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5 yoga moves to relax and restore


Stressful day/week/year at work?! Yoga is awesome for relaxing, toning, and tightening the body. Wind down by ending your day with these 5 yoga moves you can do at home – no equipment required.

Turn off your emails, have a cup of tea, take some deep breaths and roll out a mat or towel.
Cherida, Yoga and Pilates instructor at YP Active is here to talk you through it…

1. SINGLE LEG CRUNCH

Stage 1
  • Start on your back with hand behind the head and both knees relaxed in at the chest.
  • Inhale to prepare
  • Exhale activate the shoulders by drawing the shoulders down and away from the ears as you lift the head to a hover.
  • Inhale to hold.

Stage 2

  • Exhale, navel to spine as you take your right elbow towards your left knee whilst extending your right leg.
  • Inhale back to the hover
  • Exhale to the other side.
Repeat 15-20 times on each side
Benefits; all of your abdominal muscles including the deep, side and top layer are toned with this excerise. Believe it or not it actually also strengthens the calf muscles and front of the thighs and teaches co-ordination of the upper, lower, left & right sides of the body.
 

Single leg crunch


2. SIDE LEG CIRCLES

  • Start in side-lying position, the lower leg bent – heel in line with the buttocks.
  • Extend the top leg long with the toe softly pointed.
  • Inhale to prepare
  • Exhale, navel to spine, and begin to draw small circles with the top leg in one direction 12 times, breathing into it.
  • Reverse rotation and then repeat on other side.
Benefits; limbering and strengthening top leg hip joint, firming the buttocks and the side of the leg whilst creating definition in the leg.
Leg Circles

 


 

3. CAT/COW 

Stage 1
  • Begin on all fours – wrists directly underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips.
  • Inhale to prepare

Stage 2

  • Exhale, navel to spine, as you arch your back up towards the sky (stretching like your an angry cat) at the same time let your head and tailbone drop down towards your mat (imagining that you are bringing your head and tailbone together).

Stage 3

  • Inhale reverse the curve of the spine so your tailbone moves up and your chest moves forward and up. Your head moves as a long extension of the spine (don’t let the head fall back).

Repeat 3-4 times

Benefits: stretches the front torso and neck, provides gentle massage to the spine and stomach organs with also stretching and strengthening the spine.
Cat:Cow

4. DOWN DOG WITH DOG HOVERS

Stage 1

  • Start in child’s pose with arms out slightly wider then shoulder width.
  • Grip through the fingers and pads of the hands.
  • Activate the shoulders by rotating the armpits under and sliding the shoulders down and away from the ears.
  • Inhale prepare.
  • Exhale, navel to spine and push through the palms of the hands coming up onto the toes and lifting the pelvis as high as you can.
  • Inhale push the heels towards the floor, coming into Downward Dog. Whilst in this pose work with lifting the tailbone high, taking the weight out of the wrists. Place even pressure through the hands and feet, the neck soft and released, working the heels down towards the mat.

Stage 2

  • From downward dog, inhale.
  • Come back up onto the toes and then bend the knees to hover off the floor
  • Exhale, push back up onto the toes
  • Inhale, repeat the hover.
Repeat 6 hovers then hold in Down Dog for 3 full breaths before repeating entire sequence 3-5 times
Benefits: strengthens wrists, shoulders, and builds endurance and stamina in upper, lower and middle body, stretches the whole back of the body from ankles to wrists.
Down Dog with hover

5. PLANK – ONE ARM BALANCE 

Stage 1

  • Start on all fours with wrists directly underneath the shoulders, knees directly underneath the hips, both hip width apart.
  • Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale, extend one leg back and then the other.
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Stage 2

  • Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale, navel to spine as you place right hand into the centre of the mat.
  • Turn to the left with your left arm up towards the sky and your left leg & foot is stacked on top of your right.
  • Hold for 5 breaths.
  • Return back to plank for 3-5 breaths and then repeat with left hand in the centre.

Benefits: improves balance, builds core strength, strengthens legs, arms, shoulders and wrists, stretches the wrists and lengthens the spine.

1 Arm Plank

Signature

As the founder of YP Active, Cherida Cherida YP Active Biolives and breathes everything health and fitness. A woman of many skills, she is a qualified Personal Trainer and massage therapist, with a diploma in nutrition. When she’s not on a yoga mat you will find her training hard at her second home UFC gym in Sydney and loves fitness fashion. Cherida also works with Sydney based company Detox in a Box (aka Moringa Organics) introducing the amazing superfood Moringa into Australia. In Spring 2014, Cherida is teaming up with Bottoms Up Fitness to deliver YP Active classes through their network.
Connect with these guys here: YP Active | Detox in a Box | Bottoms Up Fitness

About Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also writes for national health magazines, has launched a range of Protein Ball Mixes: Fit Mixes, and is the author of Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017).

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Posted under: yoga, core, relax, wind down, move

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