women

Camel pose

How it works: Backbends are energizing so this simple pose is great for balancing out your mood and giving you a welcome boost

The mood booster

The mood booster

Technique

·         Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Place your hands on your lower back, pointing downwards, and find a slight lift in the bottom.

·         Lift up through the center of your chest. To support your neck, try not to let your head drop back.

·         If you can, take one hand back at a time to grasp your ankles. If that’s too challenging, continue with your hands resting on your lower back. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds before moving into child’s pose to rest.

Hot tip: Keep lifting and extending your neck so it stays aligned with the spine

The hip stretch

Pigeon pose

How it works: This nurturing pose opens the hips, pelvic area and the lower back, helping to ease cramps and release negative emotions

Pigeon pose

Pigeon pose

Technique

·         Beginning on all fours, slide your left knee forward to meet your left wrist, place your left shin under your body and your left foot at your right knee. With the outside of your left calf now resting on the floor, slide your right leg back, straightening the knee.

·         Keep your right leg straight and your right thigh on the floor. From here, start to walk your arms forward, bringing your body forward to a point that feels comfortable to both rest and stretch in. If you can, bring your head down to the floor or a cushion and close your eyes.

·         Stay in the pose for around 30-60 seconds, taking some deep breaths to relax into it even more. Gently come out of the pose and change to the other leg.

Safety tip: Make sure your hips are centered and not twisting to one side

The bloat buster

Reclining hand to toe pose with spinal twist

How it works: This pose reduces bloating by compressing and massaging the abdominal area, releasing tension and gas in the intestines

The bloat buster

The bloat buster

Technique

·         Lie on your back with your head resting on a folded blanket. Bending your left knee, hug your left thigh into your body and take a few deep breaths.

·         Straighten your left leg towards the ceiling. If you’d like a little more support, bend your left knee and keep your foot flat on the floor so the stretch down the left leg doesn’t become too intense on the hamstring.

·         Draw your left knee to your tummy, take your right hand to the outside of your left knee and bring your knee across your body to the floor on your right. Keep your left shoulder on the floor and extend your left arm to increase the twist. Allow 30-60 seconds in each stage of this pose, then repeat with the other leg.

Hot tip: Want more? Use a craft or strap to deepen the stretch

The muscle relaxer

Reclining bound angle pose

How it works: This soothing position relaxes your body from head to toe

The muscle relaxer

The muscle relaxer

Technique

·         Place a folded blanket or bolster under your lower back. With bent legs, exhale and lower yourself back, resting on the support.

·         Allow the soles of your feet to touch as your legs turn out and knees open toward the floor. Lay your arms on the floor, palms up and close your eyes. For extra support, place yoga blocks underneath your knees. An eye bag over the eyes can also work wonders in this pose.

·         Relax in this peaceful pose for up to 10 minutes. When you’re ready to finish, use your hands to press your thighs gently together. Then slowly roll over onto one side and slowly push yourself away from the floor with your hands, keeping your head relaxed as you do so.

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