Hope you summer break was pleasant and belated good wishes for 2020!
Did you make a New Year’s resolution (or maybe more)? How is it going?
As I understand 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the end of January or latest by mid February.
If you eat or drank too much during the festive season – and your waistline has expanded as a result – this article is for you (and for me 😊).
As we age it easier to put on weight, the metabolism slows down so we need to watch the energy intake and output more closely. Hormones also affect how and where we store fat on our body.
My aim is to show you a variety of poses which lengthen the spine and make you move around the waist.
I used props to make the poses more accessible for people who are not very mobile or not very steady on their feet. Work with your body intelligently – do what suits on a given day!
We need to practice regularly to reap the benefits of yoga!
Let’s start – I will give you some pointers!
Remember to do the poses on both sides – holding for equal amount of time, maybe count your breath!
Apart from helping to trim down we also strengthen the ankles and legs and open the chest – which creates more space for the lungs to do their job. Having the wall behind us helps with alignment. Note that I keep my elbows and knees slightly bent as I have flexible (hyper extending) joints. If you micro bend the arms and legs you will protect these joints, you will not overload them.
Feet are about 1m apart, right toes turned in, heel is wider. Keep the left heel roughly in line with the right inner arch. If you are not steady move the left foot ‘backwards’. Stand tall, on exhalation take the hips to the right, create space in the left side. Place your left hand on a chair or block or on the inside of your left shin. For some of you the fingers might even touch the floor! Aim to keep the arms in line with the shoulders.
The feet are wider than for Trikonasana. Left forearm is resting on the left thigh. This is the therapy version. The anchoring points are the right heel and left big toe-base. Aim to keep the left thigh parallel to the floor, shin is vertical. This pose is also very good for lower back problems.
What I love about yoga is the variety. As you can see below twists can be done sitting on the floor, sitting on a chair or standing.
For these twists the common theme is: inhale, lengthen the spine and twist on exhalation. Stay in one spot for a few cycles of the breath and then twist more. Head turns last. Keep your knee(s) in line with your hip. Soft gaze, in eye level and look towards your shoulder.
These poses open the back of the body, torso and legs. Sit on a folded blanket and when you go forward pivot around the hips!
For the chair variation have enough elevation on the chair so you can rest your forehead. The skin on the forehead to extend from the hairline to the eye brow – it is relaxing!
When doing the variation on the floor some of you might be able to go forward without the strap – but do not collapse the front of the body.
In the first variation I rest my sacrum on two blocks. Aim to keep the chest open and the legs to vertical. It is OK to keep one foot on the floor.
The chair variation is my favourite restorative pose, I do it before going to bed at night or before going out if I am tired. The strap keeps the knees together so you do not need to do any work! I do not like heavy eye pillows so I use a folded face towel.
All practice should finish with Savasana (the pose of the corpse) meaning we stay still. To be able to stay still we need to find a symmetrical comfortable position. Not doing a relaxation is a bit like not saving your document on the computer!
Choose the variation which suits you:
Enjoy your practice and hope regular practice will help you to shed some of the excess weight!