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Obviously, the warm-up portion of your workout literally warms you up – body temperatures rise and circulation quickens. However, a warm-up should do way more, and that “more” isn’t just physical.
First, a warm-up grounds
That means it makes you aware of where you are in space and time. It connects you to the earth beneath you. Just like electrical wire, being ungrounded is super dangerous because:
The body has no reference point for movement
The body and mind are unyoked because of the lack of it.
Going barefoot, along with emphasis on the foundation – what’s actually touching the ground – facilitates and expedites grounding. Conscious breathing is a huge “gateway” to grounding too.
Second, a warm-up centers
Being centered makes you aware of what I call your Mothership, your core. Without core support, muscles are in isolation. If you’ve ever thrown your back out, you have an excellent first hand experience of moving without being properly centered. Not good! Cues like, “hug the midline” and “zip up” and “abs in” are helpful for getting centered. Being centered is synonymous with total body unity.
Third, a warm-up aligns
That means your body gets organized in the most optimal way for energy to flow. Posture cues like, “chest up” and “ears stacked over shoulders”, and as well as tracking cues like “knees bend directly over the seconds and third toes” are great aligners. Ultimately, alignment leads to poise and grace because an aligned skeletal system eradicates tension.
So there you have it….ground, center and align for more effective, more enjoyable, and much safer workouts. Oh, the power of a warm-up done right!
Imagine if complete wellness were your way of life! Learn how to make that dream a possibility: mind-body movement pioneer Ellen Barrett hosts Wellness 360 at the Art of Living Retreat Center from Oct 25-27.
Ellen Barrett, M.A. is a Kripalu certified yoga teacher and has been inspiring people to move their bodies since 1989. She believes movement in all its forms is the most underrated self-help method and she is on a mission to get more people moving for whole-person health. Ellen is the creator of numerous workout videos, including the bestselling Yogini Workout; has starred in FIT TV’s long-running show All Star Workouts; and has written four wellness books.
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!