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Healthy and happy: Try these easy yoga poses for a spring awakening

March 21, 2017
Healthy and happy: Try these easy yoga poses for a spring awakening

Story by Anna Burleson • Photos by Briana Scroggins • Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — After the long, cold doldrums of winter, it’s time to shed those sweaters, stretch and wake up.

Yoga instructor Allison Berlin said it’s important for everyone, no matter how flexible or fit, to stretch and recalibrate as winter turns to spring.

“The idea is to find balance,” she said. “We’ve kind of been dark and not doing much, and your body wants to kind of detox and move.”

Berlin created a simple spring sun salutation anyone can learn to do at home. The standing poses should be held for two or three breaths before moving on to the next. The sitting poses can be held for up to five minutes, if desired.

Berlin’s friend Jaynie Hirschi’s preferred method of physical activity is running and although she has practiced yoga before, she’s still a beginner.

After working through Berlin’s simple spring yoga poses, she wanted to do it again.

“To me, the bridge pose using blocks and a spinal twist, that makes my hips feel so good,” she said.

The most important part of the practice, Berlin said, is breathing.

“It doesn’t take much to feel rejuvenated,” she said.

Berlin teaches yoga classes at the YogaLoft in Ogden’s Front Climbing Gym and at Eccles Community Art Center.

Story continues below photo.

Yoga instructor Allison Berlin demonstrates a yoga flow for spring on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.
Yoga instructor Allison Berlin demonstrates a yoga flow for spring on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.

Spring sun salutation 

Begin standing and raise your arms above your head, keeping your shoulders dropped down below your ears. Take your right hand to your right thigh and sweep your left arm over slowly into a side bend. Repeat on the other side.

Bring your hands behind you to your lower back with your fingers pointing down. Lean back into an arch, remembering to breathe.

Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi catches her balance while demonstrating a warrior one pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.
Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi catches her balance while demonstrating a warrior one pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.

Letting your hands fall to your sides, fold forward to the floor leading with the top of your head.

It’s OK to bend your knees if you need to, or place your hands on foam blocks. Remain bent over and pick up your back leg, placing it back as far as you can, keeping your hips square in a lunge.

Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi begins to recover her balance while demonstrating a warrior one pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.
Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi begins to recover her balance while demonstrating a warrior one pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.

While remaining in the lunge, reach both of your arms toward the sky. Remember to breathe.

After you lower your arms back to center, repeat the lunges using your left leg.

Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi demonstrates using foam blocks under her knees to ease into a folded over butterfly pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.
Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi demonstrates using foam blocks under her knees to ease into a folded over butterfly pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.

Feel free to use a blanket and sit on the ground bringing the bottoms of your feet together in front of you. Exhale as you bend forward over your legs and stretch.

It’s OK to round your back or use foam blocks underneath each knee for support.

Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi demonstrates using a foam block to ease into a bridge pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.
Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi demonstrates using a foam block to ease into a bridge pose for a spring yoga flow on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.

Lay down with your hips and knees square and pointed skyward. Your feet should be up near your seat.

Push your hips up, creating a bridge with your body. Use foam blocks for balance and support under your lower back and tailbone if necessary.

Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi demonstrates using a foam block under her knees for a gentle side twist on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.
Yoga beginner Jaynie Hirschi demonstrates using a foam block under her knees for a gentle side twist on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the YogaLoft in Ogden.

Lower your spine slowly to the ground and bring your arms up on the floor to a T-shape. Bring your knees to your chest and let them fall slowly to the right while turning your head to the left.

Remember to breathe and swing your knees back up and then to the ground on the left side of your body while rotating your head to the right. Repeat as needed.

Contact reporter Anna Burleson at aburleson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnagatorB or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BurlesonReports.