women

Yoga lovers don't just have hot bodies, studies show they can perform better at work, too. Use, these seven moves to bag a sexier physique and the big corner office …

What do Jennifer Aniston, Hillary Clinton and Sting have in common? (Clue: it's nothing to do with pant suits though with Sting, you never know.) They all practice yoga. Sure, we hear you say. They're after long, lean yogi limbs. Or perhaps the stress-relieving benefits of a downward dog. Who isn't? But there's one thing all these overachievers also know: yoga can help you get ahead at work. Scientifically approved research backs this up, with a study by the International Journal of Yoga stating yoga can not only improve job satisfaction but make you more goal-orientated as well. Ready to climb that career ladder while staying as calm as the Dalai Lama? Victoria Woodhall, yoga teacher and co-author with Triyoga of Everyone Try Yoga (book and DVD, $28.5) shows you how...

7am you need: To jump out of bed and embrace the day

Try: Upward plank pose

This move is better than an espresso shot. It opens up your chest, lungs, spine and front of the shoulders. If your chest is open, your lungs have more room to expand and better breath equals better concentration. Translation: you are set to take on the day. Backbends are also good for fatigue and mild depression, brilliant for beating Monday morning blues.

This move is better than an espresso shot. It opens up your chest, lungs, spine and front of the shoulders.

This move is better than an espresso shot. It opens up your chest, lungs, spine and front of the shoulders.

How to do it

1.    First sit with legs out straight in front of you.

2.    Now place your palms a few inches behind you, fingers pointing forward. Got it?

3.    Inhale deeply, firm up your legs and lift the hips off the floor. Steady now...

4.    Next up: press shoulder blades into your back to keep your chest wide open.

5.    Lengthen your tailbone towards your heels while pressing your hips up. If it feels comfortable take the head back, keeping the neck long.

6.    Stay here for five full deep breaths. And then you gently lower. Well done.

Tip: If you have a weak back, take your feet flat beneath bent knees in a table shape.

9am you need: To gather yourself for a meeting

Try: The trusty tree pose

The average person has three devices on the go at one time: tablet, smartphone, computer. To bring your scattered thoughts to heel for a big meeting, this move will give you laser-like focus.

To bring your scattered thoughts to heel for a big meeting, this move will give you laser-like focus.

To bring your scattered thoughts to heel for a big meeting, this move will give you laser-like focus.

How to do it

1.    Stand with your feet a couple of inches apart and parallel.

2.    Rest your gaze softly on a fixed point in front of you. Place the sole of your right foot against your inner shin, toes pointing to the floor.

3.    Slide your foot up to your inner thigh.

4.    Take your hands to the chest in prayer position and breathe deeply. Or pray! If your mind wanders and you wobble, bring your attention back to your focus point and breathe or hold the wall to help you balance. Repeat on the other side.

11am you need: To curb those mid-morning hunger pangs

Try: The chair twist

It's been hours since breakfast and the Jaffa Cakes are calling. But don't give in: an empty stomach is the ideal time for yoga poses, especially twists. These bring fresh blood and energy to the abdomen, promoting a healthy digestion and helping to keep your appetite in check. For best results, follow with a glass of water to cleanse the digestive tract even further.

It's been hours since breakfast and the Jaffa Cakes are calling.

It's been hours since breakfast and the Jaffa Cakes are calling.

How to do it

1.    Sit side-on in a (non-swivel!) chair, feet flat on the floor directly below the knees.

2.    Push your bottom into the chair, draw the navel in and, keeping your hips facing the sideof the chair, inhale. As you exhale, twist from the lower abdomen to the right using the hands on the back of the chair for leverage. Remember to sit tall, lift the chest. Smile, it's nearly over.

3.    Repeat on the other side.

1.30pm you need: To release your computer hunchback

Try: Cow face pose arms

Hunching over keyboards leads to back and neck strain (not to mention tension headaches) as well as sloppy posture -not a very 'on-the-ball' look when your boss walks past. This chest-opener is a direct counter-pose to the slumps.

This chest-opener is a direct counter-pose to the slumps.

This chest-opener is a direct counter-pose to the slumps.

How to do it

1.    Stand with feet slightly apart.

2.    Inhale and stretch the right arm to the sky alongside the ear and bend the elbow so that your finger tips touch your spine.

3.    Extend your left arm to the side, bend the elbow and sweep your arm behind your back.

4.    Clasp fingers behind the back. Shrug your shoulders back, draw the ribs in. If your hands don't touch, don't worry, just grab on to your top.

5.    Repeat on the other side. And say goodbye to Quasimodo forever.

4pm you need: A lift that isn't delivered via a Coconut KitKat

Try: Desk dogs

It's chocolate o'clock. What you crave is a pick-me-up - but that doesn't have to come from a Diet Coke and something sweet from Mr. Rowntree. This version of up-dog/down-dog can be done at your desk (make sure it's stable) and will energize the entire body.

This version of up-dog/down-dog can be done at your desk (make sure it's stable) and will energize the entire body.

This version of up-dog/down-dog can be done at your desk (make sure it's stable) and will energize the entire body.

How to do it

1.    For a down dog stand a couple of feet back from your desk, feet hip-width apart. Rest your palms on the desk and step back until your back is flat, feet directly below hips. Soften your heart towards the floor without dropping your head (a).

2.    Now for up dog: inhale and bring hips to desk.

3.    Pressing down strongly on your hands, lift your chest up. Toes can be pointed or tucked (b). Repeat several times, inhaling for up dog and exhaling for down dog. Hey, it's a dog's life.

5pm you need: To combat computer-screen eye strain

Try: Eye rolls with breath break

Staring wide-eyed at your computer all day not only leads to eye strain but irritability, headaches and even neck and back pain. This five-minute breather will activate the valgus nerve which runs between the eyebrows.

Translation: instant relaxation.

How to do it

1.    Check your jaw is relaxed, roll your eyes five time some way, five times the other, look down and then look up. Repeat a few times.

2.    Bring heels of your hands just above the eye brows, fingers up.

3.    Close the eyes and on an exhale, gently draw the heels of the hands firmly downwards towards the eyebrows pressing on the forehead. Notice how the breath slows right down.

10pm you need: To completely shut down, retreat and sleep

Try: Legs-up-the-wall pose

Good sleep is key for performance at work. This 10-minute restorative pose will relax the body and calm the mind as well as rejuvenate tired legs if you have been on your feet all day. Clean feet please!

This 10-minute restorative pose will relax the body and calm the mind as well as rejuvenate tired legs if you have been on your feet all day

This 10-minute restorative pose will relax the body and calm the mind as well as rejuvenate tired legs if you have been on your feet all day

How to do it

1.    Sit side-on to the wall, roll on to your back and swing your legs up.

2.    With eyes closed and shoulders relaxed, place palms on your belly and take your awareness to your breath, feeling it move against your palms. If you have tight shoulders put a cushion under your head.

Aaah. Off to bed now.

 

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