Sunday, 6 August 2017

Youth boost yoga-spinal flexibility

Yogis say you are as young as your spine is flexible. The following sequence will help you have a healthy spine and body, youthful posture, a strong core and back that is free from aches and pains.

You will need a block:-

Start in Extended Child pose arms extended forward as you press your tailbone back creating space between the vertebrae..Visualise the breath massaging the spine.
Watch the breath until it settles into a rhythmical pattern then come to seated on a

Camel rider-sit in Easy pose. Hold onto your ankles. Breathe in come forward lift your head and chest, breathe out, tuck your chin as you round back. Continue for 2-3 minutes.

Propeller-take your hand into a yogic grip, fingers curled round each other. Inhale lift your left elbow, exhale lift your right elbow - your gaze follows your elbow.  Continue for 2-3 minutes.

Spinal twist-bring your fingertips to your shoulders, inhale twist to the left, exhale twist to the right and continue for 2-3 minutes.  Come to all fours.

Tiger - start on all fours, inhale take the right leg back, exhale bend your right knee, inhale,reach round with your left hand to hold your right foot and on your next inhale lift your right foot up towards the ceiling.  To release breathe out bring your right knee into your chest then down on the mat, release your right hand to the mat.  Repeat second side. Take another extended Child pose then come down onto your tummy.

Locust variation -lie on your tummy, with your arms at shoulder height, elbows bent.  Inhale lift your head, chest and arms, exhale lower,  Repeat twice more then press back into Child pose.

Downward Facing Dog variation- when you are ready come to all fours. Breathe in, tuck your toes, breathe out lift your knees about 8 inch from the mat. Release your chest towards your thighs to lengthen your spine the start to straighten your legs. Hold for 5 breaths.

Wild Thing - from Downward Facing Dog, breathe in and take your right leg back, breathe out and drop your right heel to your left buttock, opening your hips to the right.  Bend your left knee a little and let your right foot come down on your left side as you lift your chest towards the ceiling. To come out of the pose breathe out, engage your core and 'flip' back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat second side then take a Child's Pose. 

To modify the pose, from Downward Facing Dog, inhale drop your knees to come to all fours.  Swing your left foot to the right and extend your right leg so that your right foot is level with your left knee. Breathe in and take your right arm up and over, lifting your chest to the ceiling. To come out of the pose, breathe out, engage your core then 'flip' back to all fours. Repeat second side then take Child's Pose. Come back to Downward Facing Dog and  walk your feet forward and slowly roll to standing.

Triangle Pose to Side Angle Pose – step the feet wide, turn the right leg to the right and turn the back toes in, making sure that the heel of the right foot lines up with the instep of the left for men or for ladies line up heel to heel.  Inhale stretch the arms out at shoulder height , exhale take your hips to left as you fold over the front leg. Gaze can be up at the left hand or down at your big toe.  When you are ready to come out, inhale bring your arms up to shoulder height, exhale bend the front knee, inhale take the right hand to the floor, a block or rest your right elbow on your right thigh, exhale circle the left arm down then up by the ear.  Gaze can be straight ahead or up at the left hand. Open the chest by rolling the left shoulder back.  Inhale to bring your arms back to shoulder height and straighten the front knee, exhale hands to heart, turn the feet to face forward. Repeat 2nd side.  

Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend Variation – step your feet wide and have the outside edges parallel to the outside edges of the mat. Take your hands behind the back, interlace your fingers. Inhale lift your chest, exhale fold to a flat back position. Stay here if you have problems with high blood pressure etc. otherwise breathe in and as you breathe out bring the crown of your head down, your arms up and over. Breathe in to come up slowly then step your feet together.

Reverse Plank - come into a seated position with your legs outstretched and on the mat. Take your hands behind your hips fingers pointing back towards your hips.  Breathe in and lift your hips rolling the soles of your feet towards the mat. Keep the back of your neck long. To modify have the knees bent. Breathe out to release, lie back on your mat and hug your knees in.

Finish with a Savasana.

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Why do yogis say you are as young as your spine is flexible?

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