Yoga – the only 5 moves you’ll ever need

Yoga

Published: Tuesday 4th November 2014 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

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Yoga – brilliant for strength and relaxation but a complete mystery to many of us.

Here are 5 simple moves that you won’t forget.

You can find out more about who can do yoga with our getting started article, but basically it’s good for anyone at anytime!

Move 1. Greet the Sun

Greet The Sun

Benefit: Stretches your entire upper body. A great way to start the day and welcome the coming sun. Unless it’s winter when you can just greet the clouds.

Step 1 – Stand with your feet apart one foots length. Inhale

Step 2 – Put your arms above your head and bend your back slightly

Step 3 – Let one arm drop down your side as you breathe out and bend sideways so it slides down your leg whilst keeping the other arm straight and raised. Make sure your head and neck are relaxed

Step 4 – Breath in as you slowly swing to the opposite side. Do this up to five or more times each side

Move 2. Prayer Pose

Forward Fold

Benefit: This move aligns and strengthens the upper-body to reduce tension and improves blood flow to the shoulder joints.

Step 1 – Begin by standing upright with your feet one foots length apart

Step 2 – Slowly put your palms together in front of your heart with your fingertips facing upwards

Step 3 – Take a slow deep breath pushing out your belly as you breath in and pushing your palms together, hold it for a couple of seconds, then breathe out slowly and for a few seconds longer than your in-breath. As you breathe out, relax your body from your shoulders down.

Step 4 – Repeat this for a few minutes, simply observing yourself and how your breath feels. If other thoughts come into your head (which they will) get back to observing your breathing as soon as you can, don’t be too hard on yourself. As you practice you will learn to observe more and will become less vulnerable to thoughts coming in.

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Move 3. Cat Cow

3_-tree-pose

Benefit: This move improves the mobility of your spine and helps your general flexibility and abdominal strength

Step 1 – Get on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees beneath your hips. Start slow and increase your speed once you feel comfortable

Step 2 – First, inhale to form a cow, pushing your head up with your chin to the sky and your bottom in the air and dropping your belly. Hold for a breath

Step 3 – Then, to form a cat, breath out, arch your back, pull in your chin to face the ground and draw your navel in towards your spine. Do this for about 2 or 3 minutes slowly feeling more flexible

Move 4.Down Dog

Cat Cow

Benefit: This move stretches out all your muscles as well as improving overall body strength.

Step 1 – Get on all fours making sure your hands are directly underneath your shoulders and knees beneath your hips

Step 2 – Push backwards on your toes, making them curl under whilst raising your hips so your legs are straight

Step 3 – Once comfortable, straighten your arms and then slowly rotate them to broaden your shoulders

Step 4 – Slowly lower your head and relax your shoulders away from your ears towards your hips

Step 5 – Try and take the weight away from your arms a little and onto your feet so you feel comfortable

Move 5. Forward Fold

Dog Down

Benefit: This move stretches your hips, hamstrings and calves. Crucially it helps relax your central nervous system and calms your mind.

Step 1 – Stand upright with your feet exactly facing forward. Take a deep breath and raise your arms above your head

Step 2 – As you breathe out, keep your arms straight and fold your body forward from the hips. If you can, move your hips back a little at the same time

Step 3 – If you can get that far down, rest your hands on the ground. Keeping your feet facing forward breath in from your tummy and try to push your chest towards your feet

Step 4 – Keep your head relaxed and hanging down – keep this up for a few slow deep breaths

Step 5 – To straighten up, slowly put your hands on your hips, bend your knees rising up from your hips keeping your back straight, breath and relax

Enjoy!

Published: Tuesday 4th November 2014 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

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