Whether you’re a seasoned fitness expert or an amateur finding your way into the world of fitness, you’ve definitely heard of the age-old discipline of yoga.
Yoga is a great way to simply relax and let go; however, there’s more to it than just relaxation. The various stretches, postures and breathing techniques are part of a holistic workout experience, and it’s perfect for the month of Ramadan and the hot summer, when most people have a little more time to spend indoors.
Unwind and take a look at these key yoga exercises you can do each day to keep flexible, mobile and relaxed.
Known as dhanurasana, this pose resembles an archer’s bow and is beneficial to relieving mild backache, fatigue and anxiety. It can also help with general weight loss (in conjunction with healthy eating), helps to correct posture and ensures efficient functioning of the abdominal organs.
How To: Lie on your stomach and bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as possible to your bottom. Reach back with your hands and grasp your ankles. Widen the gap between your knees (about hip width), and as you inhale, lift your heels away from your bottom as your lift your thighs off the floor.
Why not try a colourful sports bra and midi leggings from Onzie, to set the mood and give you the support as you move into these positions.
Virbhadrasana I, or the Warrior Pose is very beneficial for the body. Not only does this pose help to strengthen your shoulders, arms, legs and back, it also improves focus, balance and stability. It energises the body by encouraging blood circulation and improved respiration.
How To: Stand with your legs about four feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor, and while keeping one foot stationary, rotate your other foot 90 degrees outwards, aligning your heels. Bend the knee facing outwards, arch your upper torso back slightly and fold your hands in a ‘Namaste’.
You might find these accessories useful from Manduka and Yogarat, to help you through some exercises, and to make your yoga experience personal to you.
Relax between postures with Balasana – the child’s pose. It stretches the hips, thighs and ankles while calming an overactive mind and releasing stress and fatigue. It is great for relieving back and neck pain when done correctly.
How To: Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Spread your knees so that they are hip-width apart, exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Stretch your hands out in front of you, with your elbows resting on the ground or mat to release all tension from the body. This posture is aimed at total relaxation so make sure none of your muscles are under tension during the asana.
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