Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Yoga Basics...

Yoga is great for relaxing the mind and body and is becoming increasingly popular.

I learnt yoga about a year ago from an instructor and once I was trained in the basics I now practice regularly on my own.

Every morning I like to wake up at 6.30am, the first thing I want to do is stretch... so what better than to start the day and tone up with a 20 minute yoga session.

I also sometimes practice yoga after a stressful day or to stretch after a gym session.

I will talk you through my basic routine... I hope you are ready!

1. Warm up your arms...

I do five shoulder rotations on the right arm and five on the left...then both together

I repeat this step making full swings with my arms... and both together

Then stretching my right elbow up towards my head and repeat this with my left elbow... I do this process four times

2. Prep your tummy muscles...

Standing straight with your feet hip width apart move left to right keeping everything below your waist still you should feel the stretch in your waist and your arms

3. Salute to the sun...

A common yoga exercise, start by stretching the body upwards with your hands in the air

Bend over to touch the ground, step back with your left then right, so you are in the 'dog' position, then kneel down and like a serpent roll your body forward stretching your head upwards (towards the sun) and pull the body back after a few seconds.

Then pull up onto your tip toes lean back onto your feet and move forward with your left foot, right foot and stretch up to the sun again. I repeat this process 6-8 times alternating which feet I move back with.
The exercise tones most muscles in one and allows you to focus on your breathing. If done properly you can really get a sweat on!

  • Please view the video for more details...

4. Warm up your back...
This is where it gets tricky! Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and slowly lean back as far as you can creating an arch with your back, I usually can hold the back of my knees leaning over. I hold this position for 1 minute.

From this position I lean fully back with my arms stretch out full directly behind my head, I hold this position for a further minute and then repeat but this time raising my back into half an arch toning my legs, bum, back and tum!

5. Balance...

From here pushing up with my back from an L shape I push my legs up directly above me - you may wish to support your back or more advanced you can go solo! I hold this for one minute and then open and close my legs (still above me) to work the muscles.

    I then put one knee next to my head whilst the other leg is still straight in the air creating a gorgeous stretch!

    Then repeat with the other leg.

    I finish by putting both feet together above me creating a circle with my legs

    6. Sit ups...

    200 sit ups is a nice amount with a mixture of light crunches, that tone without wearing me out... sit ups are great for developing muscles within your abdomen there are various different ways
    to tone different areas. There are many websites you can research you can use to explore these ways in more detail.

    7. Warm up your legs...

    Laying on your side raise you leg slowly up and down 30 times repeat on the other leg

    In a similar way pull your leg in and out for 25 repetitions

    On all fours do a similar process working one leg up and down 20 times to work your glutes!
    Repeat on the other leg and do the process up and down in and out and side to side.

    8. Yoga band...

    I use my yoga band to stretch my legs up and down about 50 times this works out not only my legs but my arms, bum and stomach!

    9. Weights...
    I finish with some light dumbbell weights in sets of 50's.

    10... Now go and have some breakfast! :)

    This is a great morning workout I found try it and let me know your thoughts!

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