THE BEST WAY TO WARM UP
I usually start my practice with a brief meditation to cultivate awareness of the breath, followed by some shoulder stretches and hip openers to get the body more open for the sun salutations. I took a workshop from a gifted teacher named Lisa Walford on the sun salutations, and she spent a good 10 minutes warming us up in a similar manner. I never felt like I could flow through the salutations as easily as I could that day.
So, often in the videos you’ll see me do some kind of warm up before as opposed to just jumping right into them. It’s not wrong to do them without a warm up, but after all this time practicing I’ve learned that I start to get sore if I just whip my body in and out of things unmindful or without proper preparation.
I’ve learned that warming up the body for certain advanced postures is crucial to make sure that I don’t borrow from he over flexible or stiff/weak places in my body that are prone to injury. When I’m properly warmed up, I don’t sink into these places, and I can feel a more even energy flow through my whole body. When I’m not properly warmed up I can actually feel these places blocking the proper flow of prana (life force energy).
In addition to my Yoga practice, I also love to surf, and skate. Because surfing and skating are so hard on the body, I also do a little cross training to help prevent injuries.
Before I surf, skate, or cross train I always warm up.
I get better range of motion I can feel the tight places more wiling to move freely with the rest of my body. More importantly when I slam, Im less prone to injury, and I’m less prone to slam because my body is moving at its full potential. A little warm up can go a long way. It will help you to perform at your optimal level by encouraging the mind body connection, by getting blood pumping more efficiently, and by getting the joints ready for the strain that is about to be put on them. Most importantly I’m not as sore the next day if I warm up properly.
Here is a video of a little warm up I like to do before I paddle out. I know it might feel silly or look kooky to do this on the beach, but it has truly helped me so much.