women

Benefits: improves circulation and revives tired, cramped feet and legs. Also relaxes the heart, promoting a good sleep

Sit to the side of the wall and swivel your legs up so you are against the wall. Keep your knees bent if that’s more comfortable, and let your legs roll out slightly. Place your hands down by your sides, on your belly or across your chest to connect with your heart. Allow your eyes to close and drop your chin down to protect your neck. Let your breathing be natural and long with equal inhales and exhales.

*Skip this pose if you are menstruating, have high blood pressure, glaucoma or a neck injury.

Description: Legs-up-the-wall

Legs-up-the-wall

Half backbend

Benefits: Backbends allow you to embrace every moment and opportunity – to remain light-hearted, at any age! Turn yourself inside-out with a backbend as it strengthens and stretches your back, chest and arms

Lie on your back. Bring your feet hip-distance apart, and keep your feet firmly pressed down into the floor. On your exhale, roll your lower back, middle and chest up towards the ceiling. Roll your shoulders under and interlace your hands together (alternatively, keep your palms pressing into the floor). Imagine you’re squeezing a brick between your leg muscles. Keep your chest lifting up towards your chin and tuck your chin in towards your throat. Keep your hips lifting up and your buttocks soft. Hold and breathe deeply for 5 – 10 breaths and repeat another 2 – 3 times. To release, roll down mindfully on your exhale.

Description: Half backbend

Half backbend

Child pose

Benefits: This relaxes, rests and restores, as it stretches your spine. By giving yourself time out to truly be aware of how you’re feeling, this restful pose can give you the reflective moments needed to change your mind-set and go for the life you have dreamed for yourself.

Come into a kneeling pose and sit back gently onto your heels. Sit down onto your feet and, at the same time, lengthen your arms out in front of you. Keep your shoulders down and your forehead resting on the floor (or on a cushion). Hold and breathe deeply for one minute or longer.

Description: Child pose

Child pose

The importance of breathing

The feeling when you actually “stop” for a few moments and focus on your breathing can make you far more productive. That’s where wisdom arrives – in silence – which is always there for us. It can take quite a few attempts to actually master this and find the quiet stillness within.

Breathing is the most powerful tool you have. It’s the bridge between your body and mind, and allows you to stay in the present moment. Use your breath to lead you into (and out of) each yoga pose, moving at a relaxed pace.

Breathe deeply through your nose (with lips closed). When you inhale, you whole body expands and uplifts. On your exhale, your body naturally contracts and allows you to let everything go.

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