Don’t have time for an hour-long yoga class? Not too keen on twisting yourself into a pretzel? You don’t have to be an advanced yogi to take advantage of the benefits of yoga. There are several simple poses you can do throughout the day to help you relax, refocus, stretch and re-energise.
Try these five basic poses:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Breathe slowly and deeply while keeping your neck aligned with the rest of your spine. Try moving your hands into prayer position or reach up to the sky for a full-body stretch as you continue to look straight in front of you. This pose is great for practicing better posture and re-centering your focus.
To do this strengthening and reinvigorating pose, stand with your legs three to four feet apart with your right foot in front and turned out 90 degrees. Lunge forward keeping the knee directly above your ankle. Slowly raise your arms until they are parallel with the ground, with your right arm toward your front foot and your left arm toward your back foot, keeping your shoulders relaxed. Look out past your right fingertips and hold for several breaths before bringing your arms down and switching sides.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you then cross your right foot over the outside of your left knee placing your foot flat on the ground. Bend your left knee in, keeping your right hand on the floor behind you for stability, then gently twist your spine placing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Suck in your stomach, twist a little deeper and hold for several breaths before returning to the centre, repeating the pose on the other side. This pose is excellent after long hours of sitting or working at the computer as it gently, but thoroughly stretches the shoulders, hips and neck.
Kneel on the floor separating your knees then bend your body until your forehead touches the floor with your arms stretched in front of you. This is an excellent pose for releasing tension in your lower back, stretching your shoulders and taking a moment for some deep, calming breaths.
Legs Up the Wall Pose
Though it may feel slightly unnatural at first, this pose boasts a range of benefits including relieving tired leg muscles and combating deep vein thrombosis, making it a great pose to practice after long periods of travel.
Sit with your side against a wall and gently swing your legs up onto the wall as you lie back on the floor. Make sure your legs are flat against the wall as you rest here for at least one minute. To come out of the pose, turn to the side as you bring your legs down to the ground.
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