Health, Beauty, Fitness, Life

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

I Challenge You to Yoga! #7

This is the last in the ''I Challenge You to Yoga!'' posts. But I am hoping to post more of these types of posts to really challenge you and most importantly, make you feel happy about yourself.

I hope you have enjoyed these posts and tried out at least one yoga workout. Before I started yoga, I did not see the benefits of it. I would do all of the intense exercises at the gym; kettlebell, spin classes and barbell classes and stick my nose up to any yoga, thinking it to be unchallenging. In fact, yoga can be challenging. For me, I find the leg toning yoga poses rather difficult and my flexibility isn't the best. This year I am going to add these to my goals, to improve my flexibility and strengthen my legs. Yoga can be what you want to make of it. It is very diverse. Aside from the toning benefits, I find it can be relaxing and releases any tension I get when sitting at a computer all day. I have already done a ''Bedtime'' yoga post (click here to read), but I want this post to help de-stress and focus on 'me-time'. 

De-stress Yoga

It helps if you are in the right frame of mind, so turn off all electrical devices such as your phone and TV. Dim the lights down to create a relaxing glow, maybe burn a fragranced candle or incense. You can put on some chilled out music - YouTube has some good ones. Click here to go to one of YouTube's chilled out videos. 

These are some poses that are meant to flow into one another, so once you learn the sequence, you can focus on your breath a bit more and release any tension at the same time. 

1. Sit down on your matt with legs cross and arms resting on your legs. You can close you eyes. move your shoulders forward and back, 10 times each way continuing to breathe gently.

2. Inhale deeply as you bring your shoulders up to your head and exhale deeply and you drop your shoulders.

3. Stand up on your matt and inhale deeply lifting your arms up over your head and rock forward on your toes. Exhale as you bring your arms down along with your heels. Repeat this for a couple of breaths.

4. Stay standing up, but as you exhale bring your hands to the floor and hold here for a couple of breaths. Let your head and body hang here and cross your arms, starting to swing them gently from side to side breathing gently.

5. Bring your hands to the floor and start to move into plank position and hold here for a couple of breaths.

6. From plank position, start to move into downward dog (see below). Bend your left knee slightly, so that you can feel more of a stretch in your right let. Then bend your right knee slightly. 

5. From downward dog,  bend your knees to the floor to Cat pose (see below). Inhale as you tuck in your head and suck in your tummy. Exhale as you lift your head up and stick your tail bone out. 

7. From Cat pose, move into Cobra (see below). Drop your shoulders and lift up your head. Gently rock from side to side as you continue to breathe.

8. Move back into plank position and place your right foot in between your hands and bend your right knee. Lift your arms up over your head (see below). Inhale as you straighten your right knee, exhale as you bend it again. Try this for a couple of breaths before moving on to the left leg. 

9. From the lower lunge, place your hands to the floor and bring your legs back to move into down ward dog.

10. From downward dog move your feet towards your hands and follow steps 3-10 twice more.

11. Lie on your matt on your back, hugging your knees into your chest. Gentle rock from side to side massaging your back on the floor.

12. Lie with your back on the floor and extend your arms and legs out and stretch. Then rest your arms by your side and breathe here for a couple of minutes. Start to notice parts of your body - work your way up from your feet. 

a) So start to notice your big toes and little toes, the ball of your feet and your heel on each foot. Focus on one part of your body at a time.
b) The shins and calves, knees, back of the knees, thighs, pelvis, your bum and back pressed against the floor.
c) Your tummy, your abdomen, chest, hands, arms pressed to the floor, shoulders, neck, head pressed to the floor.
d) Your ears, nose, mouth slightly open, eyes soft. 

Previous ''I Challenge You!'' Posts

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