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WORKOUT FOR THE WEEK: ​Yoga for Zombies

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Yoga for Zombies

We just finished watched the second episode of the second season of Stranger Things last night, and we realized how Halloween is such a big thing in the States. While going door-to-door at night asking for bucket loads of candy sounds like a very exciting (albeit unhealthy) thing to do, our culture simply does not practice trick-or-treating here in our country. In spite of this, we still find some cultural things in common that we like. Those are Reese’s, scary TV shows like Stranger Things and The Walking Dead, and of course zombies.

Therefore, in the spirit of Halloween, this month’s entry for Workout for the Week is all about bringing the dead back to life. Be prepared to revitalize and rejuvenate those bones and muscles from sitting around all day. The following video is courtesy of yogawithadriene.com, and it features one particular yoga pose to help bring back that spring in your step: the Gate Pose.

As its name suggests, the Gate Pose is used to open up the sleeping muscles in the body. In particular, it opens the shoulders, which helps to reduce neck and shoulder tension. The Parighasana (pahr-eee-GAHS-uh-nuh) is also perfect for pregnant women. As the pose lengthens the sides of the belly, it helps to relieve discomfort by creating more room for the internal organs as well as for the growing baby.

The Gate Pose is most helpful for stretching the side of the torso and everything internally. This includes the abdominal muscles, spine, and hamstrings. It even expands the intercostal muscles or the muscles that connect the ribs. This is good because these muscles get short from poor posture and sitting for extended periods of time, which results in poor breathing habits. The Gate Pose helps to prevent this and relieve respiratory troubles such as asthma, allergies, and colds.

Contraindications and Cautions

People with current or recent knee and/or neck injuries should not practice this asana as it may result in further injury.

How to Do It

  1. Begin kneeling on the floor with your hips and buttocks lifted up off your legs. Place a folded blanket beneath your knees, shins, and feet if you need the extra padding to feel more comfortable. Your inner knees should be together and your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Extend your right leg out to the side. Keep your leg in line with your body, not behind or in front of you. Point your toes to the right with your kneecap pointing to the ceiling. Try to press the sole of your right foot’s sole all the way onto the floor while keeping your leg straight. Your pelvis will turn slightly to the right. Keep your upper torso turning against that pull to face forward.
  3. Inhaling, extend your arms out to the sides to shoulder-height with your palms facing down.
  4. Rest your right hand along your right thigh, shin, or ankle. Turn your left palm upward, and then extend it up toward the ceiling. Then reach your left arm overhead and to the right, so your bicep rests against your left ear. Turn your gaze up toward the ceiling.
  5. Keep moving your left hip slightly forward and turning your torso away from the floor.
  6. Hold for up to one minute. To release, inhale as you lift through your left arm to draw your torso upright, while keeping both arms extended. Then lower your arms and move your right knee next to your left to regain balance. Repeat the pose for the same amount of time on the opposite side.

Whether it’s Halloween or you simply feel “lifeless,” bring yourself back to life with some yoga. Even better, try to incorporate the Gate Pose in your daily routine because we all know that zombies, whether literal or figurative, need good exercise to keep bodies fit and their skin from sagging. Happy Halloween, everyone!





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