10 Yoga Poses Every Beginner Should Try

If you’re new to the mat, you’re probably walking in to yoga with a lot of assumptions. You’ve heard about downward dog and sun salutations and may even think that’s going to dominate your early practice. The poses may be extremely common, but they may not be necessary for you.

10 Yoga Poses for Beginners

Every yoga pose, more formally known as asanas, has a purpose. You’ll complete each pose in a complementary series, using those like downward dog to help your body transition from one asana to the next. More importantly — you’ll complete each new pose as your body is ready.

To avoid injury and get the most out of each pose, you should take your time learning the basics of yoga, which can include breath work, proper alignment, and even meditation.

Jill Lawson, a certified yoga teacher who leads teacher trainings and her own studio, says meditation is an important and oft overlooked aspect of yoga.

“Meditation is a key component in all yogic practices. Sukhasana, or Easy Pose, may look easy, but it is actually a very challenging pose. One of the goals of yoga is to quiet the mind, and this is a superb pose to practice doing so. Some say this pose takes a lifetime to master, so why not start now?,” she recommends.

Other popular and basic yoga poses you’ll want to take on as a beginner include warrior, tree, triangle, child’s, cobra, and corpse. Each will help you slowly build strength and confidence within your own practice, while giving your body a gentle and necessary workout.

However, if you need to take an even easier introduction to yoga, then by all means do so.

For true beginners, “consider going even more basic with cat/cow for full movement and breath integration,” suggests Kia Ruiz, a yoga instructor at kiaruiz.com.

Ruiz also suggests alternatives for the ever popular downward dog pose. “For full-bodied individuals, down dog can be challenging on joints and blood pressure.” Why? She explains that this inversion puts the head below the heart, which can increase blood pressure. “Alternatives include wall dog and puppy if this is a concern for yogis as they strengthen their practice,” she encourages.

Mountain pose is another ideal pose for beginners “because it sets the foundation for many of the other standing poses,” added Lawson. When done properly, “this pose emanates poise and balance,” she said. “It is that ‘root down and rise up’ element that creates grace and ease in a yoga practice, and it is best felt in mountain pose.”

Be sure to let your yoga instructor know it’s your first time or that you’re practicing at a very beginner level. This will alert her to your unique needs in the class and ensure you get more out of each session. Find those poses you love, do the work to master them, and use them as the building blocks to develop your own fluent yoga practice.


Introducing Limited Edition Scuba Blue

ENELL in Limited Edition Scuba Blue

We are so excited to unveil our latest Limited Edition color for ENELL SPORT: Scuba Blue!

We asked for your votes on the next color, and this blue hue had a resounding win. We still get requests daily for our last Limited Edition color which sold out over a year ago, so please heed our warnings when we say stock is EXTREMELY limited. Once these are sold out, they’re gone for good.

Make a splash in ENELL in Scuba Blue

Purchase your Scuba Blue before there gone online here or at any of the retailers listed below.

ENELL Retailers stocking Scuba Blue: Please call ahead to determine availability as this is subject to change.

Online:

International:

Are you excited for Scuba Blue? 


IronGirl Triathlon – Ambassador Race Report

We’re excited to have our first ever set of ENELL Ambassadors on board. These are great trainers, instructors, and bloggers with all different fitness goals. We want to share their great race or fitness event posts with you for both information and inspiration. Ambassador Jill Angie recently completed the IronGirl Columbia Triathlon. Check out her race recap and learn more about the kind of gear she uses. View her post here.

triathlon-report

Meet ENELL Ambassador Jill Angie:

Jill AngieJill Angie is a personal trainer, runner, triathlete, blogger and author, who wants to live in a world where everyone is free to feel fit and fabulous at any size. She is the author of Running With Curves: Why You’re Not Too Fat to Run, and the Skinny on How to Start Today, and also the voice behind the blog Running With Curves.

Once a sedentary corporate desk jockey with over 100 pounds to lose, Jill found confidence and self-love through running (and lost 80 pounds along the way). Still carrying a few extra pounds, she writes about the joys and challenges of being a curvy runner, and shares her experiences, knowledge and expertise to help her clients and readers embrace their inner athlete.

Over the years, Jill’s running career has gone from 5K to triathlon to half-marathon. She credits her Enell bra with turning her running hobby into a full-blown obsession, as well as making it possible to comfortably do inverted poses in her yoga practice. Currently Jill is training for a half-Ironman in 2015, and her Enell bra will be with her every step of the way!


Feeding a Crowd Without Busting Their Guts (or Your Budget)

‘Tis the season for food! Fall, unlike any other point on the calendar, seems to be overwhelmingly about food. Football tailgates, Labor Day, end-of-summer get togethers are just the icing on a very pumpkin-flavored cake that pours right in to school parties, bake sales, Halloween, and the holidays. What’s a figure-minded girl to do? Host!

The hostess with the mostess is the one who can feed a hungry crowd food they love, food that fills and satisfies, without being one more excuse for people to junk out! Whether you host or cater the entire event, or just get to the front of the line to be a primary contributor to the buffet, you’re able to control the menu and ensure not only yourself but everyone there enjoys a better meal.

Here are a few ways you can feed everyone from a hungry football crowd to a family get-together with flavor and variety. These buffet-style offerings fit into a fiscal and calorie budget, travel and transport easily, and are sure to garner you a lot of food coma-induced cheers!

How to feed a crowd without busting their guts (or your budget)

The Baked Potato Bar

One simple way to feed a crowd that’s as health conscious as it is budget conscious is with a baked potato bar. Serve baked sweet potatoes for a nutrition boost alongside grilled chicken, lean pulled pork, grilled fajita vegetables, salsa, fresh avocado, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, steamed broccoli, and shredded cheddar cheese. Everyone gets to build their own while you feel good about serving better comfort food!

The Soup Bar

Set up two or three Crock Pots with different soup options. Start with staples like a turkey and black bean chili, chicken noodle or tomato, and a hearty vegetable stew. Nothing fills and satisfies like soup, stew, and chili, especially as the months shift to cooler temperatures. Steer clear of the cream-based soups, as those are loaded with more fat and calories than you need. Stick to those loaded with veggies and lean proteins, which will fill you up without weighing you down! Serve with homemade pretzel rolls, cornbread, or set up a simple grilled cheese station!

The Burrito Bar

Nothing satisfies as happily or healthfully as a big ‘ole burrito! Offer staples like seasoned brown rice, grilled chicken, pork, and shrimp, and a piping hot bowl of black beans. Then, have some fun! Share two or three salsa options — the fresh salsas in the produce section will save you time and come ready-to-serve! Roasted squashes, grilled peppers and onions, chopped cilantro, and a pile of monterrey jack cheese will bring it together. Don’t forget the homemade guacamole, and wrap up the whole mess in a few different kinds of tortillas, like spinach and sundried tomato.

What’s your favorite dish to make for a crowd?


The Simple Swaps That Make Tailgating a Tasty, Guilt-Free Affair

Fans have been waiting since February to hear the words “football season.” With college and NFL teams returning to the field, it’s time to restock the cheek tattoos and dust off the crock pot — you’ve got some tailgating to do! Some 35 percent of football fans love their tailgate parties so much, they never actually make it inside the stadium! While the players inside are burning through one heck of a workout, the rest of us, well, we’re just burning through a lot of food.

Healthy Tailgating Swaps

Football is a notoriously food-focused sport; so much so that its Super Bowl rivals only Thanksgiving as the biggest food consumption day of the year. During the big game people can take down some 2,000 calories — and we’ll wager a winning bet that most Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout the fall don’t look much different.

A few minor adjustments to your tailgate plans will ensure you stay in fighting shape all season long.

The Burger Swap. Go ahead and fire up the grill — what’s a tailgate without it? Load it with seasoned turkey burgers, bbq chicken breasts, or even italian turkey brats instead of the same ‘ole hot dog and burger. The trimmer meat options will save tons of calories and fat without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.

The Dip Swap. Hot, gooey queso is a gut busting calorie bomb just waiting to go off! The first serving alone can be more than 700 calories! A homemade spinach and artichoke dip with fresh veggies, reduced fat cream cheese, and a quality parmesan can be a satisfying replacement. Can’t skip the ranch? Use a season packet with low-fat plain Greek yogurt to mix your own, rather than the gloop in the bottle.

The Beer Swap. A cooler full of beer may be a higher requirement than wearing the right team colors, just fill it with cold ones that won’t weigh you down. Avoid the beer belly by sipping ultra light beers that come in at or under 100 calories. Sip and shout alongside the guys without necessarily looking like one of the guys. Between beers, sip flavored seltzer waters to stay hydrated and reduce temptation to reach for another brewski.

The Veg Swap. Don’t just veg out in a lawn chair or hammock, actually veg out the food spread. A veggie tray is easy, predictable, but give yourself and guests some fun options to fill up on before the main course. Roasted and seasoned green beans, fresh salsa loaded with black beans and corn, homemade guacamole, and grilled skewers with veggies and pineapple make some crowd pleasing appetizers and sides. Grill peppers and onions to top burgers and brats.

The Couch Potato Swap. It’s easy to spend four hours as an armchair quarterback, but put yourself in the game instead! Join the friendly round of football with friends instead of standing back to cheer. Take a walk during halftime instead of refilling your plate. Run, don’t walk, to help carry the heavy load to and from the truck.

Do you have a favorite tailgating snack?