I’m new to the Yoga bandwagon, not for any particular reason – I’ve been on the Pilates bender for many years and love it for how it conditions the body. For me, it’s all about strength, posture and elongating muscles for dancer-like limbs. What’s not to love. But I found that in the morning I needed something gentle on my body, jumping into a Pilates routine was resulting in hyper-extended muscles and out-of-whack joints requiring too many visits to the Osteopath. So I turned to Yoga in the traditional sense of easing into gentle stretches a poses designed to warm the body, increase circulation and calm the mind. My morning ritual is the 12-step sun salutations, and I have also integrated some poses into what would now be a pilates-barre-yoga workout.
The ‘Wild Thing’ – This pose is beautiful and elegant and energising. Hold this pose to stretch and strengthen the back, elongate your body by stretching through your stabilising foot, extended through to your free hand. This pose will encourage a clear mind.
The ‘Chaturanga’ – also known as the low plank is wonderful for core strength and toning the arms. Keep your shoulders pulled down ( away from your ears) so as not to hold your body weight in them. Focus on stabilising your core and contracting muscles throughout your body, down to your toes.
The ‘Dancers pose’ – This is a fun pose, and can be adapted to suit your level of strength, flexibility and balance. It is tricky to master so allow yourself a few weeks to practice and improve. Try it every day to condition your body. You will notice a gradual improvement. It is good for posture, stretching the shoulders back and down.