Reclaim your calm with the help of PT, Kristoph Thompson. Here, he guides you through an easy at-home yoga session to lengthen and strengthen your body
Regular yoga sessions help to strengthen, tone, lengthen and restore calm to the body. So, it’s no surprise that this form of exercise has been around for thousands of years and is still going strong. These five yoga moves focus on five areas: power, balance, core, forward bend and a back bend, to create a well-rounded session.
Hold each pose for the time suggested, focusing on deep, regular breaths. Go only as far as your body will allow and don’t force any of the poses. Perform each move, one after the other, repeating the sequence if time permits.
- Begin standing with your legs together, then shift your weight to your left foot, bending your right knee, reaching down with your right hand and taking hold of your right ankle.
- Draw your right foot up and place the sole against your inner left thigh, toes pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute, then place your right foot back on the floor. Take hold of your left foot and repeat for the same length of time.
- You’ll find it easier to balance if you perform this pose standing on a hard floor rather than on a mat. Don’t worry if the sole of your foot doesn’t reach your inner thigh, place it against your lower leg instead, but not against the side of your knee. If you lose your balance, place your foot on the floor and then set yourself up again.
- Begin standing, then on an exhalation, step or lightlyjump your feet approximately four feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot inwards slightly. Lift through the arches of your feet, while rooting downwards through your heels. Raise your arms straight out to the sides, reaching through your fingertips, palms facing down.
- On an exhalation, bend your right knee, keepingit in line with your toes. Sink your hips so your right thigh is parallel with the floor. Your right shin should be vertical, widen your stance a little if necessary.
- Turn to gaze over your right hand, keeping your upper body upright and shoulders down. Hold this position for up to one minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse your feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, hands resting on the floor just behind your hips, fingers pointing towards your feet.
- Lift through the crown of your head and lean back slightly, without allowing your back to round. Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor. If possible, slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes.
- Extend your arms, creating space between your shoulder blades and reaching through your fingertips. If this isn’t possible, keep your hands on the floor beside your hips or hold onto the backs of your thighs.
- Hold the pose for up to one minute then, on an exhalation, return your feet and hands to the floor.
- 1. Lying on your front, stretch your legs back with the tops of your feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders with your elbows close to your body.
- 2. Press the tops of your feet and thighs, and the front of your pelvis firmly into the floor.
3. On an inhalation, begin to straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pelvis to your legs. Firm, but don’t harden the buttocks.
- 4. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.
STANDING FORWARD BEND
- Begin standing with your inner feet parallel and about six inches apart. Contract the front of your thighs to lift your kneecaps. Keeping your legs completely straight, exhale and bend forward from your hips, moving your torso and head together as one.
- Slide your hands down the fronts of your legs, taking hold around the backs of your ankles. Alternatively, take hold of your big toes with your index and middle fingers. If you can’t reach your toes without overly rounding your back, pass a strap under the ball of each foot and hold the straps.
- If you have flexible hamstrings, you can draw your forehead toward your shins. If your hamstrings are short, focus on keeping your front torso long.
- Hold this final position for up to one minute. Then, on an inhale, slowly return to standing.