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How to Get a Yoga Body

“Om” your way to a calmer, leaner, stronger you. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how.

Yoga’s not just for the uber-crunchy or super-chill. It’s the ultimate stress-reducing workout that also happens to burn calories and sculpt lean muscle. So what are you waiting for? Here’s how to get started today:

Don’t Just Focus On Your Body
Yoga is not just a physical (asana) practice -- it also incorporates breathing (called pranayama) and meditation (called dhyana). Be sure to make equal time for all three elements of the practice.

Create the Right Environment
Yoga doesn't have to happen in a gym or studio. If you are strapped for time, lay out your mat at home. Create a sacred space free of noise and clutter, which can distract you.

Breathe
Breathing is one of the fundamental components of yoga to master. Create a reminder on your Outlook calendar every day at noon to focus on your breathing for 10 minutes. Then just take a 10-minute break to focus on breathing deeply -- inhaling slowing and then exhaling slowly. While you focus on your breathing, you can also incorporate stretches, such as Eagle (right arm under left, left arm under right), which you can do at your desk and which can help release tension in your neck and back.

Sign Up for a Class
Start with a beginner class or workshop to learn the basics and create a foundation upon which you can build. Learning the proper alignment of the basic yoga poses is essential before moving on to more difficult levels and will allow you to practice at home on days you can’t make it to class.

Go On Vacation
Yep, you read that right. Looking for a relaxing way to learn more about yoga? Go on a yoga retreat with your partner, friends or by yourself. Yoga retreats take place all over the world and usually offer yoga and meditation classes, along with healthy food and local activities. They are a great way to relax and replenish your energy while gaining a basic understanding and appreciation of yoga.

Nestpert: Jill Snowden is a certified yoga instructor and founder of Restore + Flow. She is a graduate of the Laughing Lotus College of Yoga and a member of Yoga Alliance. Jill is also the yoga expert for BluePrint Cleanse and the contributing yoga writer for BounceBack.com.

-- The Nest Editors

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