Our very own teacher Naomi Constantino has been giving the We Heart Living readers some tips about how best to re-energise your body with 5 vital yoga poses.
If your run up to Christmas is as as hectic as ours was, you’ll need these 5 yoga poses to re-energise.
Click here to read the original article on the We heart living website.
1. Down Dog – Adho Mukha Savasana
The pose helps reawaken the spine after all that couch sitting!
Starting on the floor on your hands and knees, placing your knees below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spreading your hands, index fingers parallel, tuck your toes under. On a exhale breath lift your knees away from the floor.
Try at first to keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. This allows the spine to fully lengthen. From here think about lifting your sitting bones up towards the ceiling.Then with your next exhale breath, push your thighs back and allow your heals to stretch toward the floor as the knees start to straighten. Think about pulling up the quadriceps to protect the knee joint a take your emphasis of the pose into the back or your body, away from the shoulders and the wrists.
Engaging through the upper outer arms, allow your shoulders to draw away from your ears creating space for the neck. Position your head between your upper arms to avoid it hanging, this allows the full length of the spine to stay aligned. Breath steady inhales and exhales for 30 seconds to a minute.
2.Udhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog with lion breath
This pose helps removes stagnant energy and opens the heart space.
Lying face down on your mat, lengthen your legs back and bring your palms by the side of your waist with a bend at the elbows.
On your exhale breath, pressing your hands into the floor lift up and straighten the arms. As this happens allow the tops of the thighs to lift as you keep the glutes relaxed.
While in upward dog take a inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, making a ‘ha’ sound. As you are exhaling – open your mouth as wide as you can and stick your tongue out as far as possible towards your chin.
Inhale return to a neutral face, exhale release down to the mat. Repeat 3 more times
3. Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisting Chair pose
This pose is great for stimulating the digestive system.
Stand with your feet together, with your big toes touching. Inhale and raise your arms above your head, exhale as you bend your knees, bringing your hips as low towards the floor as you can.
Draw your shoulder blades back and down as you keep reaching up through the arms. Imagine your tailbone long – lengthening down to the floor, and pull the lower ribs in.
Bring your hands together into prayer at your heart centre and then twist your torso towards the right. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee while making sure the pelvis is still balanced by checking that both your knees are lined up.
Breath into the pose for 8 deep inhalations and exhalations – being aware of keeping your weight in the heels and your abdominals drawing back towards the base of the spine. Release and repeat on the opposite side.
4. Pashimottanasa – Forward fold
This pose helps let go of the tension along the full length of the body
Start sitting with both legs lengthened in front of you.
Inhale reach the arms up over your head, creating length through the spine.
As you exhale the breath lengthen and reach forward from the hips folding over the legs.
Your hands can rest on your shins or maybe your toes. If you want to assist yourself deeper in the pose you can use a strap around your feet and hold onto that.
Allow yourself to breath and relax here for 1 – 3 minutes.
5. Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall
This is a restorative version of shoulder stand that nourishes the nervous system
Using a wall and a folded blanket to support your head.
Lie down on your back with your sitting bones pressed against the wall, extending both legs up, and allowing them to rest against the wall. You may have to shuffle your bum up to achieve this and are looking to achieve a 90-degree angle through the body.
Once settled, close your eyes and start relaxing deeply into the pose, allow the back of the head to be heavy, allow the pelvis to sink into the floor and the leg muscle switch off.
Breathing deeply, relax here for 5 – 15 minutes.
Naomi is the creative director and co founder at edeneast.co.uk check her out at naomicostantino.com