system (which regulates bodily activities such as metabolism through hormones), stimulating and balancing the pituitary and pineal glands, considered the master glands of the body.”
“Set a timer for 5-10 minutes: Marching, running, jumping in place, jumping jacks, dancing, etc are all fair game to get your blood moving, and to sweat a bit. When you start to sweat you’ve awoken your glandular system, and therefore, boosted your metabolism.”
“The following 2A-2D is a sub-sequence of Hatha yoga postures intended to raise your heart rate and keep you warm. It’s nice to do a few times a week:”
Side Stretch, 2A
“This is a wonderful way to open and release your organs. Take a few breaths on each side. Be sure to root both feet evenly on the ground and breathe into both lungs as you open.”
Chair Pose Twist, 2B
“This is a great cleanse and recalibration. From standing, bend your knees, place your hands into prayer and twist your right elbow onto your outer left thigh. Keep your knees even. Take a few deep breaths on each side.”
Downward Facing Dog, 2C
“From standing, place your hands on the front of your mat and step back to Downward Facing Dog pose. Feet hip-width apart and parallel, hands shoulder-width, fingers long and strong. Reach your seat high to stretch your spine long, root deeply down through your hands and the balls of your feet. Breathe deeply, for 5-10 breaths.”
Mountain Climbers, 2D
“From Downward Facing Dog, shift your shoulders forward into Plank pose and bring one knee to your nose. Jump to switch, 9 times, and stay light on your feet. Take another stretch in Downward Facing Dog.”
“Camel can be used to adjust the heat in the body, restore glandular health and aid weight loss by stimulating your metabolism. Set the timer for 1-3 minutes to begin; work your way slowly and gradually up to 11 minutes. Come down onto your knees and sit on your heels, reach back, hold your ankles and arch your body upward, keeping your knees grounded and your thighs back. Lengthen your tail down, allow your heart to lift, and let your head drop back if comfortable.”
“Set the timer for 3-11 minutes. Sit on your heels with your hands on your knees. Keep your spine straight and your neck relaxed; breathe deeply.”
“Set the timer for 3-11 minutes. From Rock Pose, lean forward until your head rests on the floor in front of your knees. Let your arms and hands relax next to your legs with your palms up. Breathe deeply and relax. It might help or feel great to have a little someone sit on your spine carefully (!), but it’s wonderful on your own, too.”
“Upon finishing, take a moment of gratitude and recognition.”
*Check with your doctor before trying any new exercise routine at home.
Photographs by Chloe Crespi
The Art of Attention
Don’t miss Elena’s book, The Art of Attention for anyone looking to deepen their Yoga practice. It’s beautifully photographed and designed. A couple of spreads excerpted from the book below:
Click to see the full image and exercise.